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GIT Tutorial
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Viewing the Commit History

Git, the ubiquitous version control system, empowers developers to collaborate seamlessly and track changes efficiently. One of its fundamental features is the commit history, a chronological record of changes made to a repository. In this guide, we will delve into the art of navigating and interpreting Git’s commit history.

Understanding Commits

Commits are the building blocks of a Git repository. Each commit represents a snapshot of your project at a specific point in time. By understanding commits, you gain insight into the evolution of your codebase.

Navigating Commit History

Git offers several commands to navigate the commit history:

1. git log

The git log command displays a detailed list of commits, including commit messages, authors, dates, and commit IDs. This command allows you to explore the commit history in its entirety.

2. git show

To view the changes introduced in a specific commit, use git show followed by the commit ID. This command provides a comprehensive overview of the modifications made in that commit.

3. git diff

The git diff the command helps you compare changes between commits. It’s a powerful tool to identify what has been added, modified, or deleted in the codebase.

Filtering Commit History

Managing a vast commit history can be overwhelming. Git provides options to filter the commit log:

1. Time-Based Filtering
  • git log --since="2 weeks ago": Shows commits from the last two weeks.
  • git log --until="2022-12-31": Displays commits until a specific date.
2. Author-Based Filtering
  • git log --author="John Doe": Filters committed by a specific author.
  • git log --committer="Jane Smith": Filters committed by the committer.

Searching Commit History

When dealing with extensive commit histories, searching becomes indispensable:

1. git log -S"search term"

The -S flag in git log allows you to search for a specific term across commits. This is immensely helpful for tracking changes related to particular features or bug fixes.

Visualizing Commit History

Understanding committed relationships is pivotal. Git provides graphical tools to visualize commit history:

1. gitk

The gitk tool offers an interactive graphical representation of the commit history, complete with branching and merging details.

2. git log --graph

Adding the --graph option to git log provides a simplified ASCII graph representation of the commit history, aiding in visualizing branches and their merges.