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Can I merge changes from a master into a fork? | Observable Suggestions


Hi Observable Community,

I’ve read through the Observable Guide to Forking, Sharing, and Merging and I am clear on how to merge in changes from others, but what about merging changes from a ‘master’ branch into my fork?

Ben (@palewire) has edited his First Observable Notebook since I made a suggestion about what appears to be an errant link, and now my diff is showing me as removing text that he added to his notebook since my suggestion. I want my proposed edit to stand out from these diffs, and I wouldn’t mind merging in the changes that he made, but I don’t see a ‘merge’ available in my fork.

Am I missing something or is this not (yet?) part of Observable suggestions?

This platform gets better every day. Thanks Tom, Jeremy & Mike!


I think if Ben visits the diff link, he should see a message: “Missing changes. The target is missing some base changes. Apply them below?”. This gives him the option to put changes from his “master” (the base) notebook back into the target before he merges. If I understand the merge system properly, you won’t see this since you don’t own the “base” notebook.

However, I think you can select “Compare reverse” from the upper-right menu, and then you should be able to select changes to merge back into your target? You might even see the “Missing changes” message too, though I’m not sure…

To be honest, I still find the “Missing changes…” message a little confusing and unintuitive. When I first saw it, I thought that hitting “Apply” would commit a change to the “target” notebook, but it doesn’t. Instead, it leads to temporary “Unsaved changes” (which is also a little confusing) on the merge page, which disappear unless you commit the merge to the base. It might also be nice if there was a message suggesting the “Compare reverse” button in case you don’t own the base.

Let me also add my thanks to the team for all their hard work!


Thanks Bryan! This is helpful. Thanks for all your amazing responses overall – you’ve been going hard at it for months now! It’ s a gift to have people such as yourself explicating the details for all of us ‘noobs’!

Wishing you a good weekend ahead.