Last updated 2024-05-12 15:34:40

What Does It Mean To Squash A Commit?

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Understanding Git: What Does It Mean to Squash a Commit?

Git [↗] is a version control system [→] that allows developers to track changes to their codebase over time. It becomes more useful when working in a team as the ability to track other peoples changes to the same codebase is crucial to mainting the codebase as it grows.

Central to Git's functionality is the concept of a commit.

Introduction: What is a Commit?

In Git, a commit represents a snapshot of the codebase at a particular point in time. It includes the changes made to the files, along with a commit message that describes the purpose of the changes. Commits serve as checkpoints in the project's history. Its more or less like timelines on YouTube or Netflix.

It enabling developers to trace back to specific versions of the code and understand the evolution of the project.

Example: Use Case of Squashing a Commit

Imagine you're working on a feature where to constantly commit each small change you make. When it comes time to merge your changes into the main or working branch.

You realize that having all those small changes as one commit will make it easier for whoever is reviewing your work or just going over the commit history understand what the commit is for.This is where squashing commits becomes handy.

Squashing commits involves combining multiple commits into a single, coherent commit. It allows you to streamline the commit history, making it more concise and readable. By squashing commits, you can present a cleaner history to your collaborators, making it easier for them to understand the logic behind the changes and review the code effectively.

Here's how you can squash commits using Git:

  1. Identify the range of commits you want to squash. For instance, if you want to squash the last three commits, you would use the command:
$ git rebase -i HEAD~3
  1. Git opens an interactive rebase editor, where you can choose which commits to squash. Change "pick" to "squash" or "s" for the commits you want to combine. Save and close the editor.

  2. Git will prompt you to provide a new commit message for the squashed commit. Edit the message to reflect the combined changes.

  3. After squashing the commits, you can go ahead and push this over to the remote main branch.

$ git push


In conclusion, squashing commits is a useful technique in Git for tidying up the commit history and presenting a cleaner narrative of the project's development. By consolidating related changes into coherent commits, developers can maintain a more organized and understandable codebase.

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