From time to time I start up my Windows 7 VirtualBox because there is some Windows-specific issue in Icinga 2 to solve. And the first thing to do then is to pull the Icinga 2 repository. The obvious way to do that is to enter
git pull in the right directory at least on *nix. But Windows is not Linux and likes to everything a bit more graphical so I put my cynicism aside and tried out two graphical Git tools (again): TortoiseGit and SourceTree
I used TortoiseSVN back in 2006/7 (that’s a long time so I might remember things incorrectly) and it was my first interaction with version control, without really knowing what version control was. And I wasn’t particularly fond of it, especially the gigantic right-click-context-menu was of my distaste. Now, nearly ten years later, I’m testing its sister software. And this time I know what I’m doing, I hope.
It all looks familiar but less Windows XPish. The context menus are still there but aren’t as intrusive as I remember them to be but I still get lost configuring it. Where or how do I add a SSH Key again? After that is taken care of it is time to check how it holds up against plain Git in a shell.
Commit, push, pull and fetch all work like expected. Amends are easy to make, bisect works reasonably well but can’t seem to find an equivalent of something like
git rebase -i HEAD~3. One thing that stood out was the log, it’s neat. A bit ugly but really neat.
I’m surprised how good TortoiseGit works, yet there seems to be no way to access the full power of Git in case something goes really wrong. All you can do is delete the repository and delete the repo and clone it anew.
I used SourceTree when I first started at NETWAYS in 2014 and abandoned it after a short while. It looked nice but had too many problems to be of much use, so let’s see how it changed in over a year.
The first change I noticed is the installer, it now requires you to create an Atlassian account. After I gave my E-mail to Atlassian and accepted they may send me whatever information they think might interest me (you don’t get a choice there) I am greeted by a much smoother interface than a year ago, in German because the language default is based on you operating systems locale.
And what else did change? Not much, everything is still where it was. Commit still commits and pull still pulls. When I first used SourceTree I did not get too deep into it’s features but trying out a few of them I found them to be lacking: like TortoiseGit SourceTree is mostly just a fancy wrapper around Git commands, but SourceTree is missing bisect. Compared to TortoiseGit its actions are also hidden a lot deeper inside of sub menus, for example Actions->Resolve Conflicts->Launch External Merge Tool, to start vimdiff. To make up for it’s lack of features it hast the
Terminal button which launches a Git shell in the selected repositories directory and you have the full power of Git at your fingertips.
In the end nothing beats Git Bash. It’s not fancy, it only has one context-menu:
Git Bash here.
But don’t forget that “with great power comes great responsibility”, as Spiderman’s uncle used to say when he wrote sudo. You want to throw the remote master away and substitute you own, because you have some good reason to or just want to create chaos?
git push repo +master:new_master
If you want to learn more about Git, we are offering Git trainings too.
Autor: Jean-Marcel Flach
Geboren und aufgewachsen in Bamberg, kam Jean (das "-Marcel" ist still) nach einem Ausflug an die Uni, als Azubi zu NETWAYS. Dort sitzt er seit 2014 im Icinga 2 core Entwicklungsteam.