Short and useless commit messages


I have been guilty of writing short, pointless, and completely useless commit messages [before]. Stoked by a recent thread on StackOverflow about the worst commit message that one has ever authored, I looked into the commit log for a project I have been working on and subsequently maintaining for the last one year. I had to learn git as it had been decided that git would be used for version control for the project. Git indeed has been used since the onset of the project, but during the first three quarters working on the project, due to my unfamiliarity with working with distributed version control and shameful lack of knowledge of how git worked and a growing misperception that git is overly complicated for beginners to distributed version control, I used git sparingly (in the sense that I did not commit regularly, nor did I use any of its more than simple features) and ham-handedly. Nevertheless, skimming through the commit log from since the very initial commit, I found the following gems:

  • minor changes
  • some brief changes
  • assorted changes
  • lots and lots of changes
  • another big bag of changes
  • lots of changes after a lot of time
  • LOTS of changes. period

Of course, the ever notorious “bug fixes” is also to be found at a lot of places.

On a happier note, since then, I have come to understand and utilise the full potential of git. And I no longer blurt out when authoring commit messages.

5 thoughts on “Short and useless commit messages

  1. Of course, this holds of any version tracking system. Isn’t it? It’s amazing how much you can do with a version control system. In fact, the mere factor of having a version control system with diff and merge makes me prefer “code” over “configuration in database.”

    • I agree. The thrill that comes from being able to use version control properly is inexplicable. For example, despite the fact that I am the only developer for a couple of on-going projects for which I am using git for version control, I am excited to use git as I were working with other developers collaborating over the project. Branching, tagging, merging, diff’ing, committing, etc, thrill me to no end.

  2. Pingback: Short and useless commit messages | Tea Break

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