Github logging

31 January, 2020 - 2 min read

Github immersion

I decided to spend the day learning github more in depth. One of my favourite resources is GithubImmersion. It can get intimidating to practice your work with a language you never really use (ruby), but I am getting less scared of trying new things and I just created the file to play around with.

One of the most interesting things that I have yet to add to my workflow, is git log Getting a listing of what changes have been made is the function of the git log command.

There are a lot of options for selecting which entries are displayed in the log.

$ git log --pretty=oneline --max-count=2
$ git log --pretty=oneline --since='5 minutes ago'
$ git log --pretty=oneline --until='5 minutes ago'
$ git log --pretty=oneline --author=<your name>
$ git log --pretty=oneline --all

Here is a great log format that you can use for your own logs:

$ git log --pretty=format:'%h %ad | %s%d [%an]' --graph --date=short

It should output something like this:

 6118034 2020-01-31 | added comment (HEAD -> master) [lalawuhan]
 525466d 2020-01-31 | added a default value [lalawuhan]
 b4cf229 2020-01-31 | Using Argv       # [lalawuhan]
 136ac2f 2020-01-31 | first [lalawuhan]

This is what it consists of:

  • --pretty="..." defines the format of the output.
  • %h is the abbreviated hash of the commit
  • %d are any decorations on that commit (e.g. branch heads or tags)
  • %ad is the author date
  • %s is the comment
  • %an is the author name
  • --graph informs git to display the commit tree in an ASCII graph layout
  • --date=short keeps the date format nice and short

Other Tools

Both gitx (for Macs) and gitk (any platform) are useful in exploring log history.

Common Shortcuts

git status, git add, git commit, and git checkout are such common commands that it is useful to have abbreviations for them.

Add the following to the .gitconfig file in your $HOME directory.

  co = checkout
  ci = commit
  st = status
  br = branch
  hist = log --pretty=format:'%h %ad | %s%d [%an]' --graph --date=short
  type = cat-file -t
  dump = cat-file -p