Erik's Thoughts and Musings

Apple, Technology, and Reviews

Git-Flow

My cousin, Chris, and I were talking last night about how I need to ramp up on Git. I use Git for this blog and I know how to do basic stuff, but I also need to come up to speed on some of the technologies and methodologies surrounding the software. Chris suggested that I check out git-flow first outlined in this blog post:

http://jeffkreeftmeijer.com/2010/why-arent-you-using-git-flow/

The main idea to git-flow is that you have a main develop branch and master is only for production releases. Features go on a feature branch and are merged back to the develop branch. There is also a release branch where you can put bug fixes and a hotfix branch where a branch is created from master and then it is commited back to master on release and back to develop.

There are Git extensions you can install with Brew:

$ brew install git-flow

Or manually integrate from github:

https://github.com/nvie/gitflow

With the extension you can create an empty repository that follows the git-flow methodology:

$ git flow init

It will then ask to create the branch prefix for each of the Flow branches. Then you can continue to use the extensions to do things like start a feature branch:

$ git flow feature start hot-new-feature
Switched to a new branch 'feature/hot-new-feature'

And then finish it, merging it back to develop and deleting the feature branch

$ git flow feature finish hot-new-feature
Switched to branch 'develop'

To create a release branch that tags it with a version:

$ git flow relase start 1.0
Switched to a new branch 'release/0.1.0'

You can then manually merge to master, or you can finish the release:

$ git flow release finish 1.0
Switched to branch 'master'

And from the blog post, here is all of what happens:

Boom. git-flow pulls from origin, merges the release branch into master, tags the release and back-merges everything back into develop before removing the release branch.

Hotfixes have a similar syntax, the difference is they are based off of master not develop.

Considering how powerful Git is when it comes to branching and merging compared to Subversion, it seems like a great idea to have these transient branches.

Technology