When multiple developers contribute to a project, keeping on top of the constant flow changes can be a challenge. The following simple review workflow assumes a shared git-repository with a fairly linear commit-history, that is, not having too many merge-commits.

So, assuming a fairly linear history of commits from multiple developers, how do you easily keep track of what you have already read through and reviewed? Easy, use a local branch as a bookmark. This tiny script makes it trivial to add or update such a branch:

NEW_BASE=${1?"Usage: $0 <treeish>"}

git branch --force reviewed $NEW_BASE || exit 1

echo Marked as reviewed: `git rev-parse --short reviewed`

Save this as a new file called reviewed.sh in your PATH.

Usage is extremely simple:

reviewed.sh 369b5cc
reviewed.sh master
reviewed.sh v1.0.7
reviewed.sh HEAD~5

Running one of these commands will mark the given treeish as reviewed, and when you look at your commit-history in a visual tool such as git gui or gitx, the reviewed branch visually indicates how far you have gotten. Note how both commit-IDs, branch names, tags, and relative commit-IDs can be used as argument.

You can also utilize this review bookmark from the commandline. The following shows you all commits added to master since your last review:

git log reviewed..master --reverse

You can add a --patch to that command to see the full diff for each change. Adding --format=oneline just shows you the commit-IDs and first line of the commit-message.

Once you’ve read all the latest commits on master, simply do a

reviewed.sh master

and you’re done.

Why not use a tag?

I find it convenient to be able to do a push of all tags to the central repository with

git push --tags

and this would share such a private review-tag. As this is my private reminder of how far in the commit-history I have reviewed, sharing it is just confusing to other developers.

Notice: Any commits which are added only to the reviewed branch are unreferenced when you mark a new treeish as reviewed. Just something to keep in mind.

How do you keep track of the flow of changes?