Re: gitk changing line color for no reason after merge

From: Pavel Roskin <>
Date: 2006-02-09 08:06:23
On Wed, 2006-02-08 at 13:30 +1100, Paul Mackerras wrote:
> Pavel Roskin writes:
> > I'm trying to make it easier to follow a line.  It's easier if its color
> > is not changing, especially on trivial nodes (one parent, one child).
> OK, you're using "line" to mean something a bit different from the
> connection between a commit and its children, which is how I use it.

I see.  Actually, your choice seems to me quite random and
non-intuitive.  You group together changes that have the same parent,
likely made independently by different people.  In fact, only those
changes are shown that would lead to the current revision of the
repository, unless "--all" is used.  Changes on unmerged branches are
not shown.

If you prefer "horizontal" grouping, it would be more logical to turn it
upside down, i.e. group commits with their parents.  In this case, the
line group would represent one act of merging, performed by one person.
No parents are hidden from view even without "--all".

> You seem to be using it more as a "line of development", or as a
> series of related patches.  Which is fine, if you can find a way to
> identify lines of development automatically.  (I know it looks obvious
> when you look at the gitk display, but that's a lot different from
> writing down an algorithm to do it.)

As usually, let's go from the newest commits to the root of the tree.
The idea is to assign branch ID to changesets, i.e. to combinations of
sha1 and parent number.  Branch ID should be inherited from the children
by the first parent.  Other parents get new branch ID.  There should be
a list of active branches, i.e. those branch ID with yet to be seen
parents.  Color should be assigned to branch ID at the creation time.
The color should be selected according to two rules, whenever possible.
It should be unique among the already assigned colors for the same
child, and is should avoid colors of the active branches.

Actually, qgit does a pretty reasonable thing.  I haven't used gitk for
months, but I had to inspect a Mercurial repository using hgk.  I was
surprised by its "crazy" color changes (or so it seemed to me after
qgit), then I found that gitk had the same problem, then I fixed it and
started this thread :-)

> > - made in GIMP.  Trivial
> > nodes never change line color, because it changes as soon as the line
> > forks.
> My problem with that is that it isn't clear that e.g. the green and
> brown lines near the bottom actually represent the same parent - and
> that will get worse with more complex graphs.

You are right.  qgit only uses vertical and horizontal lines, so it's
easier to find the parent.

Pavel Roskin

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe git" in
the body of a message to
More majordomo info at
Received on Thu Feb 09 08:09:55 2006

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : 2006-02-09 08:11:05 EST