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Saving changes and tracking history

From: Fundamentals of Software Version Control

Video: Saving changes and tracking history

Once you've got your files in, and you can get your files out, the typical workflow when using any Version Control System looks like this in your repository. At Time 1, you can see that there's a file in your repository that contains A, B, and C. Let's say you check it out and then you delete B and you add D. Now when you save your files back into the repository, use a command that's called commit, check in, or update. When you command the Version Control System to save your updated file, it will ask you for a short description of the changes you've made.

Saving changes and tracking history

Once you've got your files in, and you can get your files out, the typical workflow when using any Version Control System looks like this in your repository. At Time 1, you can see that there's a file in your repository that contains A, B, and C. Let's say you check it out and then you delete B and you add D. Now when you save your files back into the repository, use a command that's called commit, check in, or update. When you command the Version Control System to save your updated file, it will ask you for a short description of the changes you've made.

This is oftentimes called a commit message, and this is a crucial part of the history of tracking information. The system will store the differences between the two different versions of the file, and you supply the reason. In some systems you can supply a single line, and in some systems you can actually supply not only a single line which is used in short displays, you can also provide an entire document that describes what it is. Reference bugs that are fixed by this have hyperlinks to websites that have appropriate references and so forth.

Once you've added a file to Version Control and made a change and checked it back in, your Version Control System can now show you the history of that file. So, we can see here we have the file here at T1 with our initial commit, then we have two versions of file, and we add D, and now three versions of the file when we deleted B, and four versions of the file when we add E. Each item in the history will show you not only what is changed between one version and the other, it will also show you who made the changes, and what that person said about those changes. In this case, initial commit, adding D, deleting B, and so forth.

It's important when creating commit or check in messages to be as descriptive as possible, because you may come back later and your memory may be a little fuzzy as to what you changed, or when you're working on a team, someone else may be reading your commit message and want to learn to understand what you did. Many systems allow you to create a one-line short commit message, and in certain systems, you can also create a longer descriptive message in which you can be more detailed in terms of what you've actually changed. You can add hyperlinks, you can add references to documents, you can add references to bug numbers.

When you're using the Command Line tools, you can only add the short version, or if you leave the short version text off, the Command Line version of the tools will open up in the editor to allow you to put in both the short version, and the subsequent long version on subsequent lines. If you think back to our demo when I typed in git commit -a - and then put that string in quotes, if you leave the string off, it will open up in editor, showing you the information about what files have changed, and allowing you to enter in both the short and the long version, keeping track of the changes, automatically backing up your files, recording why something was changed, and who changed it is the essence of Version Control.

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Fundamentals of Software Version Control

49 video lessons · 11680 viewers

Michael Lehman
Author

 
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  1. 2m 12s
    1. Welcome
      56s
    2. What you should know before taking this course
      23s
    3. Using the exercise files
      53s
  2. 25m 8s
    1. Overview of software version control
      2m 51s
    2. Understanding version control concepts
      5m 14s
    3. Demo one: Getting started
      11m 1s
    4. Demo two: Handling the "oops"
      6m 2s
  3. 11m 3s
    1. The history of version control
      3m 44s
    2. Terminology
      4m 27s
    3. Exploring centralized vs. distributed systems
      2m 52s
  4. 28m 42s
    1. Getting files in and out of a repository
      4m 38s
    2. Saving changes and tracking history
      2m 47s
    3. Reverting to a prior version
      1m 42s
    4. Creating tags and labels
      1m 5s
    5. Branching and merging
      4m 10s
    6. Exploring workflow integration and continuous builds
      2m 46s
    7. Using graphical user interface (GUI) tools
      2m 39s
    8. Integrating a version control system with an integrated development environment (IDE)
      2m 50s
    9. Examining shell integration
      3m 26s
    10. Looking at forward and reverse integration
      2m 39s
  5. 25m 59s
    1. Installation and setup
      3m 31s
    2. Creating a repository and a project
      5m 10s
    3. Working with check-in, checkout, and revert
      6m 12s
    4. Tagging
      1m 34s
    5. Branching and merging
      5m 32s
    6. Working with GUI clients and IDE integration
      4m 0s
  6. 16m 13s
    1. Installation and setup
      55s
    2. Working with check-in, checkout, and revert
      9m 34s
    3. Tagging
      1m 7s
    4. Branching and merging
      4m 37s
  7. 26m 41s
    1. Installation and setup
      3m 47s
    2. Creating a repository and a project
      6m 15s
    3. Working with check-in, checkout, and revert
      8m 31s
    4. Tracking history and tagging
      2m 15s
    5. Branching and merging
      5m 53s
  8. 19m 25s
    1. Installation and setup
      3m 1s
    2. Creating a repository and a project
      1m 6s
    3. Working with check-in, checkout, and revert
      6m 39s
    4. Tagging
      2m 13s
    5. Branching and merging
      3m 44s
    6. Working with GUI clients and IDE integration
      2m 42s
  9. 16m 54s
    1. Installation and setup
      1m 48s
    2. Creating a repository and a project
      59s
    3. Working with check-in, checkout, revert, and tracking history
      6m 9s
    4. Tagging
      1m 50s
    5. Branching and merging
      4m 29s
    6. Exploring GUI and shell integration
      1m 39s
  10. 3m 38s
    1. Selecting a software version control that is right for you
      2m 30s
    2. Next steps
      1m 8s

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