One thing per commit

Published on 29 June 2013.

Today’s thought is about doing only one thing per commit.

Yesterday when I was making a change to a piece of code, I didn’t make sure to start from a clean state with no changes in my files. I was working on something before that and those changes were still there. I thought to myself that the new change I was going to make was only going to affect a few files, and that those files were not related to the previous change.

I was wrong.

The new changed turned out to involve a rename of a function that was used in several different places. When it was time to commit, I had changes in maybe 15 files, and only about 12 of them should be committed. The others contained changes from previously. I had to look at the diff carefully and make sure to only commit what was supposed to be committed.

Had I been using git, I would have stashed my changes before starting a new one. This time I was using subversion. But that is no excuse. I should figure out how to enable stashing easily or just revert my previous change before starting a new one.

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