A useful template for commit messages

Here’s a useful heuristic for writing better commit messages. Set your commit message template to:

# If applied, this commit will...

# Explain why this change is being made

# Provide links to any relevant tickets, articles or other resources

and you’ll be guided into writing concise commit subjects in the imperative mood – a good practice. See rule 5 of Chris Beam’s “How to write a commit message” for the inspiration of this tip and more reasoning on the use of the imperative mood.

To do this in Git, save the above content in a file (eg ~/.git_commit_msg.txt) and run:

$ git config --global commit.template ~/.git_commit_msg.txt

Here’s what this looks like in practice:

Try it – it’s genuinely useful.

Credits:

David Winterbottom: A useful template for commit messages

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