The Universe of Discourse

Fri, 02 Nov 2018

Another trivial utility: git-q

One of my favorite programs is a super simple Git utility called git-vee that I just love, and I use fifty times a day. It displays a very simple graph that shows where two branches diverged. For example, my push of master was refused because it was not a fast-forward. So I used git-vee to investigate, and saw:

    * a41d493 (HEAD -> master) new article: Migraine
    * 2825a71 message headers are now beyond parody
    | * fa2ae34 (origin/master) message headers are now beyond parody
    o 142c68a a bit more information

The current head (master) and its upstream (origin/master) are displayed by default. Here the nearest common ancestor is 142c68a, and I can see the two commits after that on master that are different from the commit on origin/master. The command is called get-vee because the graph is (usually) V-shaped, and I want to find out where the point of the V is and what is on its two arms.

From this V, it appears that what happened was: I pushed fa2ae34, then amended it to produce 2825a71, but I have not yet force-pushed the amendment. Okay! I should simply do the force-push now…

Except wait, what if that's not what happened? What if what happened was, 2825a71 was the original commit, and I pushed it, then fetched it on a different machine, amended it to produce fa2ae34, and force-pushed that? If so, then force-pushing 2825a71 now would overwrite the amendments. How can I tell what I should do?

Formerly I would have used diff and studied the differences, but now I have an easier way to find the answer. I run:

    git q HEAD^ origin/master

and it produces the dates on which each commit was created:

    2825a71 Fri Nov 2 02:30:06 2018 +0000
    fa2ae34 Fri Nov 2 02:25:29 2018 +0000

Aha, it was as I originally thought: 2825a71 is five minutes newer. The force-push is the right thing to do this time.

Although the commit date is the default output, the git-q command can produce any of the information known to git-log, using the usual escape sequences. For example, git q %s ... produces subject lines:

    % git q %s HEAD origin/master 142c68a

    a41d493 new article: Migraine
    fa2ae34 message headers are now beyond parody
    142c68a a bit more information

and git q '%an <%ae>' tells you who made the commits:

    a41d493 Mark Jason Dominus (陶敏修) <>
    fa2ae34 Mark Jason Dominus (陶敏修) <>
    142c68a Mark Jason Dominus (陶敏修) <>

The program is in my personal git-util repository but it's totally simple and should be easy to customize the way you want:


    from sys import argv, stderr
    import subprocess

    if len(argv) < 3: usage()

    if argv[1].startswith('%'):
      item = argv[1]
      ids = argv[2:]
      ids = argv[1:]

    for id in ids:[ "git", "--no-pager", 
                       "log", "-1", "--format=%h " + item, id])

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