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From: Ed Hutchins <>
To: Matthieu Moy <>
Subject: Re: Feature request: "author branch" in commit object
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2013 08:47:17 -0700	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

I'm not trying to change the way git does things (which works perfectly
well), I'm asking for some extra information to be added to the commit
so that analysis of the ancestry graph can be tied to the branch topics
that the original author was working from. Currently if you have a
rebase-branch/ff-merge-to-master workflow, the graph of commits looks
like a single user produced all of the code. It would be very useful for
both forensic and display purposes to categorize those commits by their
original topics, but that history is lost in such a workflow. Certainly
there are work-arounds (notes etc.) to capture this history, but I think
that this is a basic feature which most projects would benefit from. I
fully understand that branches are not global and that it may be
confusing to keep an "author branch" name around in some cases, but the
vast majority of cases where authors pick meaningful branch names would
benefit from being able to look back and go "ah-ha! that was a commit to
fix bug such-and-such" or "that was a commit from when I was working on
super-cool feature X". Even just knowing that two commits were from
different (or the same) branches would tell you something useful about
the evolution of the project. Arguing that branch names are local and
thus meaningless misses the point: branches are *names* which were
meaningful to the author at the time the branch was being worked on.
Discarding this information makes it harder to reason about or display
the history of the project and is an irritating defect in an otherwise
wonderful tool.

On Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 2:33 AM, Matthieu Moy
<> wrote:
> Ed Hutchins <> writes:
>> I realize that branch names are ephemeral repo-specific things, but it
>> would be really useful to be able to determine what branch a commit
>> was authored from (as a hint to ancestry graph layout tools, for
>> example). Is there any way to do this currently, is it planned, or
>> would it be deemed useful enough to be worth adding to each commit
>> object?
> FWIW, this is what Mercurial's "named branches" do. Instead of having
> branches point to commit, each commit says what branch it belongs to.
> One drawback of this approach is that the branch name is part of the
> commit and can't be changed without changing the commit's sha1. Hence, a
> local, private, branch name becomes permanent the day it's merged
> upstream.
> (for completeness: Mercurial also has essentially Git-like branches,
> but they call this "bookmarks")
> --
> Matthieu Moy

  reply	other threads:[~2013-07-03 15:47 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 17+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2013-07-02 19:37 Ed Hutchins
2013-07-02 19:49 ` Fredrik Gustafsson
2013-07-02 20:00 ` Junio C Hamano
2013-07-02 20:34   ` Ed Hutchins
2013-07-03 16:16     ` Antoine Pelisse
2013-07-03 17:31       ` Ed Hutchins
2013-07-03 18:19         ` Junio C Hamano
2013-07-04  0:00           ` Andrew Ardill
2013-07-02 20:31 ` Johan Herland
2013-07-03  9:33 ` Matthieu Moy
2013-07-03 15:47   ` Ed Hutchins [this message]
2013-07-03 18:08     ` Junio C Hamano
2013-07-03 23:46       ` Feature request: Jakub Narebski
2013-07-03 23:52         ` Dany
2013-07-03 23:53           ` Dany
2013-07-04  8:08             ` Matthieu Moy
2013-07-09 21:46       ` Feature request: "author branch" in commit object Philip Oakley

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