The commit history of a code base such as the Linux kernel is a gold mine of information on how evolutions should be made, how bugs should be fixed, etc. Nevertheless, the high volume of commits available and the rudimentary filtering tools provided mean that it is often necessary to wade through a lot of irrelevant information before finding example commits that can help with a specific software development problem. To address this issue, we propose Prequel (Patch Query Language), which brings the descriptive power of code matching to the problem of querying a commit history.


git clone


Prequel: A Patch-Like Query Language for Commit History Search
Julia Lawall, Quentin Lambert, Gilles Muller
Inria Research report 8918 (Slides).

Fast and Precise Retrieval of Forward and Back Porting Information for Linux Device Drivers
Julia Lawall, Derek Palinski, Lukas Gnirke, and Gilles Muller


Julia . Lawall @ lip6 . fr


The development of Prequel is supported in part by OSADL, as part of the SIL2LinuxMP project.


Various experiments using Prequel derived from the paper presented at USENIX 2017 are available here.