Skip to main content

More git awesomeness

As I mentioned in my previous post, working at Enthought involves a lot of forking, commiting, pushing and merging. Git is used for code version control and while I was comfortable working with git earlier, I had to learn a lot of new tricks.

One of the first things I had to learn was branching and PRs, as I had mentioned in the previous post. A note of caution here. Say you're working on adding features to a stable code. In order to add the features and check them, you create a branch called 'features' using

git checkout -b features

Now say, in the middle of this process, you've been asked to fix couple of bugs in the supposedly stable code. To code and submit the fixes, you need to work in a different branch, say 'fix', created using

git checkout -b fix

Here's the catch. You need to create the branch from master/stable and not the features branch you were previous on. So you will have to run the second command after running

git checkout master

This will make sure that the commits or changes you've made don't follow you into the fix branch. Trust me, things will get messy if you don't.

Secondly, it is wise to do

git pull origin master

every morning before starting work because someone else working on the project could've updated the project in the meanwhile. And don't do

git pull url-to-repo

because master/stable wouldn't be automatically updated in that case.

Thirdly, it'll help to know which branch you're working on all the time because you wouldn't want to mix code between branches. In order to do so, the git people have written a code that will change your command prompt in the terminal. Download the following file, preferably place it in your home directory '~' and source it in your '.bashrc' file using 'source'. Doing so will append the name of the branch you're working on in the command prompt itself. Read the file for more ways in which you can add to the prompt.

Finally, git commands aren't supported by the standard bash/zsh auto completion tools/files. To add this, download this file, place it in your home directory and source it like you did with the previous file. Doing so will enable auto complete on git commands in the terminal.

There are a couple of other cool git commands I've come across which are helpful.

git branch --list

will tell you all of the branches you've created in the current repository.

git checkout <file>

will remove the changes you've made in a file and revert it back to the previous commit.

git cherrypick <>

lets you pick specific commits to push.

Ohh, I almost forgot. Once you're done working in a branch and making commits, when the time comes for you to push code to the central repository, use

git push origin branch-name

to push your changes to the relevant branch in the central repository, from which you can submit a PR and merge the codes. This way, you'll have time to catch and correct errors before you push them into the master/stable version of the repository.

PS : The best way to get used to the commands is to use them. A lot. Everyday. So create a github/bitbucket account, create a repository and screw around with it as much as you can, creating and merging branches, submitting PRs and what not.

Popular posts from this blog

Animation using GNUPlot

Animation using GNUPlotI've been trying to create an animation depicting a quasar spectrum moving across the 5 SDSS pass bands with respect to redshift. It is important to visualise what emission lines are moving in and out of bands to be able to understand the color-redshift plots and the changes in it.
I've tried doing this using the animate function in matplotlib, python but i wasn't able to make it work - meaning i worked on it for a couple of days and then i gave up, not having found solutions for my problems on the internet.
And then i came across this site, where the gunn-peterson trough and the lyman alpha forest have been depicted - in a beautiful manner. And this got me interested in using js and d3 to do the animations and make it dynamic - using sliders etc.
In the meanwhile, i thought i'd look up and see if there was a way to create animations in gnuplot and whoopdedoo, what do i find but nirvana!

In the image, you see 5 static curves and one dynam…

on MOOCs.

For those of you who don't know, MOOC stands for Massively Open Online Course.

The internet is an awesome thing. It's making education free for all. Well, mostly free. But it's surprising at the width and depth of courses being offered online. And it looks like they are also having an impact on students, especially those from universities that are not top ranked. Students in all parts of the world can now get a first class education experience, thanks to courses offered by Stanford, MIT, Caltech, etc.

I'm talking about MOOCs because one of my new year resolutions is to take online courses, atleast 2 per semester (6 months). And I've chosen the following two courses on edX - Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R Server and Data Science Essentials for now. I looked at courses on Coursera but I couldn't find any which was worthy and free. There are a lot more MOOC providers out there but let's start here. And I feel like the two courses are relevant to where I …

On programmers.

I just watched this brilliant keynote today. It's a commentary on Programmers and the software development industry/ecosystem as a whole.

I am not going to give you a tl;dr version of the talk because it is a talk that I believe everyone should watch, that everyone should learn from. Instead, I am going to give my own parallel-ish views on programmers and programming.
As pointed out in the talk, there are mythical creatures in the software development industry who are revered as gods. Guido Van Rossum, the creator of Python, was given the title Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL). People flock around the creators of popular languages or libraries. They are god-like to most programmers and are treated like gods. By which, I mean to say, we assume they don't have flaws. That they are infallible. That they are perfect.
And alongside this belief in the infallibility of these Gods, we believe that they were born programmers. That programming is something that people are born wit…