tonysdg tonysdg - 4 months ago 19
Python Question

Is a format-only update a frivolous Git commit?

I have a Python project that I'm working on for research. I've been working on two different machines, and I recently discovered that half of my files used tabs and the other half used spaces.

Python objected to this when I attempted to edit and run a file from one machine on the other, so I'd like to switch everything to spaces instead of tabs. However, this seems like a waste of a Git commit - running 'git diff' on the uncommitted-but-correct files makes it look like I'm wiping out and replacing the entire file.

Is there a way around this? That is, is there some way that I can "hide" these (IMO) frivolous changes?

Answer

There is, it's called a rebase - however, you'd probably want to add spaces to every file retroactively in each commit where you edited that file, which would be extremely tedious.

However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a commit like this. A commit represents a change a distinct functioning state of your project, and replacing tabs with spaces is definitely a distinct state.

One place where you would want to use rebase is if you accidentally make a non-functional commit. For example, you might have committed only half the files you need to.

One last thing: never edit history (i.e. with rebase) once you've pushed your changes to another machine. The machines will get out of sync, and your repo will start slowly exploding.

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