As I discussed in my article on what Ganesh taught me, working with another engineer is a great way to learn new things. Last week I also worked with Winston and he showed me some git short cuts you can add to your bash profile.

How I Use Git

I’ve tried a number of git UI tools over the years but I keep coming back to the command line. Here’s my work flow:

  • git status
  • git add some_file
  • git commit -m “a commit message”
  • git push origin master

I’m pretty much a straight command line guy. And because I try very hard to avoid rollup commits, this can make the commit process tedious.

How Winston Uses Git

Winston showed me his process:

  • gs
  • ga
  • gc “a commit message”
  • gpc

These abbreviations are a heck of a lot shorter than what I’ve been typing so that’s clearly a win. My one objection to his approach is that ga adds EVERYTHING. My preference is atomic commit messages where one commit = the changes to one file so I really would prefer to have two aliases for add:

  • ga some_file
  • gaa (adds everything)

Here’s how Winston originally implemented this:

alias gundo='git reset --soft HEAD~1'
function gc() {
  git commit -m "$*"
}
alias gcurrentbranch='git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD'
alias ga='git add .'
alias gs='git status'
alias gl='git log --oneline'
alias gpc='git push origin $(gcurrentbranch)'

Here is my version:

alias gundo='git reset --soft HEAD~1'
function gc() {
  git commit -m "$*"
}
function ga() {
  git add "$*"
}
alias gcurrentbranch='git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD'
alias gaa='git add .'
alias gs='git status'
alias gl='git log --oneline'
alias gpc='git push origin $(gcurrentbranch)'
function ghelp() {
  echo "ga (add one) gc (commit) gpc (push) gaa (add all) gs (status) gl (log) gcurrentbranch (show branch) gundo (be careful!)"
}

The only changes I made were:

  • add a ga function which does a single file add
  • change the name of the previous ga, which added everything, to gaa (git add all)
  • add a ghelp function to tell me what’s available

Just using this for a few days has really streamlined my workflow. Thanks Winston!