Git Rebase vs. Merge?
Git rebase and
Git merge are two different methods used in Git to integrate changes from one branch into another.
Here’s a breakdown of the differences between the two:
1. Git Merge
What it does: Combines the contents of two branches into a new, unique commit.
Workflow: When you merge a feature branch into the master branch (or any base branch), all the commits in the feature branch are added to the master branch with a new merge commit.
- The commit history retains the context in which previous commits were made.
- Merging is a non-destructive operation; the existing branches are not changed in any way.
- The commit history can become cluttered and difficult to read, especially in projects with many contributors and branches.
2. Git Rebase
What it does: Moves or combines the commits from the feature branch on top of the commit of another branch.
Workflow: Rebasing rewrites the commit history to create a linear sequence of commits. It places the changes from the feature branch on top of the changes in the master branch (or any base branch).
- It creates a cleaner and more linear project history.
- It eliminates the unnecessary "noise" in the commit history.
- Rebasing is a destructive operation.
- It will rewrite commit hashes and the commit history of the feature branch.
- It can be complex and confusing for those who are not familiar with it, and it can lead to a risky workflow if not done carefully.
When to Use Which
- Use merge when you want to combine code from two different branches without altering the existing commit history.
- Use rebase to simplify your commit history before merging changes into another branch, but be cautious with its destructive nature.
Conclusion The choice between merge and rebase depends on the specific needs of your project and your team's workflow. Both commands have their own strengths and weaknesses, and understanding these will help you make an informed decision on which to use in various scenarios.