on Git: tips for SVN users and Git in Dropbox cloud

I gave in to the hype of Distributed VCS and decided to learn Git about 6 months ago (No, it’s not a hype, even for single person projects). I started managing my latest projects with Git. Learning Git was not a cake walk, but I put my faith in Git’s promise of power and climbed the beginning slope of the learning curve. If you are switching to git after using Subversion for years, then this slope can be steeper. But now I am comfortable with my Git setup and starting to see the glimpses of power that git has to offer.

Here are few tips for subversion users shifting to Git, which could have saved me some agony when I was new.

1. How can I do svn revert in Git?

Believe it or not, but you do that with git checkout . When I first learned that, I was shocked. (And the best part is, the manpage of git-checkout talks about this functionality only in 3rd paragraph and in not so clear words). Over time you will find out that “checkout” is highly overloaded sub-command in git. Besides reverting your changes, it is used to switch to new branch, or create a new branch altogether. Its semantics are nothing like svn checkout. (The closest git analogue of svn co would be git clone, but not exactly)

2. What’s all about branching being easy in Git?

Once your projects starts to grow beyond certain size, you appreciate the ease of branch management that Git provides. But it takes little effort to understand it. In Subversion, the central repository lies on a web server or a backed up disk partition. You as a user, “checkout” a local copy of it. In Git as well, there can be a center repository (but it’s not necessary), however you do not checkout code from it. You as a user “clone” the entire repository. Because the entire repository is available locally, creating, deleting and switching between branches is very fast. Others don’t see your branches unless you create a corresponding remote branch on central repository (check git push and –track option of git checkout to find out more about it)

3. Here are two useful git subcommands that I wish were more publicized, rather than documented like corner cases.

stash

When you start using multiple branches, more often than not you are faced with a situation where you have some uncommitted code in branch B, but to fix a customer reported crash you want to immediately switch to branch A. When I first faced this situation, all I could find was do a commit and switch the branch. After some later point I accidentally came across ‘git stash’ and found how handy it was.

cherry-pick

You are working on some new feature in branch B and you find a critical bug while doing it. You find the fix for it and you want to release it immediately without waiting for this feature to complete. Your releases are built from branch A (from which you create B). Commit your fix in branch B (don’t include any feature code in that commit), then git the SHA id of that commit to cherry-pick.

4. git mergetool
Git has the most intuitive conflict resolution mechanism in the form of git-mergetool. Actually, I am not sure if it’s git or (g)vimdiff that deserves the credit (or both). After doing merges across branches, if you end up with conflicts, then use git mergetool –tool=vimdiff (git may automatically prompt you for this). I have done some merges with Perforce in the past (they call it crossport, integrate, etc.), and suffice it to say it was bad enough for me to avoid that task altogether. But the three windowed diff view makes this task as intuitive as possible.

5. Best Git GUI I’ve found so far: Git-cola

6. Book recommendation: Progit (It’s Free. It explains different use cases with examples and that helps a lot)

Now on to the second part of the post. Something that I discovered recently. First understand that, you don’t need any central repository to git-fy your project. You have a directory of source files and you want to start tracking it with git, just do git init and you are good to go. git-add, git-commit, git branching all can be done after this point.

However, in little bigger use cases you need a central repository. In my case, I work on same project from two different machines located at two different locations. I could create my git repository on USB key and carry it around with me. But it’s not reliable - media corruption, physical loss, theft - you get the point. So it’s advisable to have your central repo in cloud.

I rented such service from repositoryhosting.com for $6 per month. They provide many other project management tools in the package too, but I primarily used it for git. Recently I started using Dropbox. Although Dropbox storage resides in cloud, they have done perfect job of exporting it as native file system. More importantly it works on all three platforms. So for all practical purposes (that I have covered in last two weeks at least), it’s a native file system, but magically synced across different machines. So I just created the git clone of my git repositories in one of the folders inside Dropbox. I can now push and pull to/from this repository on different machines. See this post for detailed instructions.

Dropbox comes with 2GB of free storage and by doing some referrals you can stretch it up to 2.5GB. It’s plenty for versioning source code files, don’t you think? Be careful not to version big files though (release binaries for instance), you won’t be able to free up space by removing them once they are in the repository.

I hope you found the git tips useful. Hoping to explore more of git.


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Lessons for Solo Enterpreneur from "Structure of Scientific Revolutions"

Bicycle pedals

Insanity and Software

Playing games, Doing Mathematics

Violet end of spectrum

Vipassana Meditation

Why gamers like pixelated games

2017

Collecting Vs Hoarding Netflix

Game Design tip for Programmers - Less Automation

Review Ghost In The Shell - The blinds scene

Why Electron is the best development platform?

Project Dialog

2016

Don't Panic

The Entanglement Pattern

The flying cars analogy

Road Trip of Atlantic Canada

Having done attitude

2015

Before fixing performance issues

No Exams, Yes Video games

Podcasts Français

2014

Quotable Quotes

Conned?!

2013

Uruguay's President

New rules for Formula 1

Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice

Something's missing

2012

Coffeescript: To switch or not to switch

Water from air

The single most reason that keeps me using Vim

Time travel fiction

When your git branch diverges from your remote

Something like Olivia - John Mayer

Online courses - New technology, Old rules

Kelsey Grammer is spectacular

Why Patriotism doesn't make sense

Why sea steading is important to pursue?

Prometheus

Rolling back latest git commit

Google Lunar X Prize

iTunes Download stopped (err =9006)

Good essay on user centric software design

Why we need to explore Seasteading?

2011

Master pieces from screen

How to write interactive CLI utility in node.js

The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov

Why OpenGL ES is so hard?

