Git branch descriptions

I often have quite a few branches open and although my branchList command has stood me in good sted for a long time now I would like to add notes or descriptions to a branch.

alias branchList='git for-each-ref --sort=committerdate refs/heads/ --format='\''%(HEAD) %(color:yellow)%(refname:short)%(color:reset) - %(color:red)%(objectname:short)%(color:reset) - %(content color:green)%(committerdate:relative)%(color:reset))'\'''

I don't really want to make the branch names overly long. I find that the commit messages aren't always good enough to tell me the purpose of the branch.

I guess this might just be bad practice on my part that the full information around why I created a branch cant be derived from the name and last commit message alone.

Recently I found out a way to add descriptions to branches so that I can add more information as to why I would be creating a branch and what the full scope of the work I was doing on that branch was.

This has lead to a new alias for me:

alias describebranch="git config branch.$(git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD).description"

Obviously, I don’t type out describebranch when I want the description descr<tab> is sufficient.

To add the description to the current branch I simply:

Git branch --edit-description

I think I will find this mighty useful going forward.

It has also inspired me to find a better way to manage my git branches in the command line.

There are some extra tools I would like.

  • I would like a number based system to chose a branch from branchList.
  • I would like to be able to have an easy way to find the changes on a branch since it branched off of Master or any other branch for that matter.


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