Fix That Commit!

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While it sometimes seems as if everyone has already switched to git (or a similar distributed version control system), I still meet people who are only leaving subversion behind now. A lot of git’s idioms are impenetrable to those who are new to it, but the presence of free resources like Pro Git and git ready make the adjustment much easier.

Even though I’ve used git for awhile, I still need to look up the best way of performing a task every now and then. One trick that comes in handy is editing existing commits. git --amend allows for adding new files or changes to a previous commit, but you can have even more control than that — changing any pre-pushed commit in your history.

Just get the hash of the commit you want to change. With a simple git rebase <commit>^ --interactive, you can then make any changes you want. For each file, just type git add <file>. When you’re done, git commit --amend and git rebase --continue will finish up your editing.

It’s always useful to review and cleanup your commit history before pushing your changes upstream or issuing a pull request. With the ability to revisit any previous commit, you can be more comfortable in a ‘commit-all-the-time’ workflow.

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