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  • You're working away, you get distracted, you come back to your computer,

  • you forget where you were... the thing you need is Diff.

  • Git Hub & Git Foundations

  • Diff

  • Welcome to another episode of Git Hub Foundations.

  • I'm Tim Berglund and today we're going to look at the Diff command.

  • We're gonna take a look at three different ways to use it.

  • Diff git diff

  • If you make one simple change and then commit it right away,

  • you're not gonna need Git to tell you what you've done.

  • You probably keep track of that in your head.

  • But there are lots of times when you need to examine

  • how content has changed. There are three main ways

  • to do this, all with one command: Diff.

  • One of the great things about looking at Diff

  • is it helps solidify what we learned about the staging area

  • when we were learning how to commit.

  • Now, suppose you change a file and then get called away

  • from you computer for a little bit and then come back,

  • how are you gonna remember what you were doing?

  • To put that a different way, you wanna know what changes

  • you've made to your files that you haven't staged yet.

  • This is also handy if you use development tools that automatically

  • make changes to your code for you and you wanna find out what

  • those changes are. Just type git diff and you'll get a description of exactly

  • how your working tree, that is, just your files,

  • differs from your staging area.

  • [Diff --staged, HEAD]

  • Now, suppose you'd already staged those files and you wanna know

  • how the things in your staging area are different from the most recent commit

  • in history. Just type git diff--staged, and you'll see those changes.

  • As a nice little bonus, going through this exercise

  • can really help solidify your understanding of how the staging area works.

  • Just because you staged a file doesn't mean you can't change it again.

  • If you go on making changes to that same file, the status command

  • will tell you that the file is staged, and has unstaged changes

  • at the same time. If you've done this, you might want the diff command

  • to skip over the staging area, and tell you about all the changes you've made

  • to the file since your last commit. Typing git diff HEAD

  • compares your working tree to the head commit

  • which is just another name for the most recent commit

  • in history. And once you start learning how to do things

  • like branch and push and pull, this last pattern is gonna come in

  • really handy. You can use it to compare two branches to one another,

  • or maybe two prior commits in history

  • to get an idea of what changes took place in the past.

  • [Diff --color-words, --word-diff]

  • Now you might notice that that last Diff

  • is reported in a way that's a little verbose.

  • I only changed one word, but Git is telling me

  • I changed an entire line. This is literally how Git processes

  • text file differences, but it's not necessarily helpful to look at.

  • You can add the --color-words or --word-diff switch

  • to any Diff command to get it to give you

  • an easier to read report of small changes to long lines.

  • This can be a real life saver sometimes.

  • Another handy trick is to get Diff to suppress all that patch output

  • and just tell you about the files that have changed.

  • Use the --stat switch for this. This is great when you've got

  • a complex diff but you might just need to zero in

  • on one particular file that's changed.

  • Tracking changes is what Git does. The Diff command is your window

  • into the work you've done and how Git sees the changes.

  • It's a great command to know.

  • [Thanks for watching]

  • Thanks for watching this episode of Git Hub Foundations

  • on the Diff command. Subscribe to Git Hub Guides here,

  • and as always, please leave us a question or a comment,

  • anything like that down below, and if you wanna see more training videos,

  • check out these guys you see down here.

  • Thanks!

  • ♪ (jazz) ♪

You're working away, you get distracted, you come back to your computer,

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B2 git staged staging file commit handy

Diff • GitHub & Git Foundations

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    Mickey Fly posted on 2014/04/06
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