Git Rev News: Edition 24 (February 22nd, 2017)

Welcome to the 24th 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 January 2017 and the Git Merge 2017 conference which happened in Brussels on February 2nd and 3rd 2017.



Developer Spotlight: Michael J Gruber

I am a mathematical physicist - I do research on mathematical problems in quantum physics, and I teach mathematics as a lecturer. Sharing and free exchange of knowledge are fundamental for that. Consequently, being involved in open source software projects feels like just another side of the same medal.

For a larger project with multiple moving parts (habilitation thesis) I had used Subversion (that thesis started before git). It made two things clear: I could not have done this without a version control system; and I needed something else (a VCS with actual merges, to say the least).

Git had some geek appeal, but I couldn’t get it to compile on my first attempts (configure && make..., on a system with libs without headers, no root). So I went with Mercurial since I was getting into Python anyway. Only to be confused by Hg’s mantra “to clone is to branch and to branch is to clone” when there were two commands clone and branch which did something completely different and - in the case of the latter - not very useful, it appeared to me. (Hg has the more useful “bookmarks” these days.)

In the end, it was the branch concept and the tone on the respective mailing lists at that time that drove me to Git. I had learned not to use configure for Git by now, and have been compiling it happily ever after.

There is no single big topic. Mostly, I try to make Git easier and less surprising to use by doing stuff here and there. The rev-list options --min-parent, --max-parent and --cherry-mark were fun to do. I also consider “–textconv” a killer feature and was very successful in getting Peff to do most things in that area that I wanted to have, and did a few things “myself” - which is really the wrong term, given how collaborative our development on git.git is.

Strangely, I was involved in several GPG-related things. I do not use signed tags nor signed commits myself, but I care about GPG and about git making the right calls when it comes to notions like “trust” etc.

What: almost nothing; why: work

During term breaks, I try to follow up an lingering topics and to participate more actively in the Git mailing list.

I would do the above without the need for a transition plan :)

Anything that makes textconv fly (unoconv, pdftotext); tig when log --graph is ambiguous; I should use tig more ;)


Other News


Git Merge 2017

Apparently, an increasing number of excellent bloggers attend the conference (this material was used in Git Merge 2017 general sessions writeup above):


Light reading

Git tools and sites


This edition of Git Rev News was curated by Christian Couder <>, Thomas Ferris Nicolaisen <>, Jakub Narębski <> and Markus Jansen <> with help from Michael J Gruber.