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Local Configuration

These steps are a one-time setup per-user per-machine.

We require all commits in TubeTK to record valid author/committer name and email information. Use git config to introduce yourself to Git:

$ git config --global "Your Name"
$ git config --global ""

Note that "Your Name" is your real name (e.g. "John Doe", not "jdoe"). While you're at it, optionally enable color output from Git commands:

$ git config --global color.ui auto

If less displays strange characters and no color, your LESS environment variable may already be set. You can override the less options with:

$ git config --global core.pager "less -FXRS"

The --global option stores the configuration settings in ~/.gitconfig in your home directory so that they apply to all repositories.

Setup Hooks

The git commit command creates local commits. A separate git push step is needed to publish commits to a repository. The server enforces some rules on the commits it accepts and will reject non-conforming commits. In order to push rejected commits, one must edit history locally to repair them before publishing.

Since it is possible to create many commits locally and push them all at once, we provide local Git hooks to help developers keep their individual commits clean. Git provides no way to enable such hooks by default, giving developers maximum control over their local repositories. We recommend enabling our hooks manually in all clones.

Git looks for hooks in the .git/hooks directory within the work tree of a local repository. Create a new local repository in this directory to manage the hooks and fetch VTK's hooks into that directory.

$ cd ~/src/tubetk/.git/hooks
$ git init
$ git pull git:// hooks
$ cd ../..

where <repo>.git is the name of your project repository.

See Git help on githooks for more details.

Pre-commit Hooks

This runs during git commit. It checks identity and content of changes:

  • Git and are set to something reasonable
  • Git's standard whitespace checks (see help on git diff --check)
  • The staged changes do not introduce any leading TABs in source files (we indent with spaces)
  • File modes look reasonable (no executable .cxx files, scripts with shebang lines are executable)
  • File size is not too large (don't commit big data files; prints limit and instructions on rejection)
  • Submodule updates are staged alone or explicitly allowed (prints instructions on rejection)

One of Git's standard whitespace checks is to reject trailing whitespace on lines that were added or modified. Many people consider extra space characters at the end of a line to be an unprofessional style (including Git's own developers), but some don't care. Text editors typically have a mode to highlight trailing whitespace:

(custom-set-variables '(show-trailing-whitespace t))
:highlight ExtraWhitespace ctermbg=red guibg=red
:match ExtraWhitespace /\s\+$/
Visual Studio
To toggle viewing of white space characters, with a source
file document active, choose the menu item:

 Edit > Advanced > View White Space

(2-stroke keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+R, Ctrl+W)
Notepad++ (v5.6.7)
To eliminate trailing white space, choose the menu item:

 Edit > Trim Trailing Space

To toggle viewing of white space characters, choose from the
menu items:

 View > Show Symbol > (multiple items, choose one...)
  • KWStyle style check (aborts commit on style check failure).

Disabled by default, but can be enabled to run a style check with KWStyle. To enable this hook:

 git config hooks.KWStyle true

Disabled by default, but can be enabled to propose style changes to the code. To enable this hook:

 git config hooks.uncrustify true

Proposed style changes are not added to the commit until they have been manually brought in by the developer. This is performed with the developer's favorite merge program. For more information and a list of supported merge applications, see

 git help mergetool

To configure your preferred merge program

 git config merge.tool <toolname>

Commit-msg Hooks

This runs during git commit. It checks the commit message format:

  • The first line must be between 8 and 78 characters long. If you were writing an email to describe the change, this would be the Subject line.
    They MUST begin with 'ENH:', 'COMP:' 'STYLE:' or 'BUG:' prefixes.
  • The first line must not have leading or trailing whitespace.
  • The second line must be blank, if present.
  • The third line and below may be free-form. Try to keep paragraph text formatted in 72 columns (this is not enforced).

GUI and text-based tools that help view history typically use the first line (Subject line) from the commit message to give a one-line summary of each commit. This allows a medium-level view of history, but works well only if developers write good Subject lines for their commits.

Examples of improper commit messages:

BUG: Fixed

This is too short and not informative at all.

ENH: I did a really complicated change and I am trying to describe the entire thing with a big message entered on the command line.

Many CVS users develop the habit of using the "-m" commit option to specify the whole message on the command line. This is probably because in CVS it is hard to abort a commit if it already brought up the message editor. In Git this is trivial. Just leave the message blank and the whole commit will be aborted. Furthermore, since commits are not published automatically it is easy to allow the commit to complete and then fix it with git commit --amend.

Server Hooks

Many repositories have server-side hooks.

Update Hooks

The update hook runs when someone tries to update a ref on the server by pushing. The hook checks all commits included in the push:

  • Commit author and committer must have valid email address domains (DNS lookup succeeds).
  • Commit message does not start with "WIP:". (Use the prefix locally for work-in-progress that must be rewritten before publishing.)
  • Changes to paths updated by robots (such as Utilities/kwsys) are not allowed.
  • No "large" blobs may be pushed. The limit is set on a per-repository basis and is typically 1MB or so.
  • No CRLF newlines may be added in the repository (see core.autocrlf in git help config).
  • Submodules (if any) must be pushed before the references to them are pushed.

Scripted git commands for a linear history

gitupdate (script)

#!/bin/sh -x
# hack: Merge the latest changes from the master branch into your current branch
ref=$(git symbolic-ref HEAD 2> /dev/null) || exit 0
git checkout master
git pull origin master
git checkout ${CURRENT}
git rebase master

gitship (script)

#!/bin/sh -x
# Git workflow ship script from:
# git name-rev is fail
ref=$(git symbolic-ref HEAD 2> /dev/null) || exit 0
git checkout master
git merge ${CURRENT}
git push origin master
git checkout ${CURRENT}

Using the Scripts

The above scripts should be used in a workflow as:

> git branch *newTopic*
> git checkout *newTopic*
> *do some work*
> git add *files*
> git commit *files*
> gitupdate
> *do some more work*
> git add *files*
> git commit *files*
> gitupdate
> gitship

Hidden details

  • The above scripts and workflow implement the following, and save you much typing and potential errors!
  • Most importantly, do your work in branches, not in master!
  1. Keep a local master branch which only is a pointer to the gitorious master (does not contain local changes)
  2. Make development modification in a local branch
  3. When getting ready to push these changes to the origin try the following
    1. Do a git pull on master to fetch and merge all changes from gitorious
      1. git checkout master
      2. git pull origin master
    2. Do a git rebase of the topic branch onto master - That is with topic checkout do "git rebase master"
      1. git rebase master topic
    3. Fix any conflicts that result
      1. Edit files
      2. git add -u
      3. git rebase --continue
    4. Merge the topic branch - This will result in an fast-forward merge.
      1. git merge topic
    5. git push your local master branch
      1. git push origin master