How to print stack trace anywhere in Javascript

It's not fair to compare Android with Internet Explorer

How to debug WebWorker threads?

Why can't I criticize Government if I don't vote? I sure can.

Elon Musk quote

Don't label yourself

Why the hi-tech minds are writing Social apps?

Truce with exercise

JavaScript is the next C

Ever growing todo list is a good sign for creative projects

Lesser women in tech... So what?

HTML5 offline cache - use swapCache carefully

How Wikipedia and Flattr can together change the World

2010

Discovering LastPass

Functional programming in Javascipt using Underscore.js

Youtube ETA - Chrome extension

Why secure airports when it's planes that fly?

Mac book red light audio jack problem on Linux

How to save HTML5 canvas image to Google App Engine

Why don't they publish eBooks for free but with embedded ads?

Silicon Valley and Hi-tech

Reality distortion field around

Indirect experiments

Music sharing

ReaderScope 2.0.6 - Find Comments

ReaderScope 2.0

predictably irrational

ReaderScope upcoming changes

Tuxmac

Why "Open" is not the first concern of user?

Mutt, Gmail, gdata, notify-send: A Perfect Email solution

Are you the Matt Damon of your game?

ReaderScope 1.9 - OAuth

New app "Find Comments"

@font-face-lift

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Portable apps for iPhone, Android, Pre, n900 - Can Processing.js help?

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Android fragmentation : How big a deal is it?

on Dropbox

iLikeIt

ReaderScope v1.7 - Widget, new Icons and .... Ads

on Git: tips for SVN users and Git in Dropbox cloud

How to do an online IDE for Android app development

Anti Asserts

Bono's top ten list

Make Android speak your Twits with "TwitSpeak"

2009

Reality of colors

Talking Twitter client

ReaderScope 1.5 - quicker, better, prettier

Preview android.R.drawable.* images

Is definition of "Evil" changing?

on Music: Battle Studies

ReaderScope 1.4 (with a Theme Pack)

On Chrome OS

Black on White

Android AsyncTask template

The AND-OR problem of laptop and mobile phone

ReaderScope v1.3.3 - offline podcasts

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Frets on Fire for Maemo - Update

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Sprint HTC Hero problems with ReaderScope

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ReaderScope v1.2

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Crash report for Android App

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Detecting HTC magic on Fedora

ReaderScope beta4 - offline fun

ReaderScope beta3 - Tweet the news

ReaderScope Beta2

ReaderScope beta1 is out

Intercepting Up/Down keys from bash script

Makeshift XML beautifier in python

HTC Magic (Indian version) - expectations and facts

using android AsyncTask

Android development with Vim + Eclim

Cutewit (preview)

Einstein's Dreams

Preprocessing the GUI

Evas + Inkface in v0.2.5

easy source

FoF - PyOpenGL = miniFoF (possibly for n810)

FoF update

Twitter client with inkface-pygame v0.2.2

Frets on Fire on Maemo 5 (Fremantle)

Static IP configuration on Fedora 10

Inkface+pygame v0.2.0

Smooth scrolling with Inkface+pygame

Inkface v0.2 update and automated GUI testing

Testing Android (Koolu Beta 3) on Openmoko Freerunner

Clutter animation paths with Inkscape+Inkface (v0.1.3)

Turning a page

Planning Inkface v0.2

Debian repository on Google App Engine

Inkface + Clutter

Inkface v0.1.2, Twitter-inkface client

2008

Inkface update

Debugging python reference counts

Paul Graham nails it again!

Fedora 10 on MacBook 2,1

A great essay

Thanksgiving at Crater Lake

Digital SLR buyer's guide

more fun with notify-send

(k)ubuntu 8.10 - not ready for my home yet

Migrating to Google App Engine

Android opened - first looks inside

Has it started?

Inkface v0.1

Musical discovery of the week

Die Berlin-Affäre

aus Berlin

Inkface - SVG based GUI design

Script fun

Visualizing source code

OpenMoko photo tour

New connection with the past

George Carlin - favorite clip

temperature

80-20 rule

Python fun

OSiM'08 Berlin, Germany

Of games

"Wine" tasting

Today's slashdot and open source

Cost of Open Source

Lions for Lambs

Ubuntu reviewed

Flickr uploads from n810

Cringely and Paul Graham

Accelerometer brainstorming

Clutter Webkit

OSiM USA 2008 - Day 2

OSiM USA 2008 - Day 1

Google code

Gr8 commercial

OSiM USA 2008, see you there

OpenMoko, Android and a great hacking post

two great videos

Blog from nokia tablets

2007

cool n770 hack

Picasso

Colbie Caillat

Firefox 3 is brilliant!!!

XML RPC server inside apache mod_python

best effort technologies

coding Monalisa

formula of a horror movie

next desktop jump

The "Screen"

Nice review article on virtualization technologies

Once again... a quote from 'Troy'

Story of a random number

quotes from George Carlin

"from time import sleep"

Sea surfing under the Golden Gate

Trip videos

2006

across two hours

What I read...

How do I backup to Amazon S3 storage service

Stranger than fiction

Gas prices... seems like big scam

Another nice quote

Hilarious nerd comment

Programming & Painting

Why do we like fiction?

Troy

If Harry Potter were a computer hacker ...

Gentoo, XGL, HGG

Henry Ford

VI - A capable IDE

New blog

Safari Bookshelf

2005

Back to the L4

Quotes

GCC 2.95 rpms

repeat (ps | grep) = filtered top

Halo fixed on ATI Mobility Radeon 9000

DirectX Installation Problem

Warning: const is a keyword in ANSI C

Not much on L4 front

Last two weeks

GRUBing

Stumbled on HURD

Installed HURD console

Make problem solved

2004

Handy way to create stack trace