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Without knowing Oracle's approach, this sort of problem is no different from any other software, even tho it reaches a larger scale.

Branch from master, and rerun tests before the final merge, like you should in any other software? (Many processes fail that criterion, see https://bors.tech/ for something that gets this right).

Ideally you work on a different enough bug that there's limited interaction, and ideally that's figured out before you fix it, but those criteria are indeed harder to satisfy in a bigger software.

But if the time needed to test and deploy a change is so ludicrous, it seems like you'd rarely get a big-enough window to rerun your tests before the upstream changes again. Either people are merging in unstable code, or the release lifecycle is a slow byzantine nightmare too (probably the case here).

Usually you don't test a single change before merging, but branch from master, merge any number of changes and then run the tests. So the master branch would move forward every 20-30 hours in this case, unless the tests of a merge batch fail, in which case master would kinda stall for a bit.

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