----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Stephen Connolly 
  To: Git for human beings 
  Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2015 9:56 AM
  Subject: [git-users] Treat merges as squashed commits in git log/git 
blame/gitk etc


  At my work and on some of the open source communities that I contribute to, 
there is a healthy debate about how to handle merge commits. I can break this 
into two camps:

  * People who think that when you are merging a change from a pull request, 
you should squash all commits immediately prior to the merge as this means you 
can see all the changes associated with the merge in the same commit and 
simplifies history browsing.

  * People who think that when you are merging a change from a pull request, 
you should never squash commits and just merge them all so that you have access 
to the history of development of that feature.

  I tend to lean towards the second camp myself, but I recognise that the first 
camp has a point... namely when you are using tooling such as `git log`, `git 
blame` and `gitk` I cannot seem to supply an option that says "Hey when you see 
a merge commit, treat it as if all commits from the 2nd and subsequent parents 
of the merge were squashed"

  With such an option, people in the first camp could use that option choose to 
see a "linear" history with all merge commits appearing as if they were 
squashed commits, git blame could help them identify when the actual "feature" 
was merged rather than having to trace back up the history lines from the 
commit where the line was touched to find the line.

  By way of example (and I could have searched a bit harder for a more tricky 

  Let's take this line here: 

  Now that line was last changed in 6f343dc7c2f0c32e9eb1a0b5d588a2e7ad6f62ba 
and GitHub (as well as `git blame` will correctly show the change as resulting 
from that commit)

  However the master branch was only modified in 

  So with the command line option I would like to see you would have `git blame 
--squash-merges` report line 1003 as changed in 
71e684ad900363c48d845f73c1993f90de4417ad not 

  Similarly, `git log --squash-merges` would show 
71e684ad900363c48d845f73c1993f90de4417ad in the log but omit all the commits 
merged in with that...

  Now how close can I get with the existing options:

  * I think that `git log --first-parent` is almost what I want,

  * `gitk --first-parent` has the distraction of showing that the merge commits 
were a merge by having those merge-into lines

  I can probably live with that distraction, but when you get to the commit 
line itself drifting... it seems to be distracting me again, e.g.

  * `git blame` doesn't have a `--first-parent` option

  So I guess my questions:

  * Am I correct in my interpretation of --first-parent? Is it doing what I 
want or am I just being accidentally lucky for the cases I have inspected

  * (assuming that --first-parent is what I want) How do I submit a feature 
request for `git blame --first-parent`?

  Thanks in advance,


There's been a recent discusion about this on the main git list recently 

Merges are not shown by default, but the -m option will show them. The default 
is based on historical use rather than the many varied current usage style.

The --firstparent is the one for triming off the side branches, but without the 
-m you don't get the merges!, which misses the critical merge message (you do 
write good merge messages don't you ;-)

Don't forget that gitk and git gui are separately coded (tcl) and maintained 
from the git.git tool set.

In general I'd say it (both showing merges, and the blame discussion) was 
something worth discussing upstream on the git mailing list 
g...@vger.kernel.org <g...@vger.kernel.org> 
[just another user]

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