Using patches is a popular way to share changes between the teammates or supply updates to software products to the customers. With IntelliJ IDEA, creating and applying versioned patches is quite simple and intuitive: you can do it from the main Version Control menu, or from the Changes tool window.
However, IntelliJ IDEA suggests an additional way to create and apply your “personal” patches. As we have discussed earlier, numerous changes pass unnoticed by the version control systems, because you just do not check in every change you make to your files while working.
You know that IntelliJ IDEA keeps your own “personal version control” – the local history. Besides the possibility to roll back to a certain revision, you can also create a patch on the base of a revision or action, share it with your colleagues, and apply it when necessary.
Local history applies to the folders, files, members and fragments of text, but the technique of creating a patch is common in all cases. Let’s see how it’s done.
Select a folder in the Project tool window, and choose Local History on its context menu. In the Local History view, right-click the desired revision, and choose Create Patch:
In the dialog box that opens, specify the name and location of the patch file:
An interesting possibility is suggested by the Reverse patch checkbox. If you check this option, IntelliJ IDEA will create a patch that rolls back the selected action. For example, it you have created a file, the patch will delete it.
Applying your “personal” patch is done as usual, using the Apply Patch command on the main Version Control menu. If a patch file is stored in project, you can invoke this command on the context menu of the patch file in the Project tool window: