On Tue, Oct 31, 2017 at 08:07:53PM -0700, Michael wrote:
> > How do I get git diff to show me the difference between two
> > different versions of one file?
> > I can say git diff tree-1 tree-2
> > I can say git diff file1
> > How do I ask for file1 in tree-1 versus file1 in tree-2?
> Ok, perhaps a better question: Why isn't this doing what I expect?
> keybounceMBP:extractor michael$ git status
> On branch new
> You have unmerged paths.
> (fix conflicts and run "git commit")
> (use "git merge --abort" to abort the merge)
> Changes to be committed:
> modified: ../../.github/ISSUE_TEMPLATE.md
> modified: ../../.travis.yml
> modified: ../../ChangeLog
> Unmerged paths:
> (use "git add <file>..." to mark resolution)
> both modified: adobepass.py
> keybounceMBP:extractor michael$ git diff head^1 head^2 adobepass.py
> If I understood the man page correctly, git diff tree-1 tree-2 path should
> But that's not what I'm getting from that.
You understand the man page correcly but are you sure HEAD^1 and HEAD^2
is really what you want? To cite the manual page:
| A suffix ^ to a revision parameter means the first parent of that
| commit object. ^<n> means the <n>th parent.
That is, the encantation you presented assumes the HEAD is a merge
commit and is asking Git to compare the states of "adobepass.py"
between the two parents of the merge commit at HEAD.
We seem to discuss a *failed attempt* to merge something, and whet this
happend, there's no merge commit yet. If that was your line of
reasoning, this could explain your attempt at using <rev>^<n>.
Was that the case?
If yes, Git has another approach to this task.
As I've said, when you're dealing with a failed merge attempt, there's
no merge commit yet; instead, the repo is in a special state, in which
it has a special ref called MERGE_HEAD which contains one or more (for
a so-called "octopus merge") "their" heads -- those which are being
When a merge conflict occurs, for each file with one or more conflicts,
Git does the following:
- Modifies the contents of that file in the work tree by placing there
those conflict markers delimiting conflicting chunks.
- Modifies the index entry for that file -- by placing there references
to the *three* versions of that file's contents: "base", "ours" and
"theirs" -- with "base" being the version at the nearest preceding
commits both branches had before they diverged.
So it's those index entries you'd want to inspect when dealing with a
The syntax you want to use is explained in the gitrevisions(7) man page:
| :<n>:<path>, e.g. :0:README, :README
| A colon, optionally followed by a stage number (0 to 3) and a colon,
| followed by a path, names a blob object in the index at the given path.
| A missing stage number (and the colon that follows it) names a stage 0
| entry. During a merge, stage 1 is the common ancestor, stage 2 is the
| target branch’s version (typically the current branch), and stage 3
| is the version from the branch which is being merged.
So supposedly you'd need
$ git diff :2:adobepass.py :3:adobepass.py
to ask the question «what are the differences in "adobepass.py" between
the HEAD of the branch I'm merging into and the branch I'm mering?»
Still, it may turn out that
$ git diff HEAD MERGE_HEAD adobepass.py
would be a simpler approach.
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