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Discussion on: How I Write Source Control Commit Messages

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tarwn profile image
Eli Weinstock-Herman

I have yet to see a development organization that would be willing to copy the full context of the ticket/card into a commit message. I'm sure they exist, but based on my own experience I'd think they are a minority. So linking the card/ticket absolutely provides greater context into what the change was trying to achieve, even if the commit itself is nicely squashed and written up.

And yes, if you switch ticket systems you will likely lose the ability to automatically link to those cards. Having done this several times, I've found that it is generally possible to import into the system with the same id/number as the original system. You lose the automatic linking, since each system seems to have a different pattern it expects the number in, but when you see #12345 in a ticket you can still pop open your ticket system and find [12345] or XYZ-12345. The key is whether your org sees the value and finds it worth the extra investment during the migration from ticket system A to B.

In my career, I've seen several source control migrations where we had to make the same call. Is it worth migrating so we keep the original commit messages or should we just start clean with a single "All the changes up to now" commit?

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mouvedia profile image
G. • Edited

copy the full context of the ticket/card into a commit message

You probably misunderstood me. I just want to deter messages like "feat: close #235".

Is it worth migrating so we keep the original commit messages or should we just start clean with a single "All the changes up to now" commit?

If you really care you will have to rewrite the history.

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erikpischel profile image
Erik Pischel

Whenever possible go for the migration. I work on a product with a 15-years-history and sometimes it helps to know that a feature/"behaviour" was introduced 10 years ago ("it has always been like this") rather than 15 months ago. Good commit messages are really helpful, of course.