Git flow - a field report

Inspired from A successful Git branching model there are more and more projects giving this approach a try…


I went for the original nvie/gitflow and installed it with brew on my mac:

$ brew install git-flow

Project Setup

Since most tools show master per default we decided to go with a minor tweak in the branch naming:

  • master -> production
  • development -> master

everything else is default.

The following recording shows the initial setup of the repository:

$ git flow init
Which branch should be used for bringing forth production releases?
   - master
Branch name for production releases: [master] production

Which branch should be used for integration of the "next release"?
   - master
Branch name for "next release" development: [master]

How to name your supporting branch prefixes?
Feature branches? [feature/]
Release branches? [release/]
Hotfix branches? [hotfix/]
Support branches? [support/]
Version tag prefix? []

Developing a regular feature

In a single developer project you’ll need no more than:

git flow feature start <BugId>

To start working on a feature. Time to do some coding, coding, coding, …

and finish it with:

git flow feature finish <BugId>

You feature will be merged into master, the feature branch deleted and your working copy switch to the updated master.

When working in a team you’ll probably need more commands like rebase, diff or publish which are well described in Feature.

Note: More sections will follow while working on this project…

Other conventions

For commit messages there is a lot of buzz like How to Write a Git Commit Message.

We mainly follow the Git developers Describe your changes well

  • The first line of the commit message should be a short description (50 characters is the soft limit,…), and should skip the full stop.
  • imperative mood like the Git developers themselves imperative-mood

Note: For the first line we favour a hard limit of 72 characters - you can always use elipses at end if you use the bug title and the first line if too long

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