Git Rev News: Edition 55 (September 25th, 2019)

Welcome to the 55th edition of Git Rev News, a digest of all things Git. For our goals, the archives, the way we work, and how to contribute or to subscribe, see the Git Rev News page on

This edition covers what happened during the month of August 2019.



  • Google Summer of Code 2019 is over.

    Both students, Rohit Ashiwal and Matheus Tavares, passed their final evaluation and posted a final report on their blog. See:

  • Virtual Git Contributor Summit

    Johannes Schindelin, alias Dscho, organized the first Virtual Git Contributor Summit which happened on Thursday September 12 and Friday September 13 over a Zoom call.

    Notes (plain text) have been taken and are used to organize follow up actions.

  • RFC - Git Developer Blog

    Emily Shaffer asked on the mailing list if people would be interested in creating a “Git-project-blessed blog written by Git contributors”. The goal was “to make Git better understood in the rest of the world”, in a not very formal setting.

    A number of people replied to Emily saying that they thought it was a good idea, and sometimes agreeing to submit articles for the new blog or to review other people’s submissions.

    Jeff King, who manages the web site, suggested hosting it at the same place using, which Emily accepted.

    Following the Virtual Git Contributor Summit a repository has been created for the blog by James Ramsay.


  • diff.renames not working?

    Robert Dailey wondered if the diff.renames config option worked correctly when it’s set to copies, as git diff --name-status and git diff --follow (which is not documented) showed that one file was copied from another when they were passed a path to a file as argument, but git diff and git diff -M didn’t.

    Jeff King, alias Peff, replied to Robert explaining how rename detection works and what are the current limitations. He also suggested some possible improvements.

    Bryan Turner and Peff also noticed that -M detects renames, not copies.

    Junio agreed with Peff and gave extra historical information and also discussed possible improvements.

Developer Spotlight: Emily Shaffer

  • Who are you and what do you do?

    I’m a California resident, dog mom, maker, and software engineer at Google contributing to Git as my day job!

  • What would you name your most important contribution to Git?

    The My First Contribution tutorial - it’s helping folks who are interested in committing to Git full-time figure out how to write and send patches, and more importantly (to me), it has launched a conversation about better internal documentation for Git contributors, which I’m really excited about.

  • What are you doing on the Git project these days, and why?

    Lately, I’ve been making it easier for the Git team at Google to distribute Git to Googlers (gee). For the benefit of the broader community, I have started working on a tool to help users generate helpful, actionable bug reports. Soon I hope to be doing some work with hook management.

  • If you could get a team of expert developers to work full time on something in Git for a full year, what would it be?

    Submodules! I think they’re such a cool idea but they have a long way to go right now. It’s a little personal for me; I also contribute to OpenBMC which I think could benefit a lot from using submodules as well, but it hasn’t been feasible yet.

  • If you could remove something from Git without worrying about backwards compatibility, what would it be?

    That’s a good question! There are lots of depths of Git that I haven’t been subjected to yet, so I think I have to do some more homework before I can decide what I’d do away with.

  • What is your favorite Git-related tool/library, outside of Git itself?

    Probably the high number of tiny .bashrc aliases I’ve got for the Git CLI. My work would be much slower without quick aliases for git grep, git format-patch, and so on. Or, I suppose related to the Git project (but not the Git tool), I learned to use mutt for interacting with the Git mailing list and am still thrilled to be able to email in Vim.


Other News


Light reading

Git tools and sites


This edition of Git Rev News was curated by Christian Couder <>, Jakub Narębski <>, Markus Jansen <> and Gabriel Alcaras <> with help from Emily Shaffer, James Ramsay, Pratik Karki and Thomas Ferris.