A message of the commit

Reading time ~2 minutes

Probably you know if I run git log within a git repository, I could read a story of life. And I like this kind of stories because they show you everything about the code I may work with. From the other side, if I run git commit, I will add a new chapter to the story. And someone else will read it. That’s why I need to make sure the commit message, I wrote, will be a useful chapter.

There are a lot of materials about how to write good messages of commits like this and this and this and many others. Although they all are useful, my brain is limited and it can’t remember all of the recommendations. That’s why I created my own rule. As you remember, commit message has two parts: a subject and a body which is optional. My personal rule says:

Subject describes a task I have to solve while body explains why this particular implementation is used.

This simple rule leads to the following conclusion: I can rely on the commit messages of a repository to understand why some particular line of code lives in a particular file. And no other information is required (like issue tracker, wikis, etc.).

In addition, a set of commits between a new tag and the previous one is a release scope. And I can use the commit messages as a release notes. As you know, release notes are read by non-tech people also. That’s why the commit message has… I hope you understand the idea of the rule above.

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Published on January 14, 2019