Reinventing Git interface

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I also ask not to discard all this nonsense right away, but at least give it a fair round of thought. My recommendations, if applied in their entirety, can radically change Git experience. They can move Git from advanced, hacky league to the mainstream and enable adoption of VCS by very wide groups of people. While this is still a concept and obviosly requires a hell of a job to become reality, my hope is that somebody working on a Git interface can borrow from these ideas and we all will get better Git client someday.

I love Git. But I love it more conceptually than I do practically. Everything about its technical design is elegant and clever. But most of how you have to act when you’re using it just screams “I was developed by lots of engineers and by exactly zero UX developers.” I can’t imagine why.

Nikita proposes ways in which it can be “fixed” while retaining 100% backwards-compatibility, and that’s bloody awesome. I hope the Git core team are paying attention, because these ideas are gold.

git git git git git

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Ever found you’ve accidentally entered too many gits in your terminal and wondered if there’s a solution to it? I quite often type git then go away and come back, then type a full git status after it. This leads to a lovely (annoying) error out the box:

$ git git status
git: 'git' is not a git command. See 'git --help'.

What a git.

My initial thought was overriding the git binary in my $PATH and having it strip any leading arguments that match git, so we end up running just the git status at the end of the arguments. An easier way is to just use git-config‘s alias.* functionality to expand the first argument being git to a shell command.

git config --global alias.git '!exec git'

Which adds the following git config to your .gitconfig file

[alias]
  git = !exec git

And then you’ll find you can git git to your heart’s content

$ git sha
cc9c642663c0b63fba3964297c13ce9b61209313

$ git git sha
cc9c642663c0b63fba3964297c13ce9b61209313

$ git git git git git git git git git git git git git git git git git git git git git git git git git git sha
cc9c642663c0b63fba3964297c13ce9b61209313

(git sha is an alias for git rev-parse HEAD.)

See what other git alias’ I have in my ~/.gitconfig, and laugh at all the typo corrections I have in there. (Yes, git provides autocorrection if you enable it, but I’m used to these typos working!)

Now git back to doing useful things!