Logs Are Magic
Git is a powerful, critical, yet poorly understood tool that virtually all Open Source developers use. One of the key features that git provides is a powerful and comprehensive log that displays the history of all the changes that have happened in a project, including potential developments that weren’t ever merged, details about former versions of software that can inform future development, and even such mundane details as whether development on feature A started before or after development of bugfix B.
Despite the power and utility of git’s log, few developers take full advantage of it. Worse, some common practices that developers have adopted in the name of convenience (or just plain cargo culting) can actually destroy this useful information. Moreover, if developers are following the common exhortation to “commit often”, they may end up with logs full of uninteresting noise, as all the details of debugging attempts and experiments are inadvertently recorded.
This talk will:
- detail the potential benefits of having informative and well structured logs
- discuss common developer habits that can make logs less useful
- explain techniques to preserve informative development history
John SJ Anderson, Infinity Interactive