Friday, October 14, 2016

Git Tower 2.5


Open Quickly dialog is all new: “Open Quickly” (e.g. via CMD+SHIFT+O) is now much faster, more responsive, more clever (and can be closed via ESC).


Custom service accounts are here: In the “Services” view, you can now add an account for your self-managed server. This makes authentication for your own servers as easy as for the supported code hosting platforms like GitHub.


Fetch processes won’t duplicate anymore: If a Fetch process for a remote repository is already running, Tower will not start another Auto-Fetch processes for the same remote.


File tree in historic commits was improved: when navigating through the file tree of an old commit, expanded folders and selections now survive switching to another app and back to Tower.


Commit messages with invalid unicode characters: Until now, invalid characters blocked Tower when trying to load the commit history (and “No commits” was shown). Tower is now smarter and is able to load the history regardless.

A lot has improved since 2.0, but the per-file history feature is still weak, and it still can’t search commit contents or blame. I supplement a lot with BBEdit and the command-line tool.

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I use a combination of GitX (for repo visualization and staging) and Emacs' Magit (primarily for interactive rebasing and merging), as well as the command line.

Tower, like all the other Mac DVCS tools I've tried (save GitX), seems to have a UI which is way too busy and yet requires a lot of clicking to do what you want — e.g., the default history view includes only filenames, not diffs. On just a few minutes’ perusal — no syntax highlighting in source code; fonts are too big (the sidebar doesn't use the system size settings, and the code font isn't customizable). I do like the way you can select text in the diffs in the commit view though! Data visualization is everything in Git clients, but it seems so many apps don't put a lot of attention into clear, functional, compact design. Someday…

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