(This guest blog was written by John Sparrow from Axosoft.)
Git is an increasingly essential tool to work with. Whether
you’re working solo on a project and need a decent version history at your
disposal, or you’re working collaboratively in a team in which you’re
contributing regular updates to code, Git is an invaluable tool. But the
learning curve is notoriously steep, and finding a path to understanding Git
concepts can be difficult.
Part of the ethos behind creating GitKraken, a cross-platform Git
to help put Git into human terms. So take a moment, breathe deep, and read on.
These are some of the irritation factors and obstacles that Axosoft developers
experienced in the past, and how they solved them in GitKraken.
1. Line Endings and crlf
Line endings, eh? Can't live with 'em, can't live without
'em. But in truth, we rarely think about line endings as potential issues. Did
you know that Windows and Linux/Mac systems use different line ending
characters? This can be a problem if you are moving or sharing between
operating systems in your projects. Fortunately, Git has an AutoCRLF
option which will handle line endings for you. By default, Git has AutoCRLF
set to ‘false’—set that to ‘true’ and be on your merry way. In GitKraken (on
Windows), it’s as easy as checking/unchecking your AutoCRLF setting in
Preferences > General.
2. Default Push Behaviors and refspec
Git uses something called refspec to define push behavior
between local and remote branches. Git’s default behavior (if it can’t find an
explicit refspec) is to push ‘matching’ branches, meaning every branch that
exists locally will be updated remotely. Sounds good, right? Well, this default
behavior updates all remote branches with the same name as local branches, and
that can get messy. GitKraken, on the other hand, will only push the branch you
select, so you won’t fall into this trap.
3. Attack of the Clones
If you're somewhat new to GitHub, or to working with remotes
in general, understanding how remote URLs work or where to find them can be an
obstacle. GitHub does make it easier to find your remote URL, but when cloning,
GitKraken offers you a selection of repositories based on what remotes you have
available in your service, and you can always just directly add a URL if you
4. You are the Keymaster
Working with SSH keys is a good way of getting the best of
both worlds when it comes to security and user experience; with SSH you pair up
your keys with your services, set it up once, and you're done. GitKraken has a
preference section that allows you to add SSH keys to connected services, no
CLI, no rsa copy-paste shenanigans.
5. Working Collaboratively with Remotes
Git really comes into its own when you’re collaborating on
projects. Setting up remotes can be an annoyance, especially when you’re
working with multiple remotes and upstreams. When adding a remote, GitKraken
offers you a selection of forks of the currently open repository to add. In the
same way as cloning a repository, you can always directly add a URL if you’d
Remember refspecs? Upstreams are what we use to set refspecs
for local branches. An upstream for a branch is the remote locations with which
you push/pull that branch, and setting an upstream correctly is essential for
workflows that incorporate pull requests into the main fork (see “Pull
Requests” below). GitKraken makes it easy to set upstreams. The app will
intelligently assume the most likely upstream and let you override this setting
if you need to.
6. Pull Requests
Working with branches is one thing, but when you want to get
truly collaborative, you can work with forks, branches, and pull requests.
Forking means that you have a discrete repo cloned from the original. Using
this, you can work on a remote that you own, and then make a pull request to
start the process of merging your edits back into the original repository. This
way, you have oversight in your projects and can work independently on features
and hotfixes while still being able to easily merge back in when you're ready.
So, there you have it! Those are the 6 ways the Axosoft dev
team has made working with Git easier in GitKraken. If you’re ready to make
your Git life easier, download
GitKraken now! Then, download Git Succinctly, Syncfusion’s free
e-book, to brush up on Git concepts.