söndag 25 april 2021

A SourceTree lover sees Visual Studio catching up


This was supposed to be a post about features that I find important for the daily work I do that the git gui SourceTree has and that Visual Studio's git tool lacks. But instead I learned that Visual Studio is catching up with its Visual Studio 2019 16.10 Preview 2.1 release!

File change preview for historic commits

Navigating the commit history and looking at file changes in Visual Studio is a pain, but today I downloaded Visual Studio 2019 16.10 Preview 2.1 and explored the news in its git tool. Looking at changes in historic commits is no longer a pain!

I also learned that Visual Studio can show diffs as inline or side-by-side.

SourceTree shows all branches in history

In SourceTree you see ALL branches by default, which is the way I like it because I get the full latest commit history context immediately. This isn't possible in Visual Studio, you have to select the branch that has the latest commit to be able to see the history for all branches.

If you ever would like to not see all branches in SourceTree, you can easily turn it off by selecting Current Branch in the dropdown, like this.

To show all branches is a feature under review by Microsoft 

Merges are shown better in SourceTree

I find the branch history tree to be more clear in SourceTree. Compare these two images that pictures a branch branched off of master, and then the branch is merged back to master.

In SourceTree it looks just like that, a branch going out from master and then coming back to master.

In Visual Studio it looks like a branch has been branched off from master, but then it looks like master has been merged to the branch!? When merging, the merge commit has two parents instead of one. There is a primary parent (the branch merged to) and a secondary parent (the branch merged from) and VS seems to mix them up.

I added a ticket regarding this.

But the image below, taken from this ticket hints about a rewrite of the the commit history tree visualization in VS. No merge is shown, but the tree looks different, and hopefully it will be easier to follow.

SourceTree auto-adds commits message for merge with conflicts

When doing a merge and the merge results in conflicts, a commit message like this the one below is added automatically by SourceTree. Visual Studio adds nothing. 
Merged ‘master’ into 'a_feature_branch'. Conflicts: # Foo.h # Bar.cpp

To be able to see which files that have had conflicts can be of help when you know that a feature has been added in a file, but that feature suddenly is gone or is buggy, because it probably disappeared in a manual merge conflict resolution that went wrong.

This also seems to be a feature under review.

In SourceTree you can pull a branch that isn't currently active

Yes, you can, and I thought it was something that made my branch handling smoother, but when writing this I can't come up with a scenario where it is needed.