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Discussion on: Git blame should be called git credit

ryanmaffey profile image
Ryan Maffey

TL;DR: Use “blame” to find the person you’re looking for, but don’t personally blame/shame to them for what they did.

I agree with you that it’s really nice to encourage more positive thinking.

On the other hand, I believe that the notion of “blaming” should just be taken a bit tongue-in-cheek. I think that “blame” is actually a fairly accurate name for the way that I tend to use it. More often than not I’ll use it to figure out who wrote some potentially dodgy code; I am kind of looking for someone to blame! But there should be a focus on using the tool to find the person to “blame”, but it’s up to us not to place the blame on them (at least it without knowing the full story).

This is where I think it’s important that we are understanding towards each other and aim to help teach each other when we find room for improvement. If I find someone who’s written some dodgy code it doesn’t mean I’m going to tell them they did a bad job and caused a bunch of problems (i.e. blame/shame them for it). I don’t know the circumstances behind why that code exists. In my experience bad code is most commonly just due to time pressures. It would be super harsh of me to blame someone for making mistakes under pressure. The best thing to do is help them and make sure they understand why the code is an issue and help them see how they can solve and avoid these problems next time.

damcosset profile image
Damien Cosset Author

Completely agree with you. Whatever language we use, it doesn't replace a talk with the developer who wrote the code to understand her thought process at the time. Time pressures or just simply lack of competence are often times the reason why the code is dodgy.

As several people mentioned in the comments already, even tough I like credit, I think a neutral word such as curious or annotate might even be better. It covers whatever use case you may have.