Let's pick each other's brains for a sec.
Do you use past or imperative tense in your commit messages?
added button to page
add button to page
Why? Pros vs. cons? Have you tried one and moved to the other? Which one makes better sense?
Top comments (34)
I love these guidelines chris.beams.io/posts/git-commit/
”A properly formed Git commit subject line should always be able to complete the following sentence:
If applied, this commit will your subject line here
If applied, this commit will refactor subsystem X for readability”
Meaning imperative instead of present or past tense
I usually use the present tense. It sounds more natural when thinking in terms of "what does this specific commit do". I think of a commit is a snapshot of an event, rather than a fixed point in history or a changelog.
+1000 to this. It also lends itself to easier reading/scrolling through
git log. 👌
The imperative is a mood not a tense! :) I use present tense and follow the Conventional Commits specification on most projects ("fix: disable current deployment type in index filters").
Here is a small statistic based on the Github commit messages:
We can see that the imperative is used a little more than the past tense.
Personally, I use past tense because it sounds more polite.
I'm using past tense (at least mostly) because the commit reflects something I did in the past. Seems natural to me this way...
I usually follow the guidelines proposed here which I think they make valid points. See section 5: use the imperative mood in the subject line.
I also adhere to the Conventional Commits spec.
I finish this sentence "If you pull this it ..."
adds new feature to menu
fixes broken sql
This is good.
Using imperatives is the official way of writing commit messages, as if each message were prefixed by "This commit will...". I personally prefer this as it's very straightforward and shortens some messages by a few characters.
I like to use Imperative for consistency with Jira tickets.
I was using past tense till I realized present simple is being used in GitHub, GitLab, and GitKraken commits (Add/Update README, Merge: foo, Revert: bar).
It depends on the level of my caffeine gauge
I use present these.
For the title 3rd person singular, reffing to the commit as the object:
In the body I use second person singular, referring to the commit as the subject:
Imperative, because in theory, I could revert that commit that adds something later. Version control is a constant present state that can change freely. I'm unlikely to ever actually need change management on a personal project, but I do want to keep with the spirit of it all.
Though, admittedly, if I'm doing a bunch of stuff all at once that would be a mess to change later, I tend to past tense it like "Added this, updated README, bumped dependencies, changed this" because 1 commit with all that mess isn't ever getting reverted.
I'm very much a git newbie. I learned it a few months ago from Udacity and I believe the only directive given regarding commit messages was to use verbs! However, I regularly use the past tense when I write commit messages. This is because I look at my log when I try to think of what I did, so things like added, removed and fixed etc. But a lot of people have raised good points about using the present tense. I may make the switch in my next repo.
Because Tower and Git Kraken have character limits in subject lines...
I too am guilty of using emojis 😀 ie:
I also use shell cmd abbreviations:
I love Tower and Git Kraken because it's easy to select the specific lines to group LOC that is coherent to the given context of the commit.
In the commit body I try to use numbers as a convention: