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Re: In support of Jonas Bernoulli's Magit

From: John Yates
Subject: Re: In support of Jonas Bernoulli's Magit
Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2017 18:57:29 -0400

On Sat, Jul 8, 2017 at 1:42 PM, raman <address@hidden> wrote:
> There are many things that Git lets you do that are at the power-user
> end of the spectrum --- an
d magit actually makes those doable, whereas
> the git commandline would never encourage  you to venture even close.

I mentioned earlier in this thread that because Magit is so compelling I
use it to induce susceptible colleagues to try emacs. Let me elaborate.

I work at a company that is trying to up its software engineering
practices.  An important part of that effort is mandating code reviews.
That alone though does not result in particularly useful reviews or
feedback.  The main obstacle is that developers work until a task is
complete and then submit all of their changes as a single, overwhelming
review request.

There are developers within the company who are familiar with patch
series culture as exemplified by the Gnu/Linux kernel.  Others, though
having no first hand experience, understand the ideas and acknowledge
that offering code for review as a well groomed patch series would be
a big improvement.  The problem is that in the real world code never
gets designed / authored / debugged such that it emerges naturally as
an intelligible, coherent patch series.  It takes real work to extract
such a series.  And of course most developers have absolutely no idea
idea how they would go about turning a workspace or even a chaotic
series of incremental commits into such a series.

That is where Magit shines.  It allows one to move arbitrary chunks
of code forward and back among a sequence of commits.  As such it
gives a developer a concrete visualization of the emerging commits
and their contents.  Nor is one restricted to moving hunks identified
by a diff tool.  In Magit a chunk can just as easily be an arbitrary
marked region.

When I demo Magit for my colleagues they immediately get excited.
It makes it clear that fostering a patch series culture need not be
a pipe dream.

To date I am unaware of any other tool on any platform offering
similar functionality.

Were an emacs user to ask me to suggest a package (s)he should use
to interact with git I would always plug Magit.  Not that I would
discourage learning VC.  Clearly (as Raman has explained) VC has a
role.  Magit though alters how one thinks about presenting one's
coding efforts to the greater world.


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