Usefulness of Subject-header of git commit mails

Milian Wolff mail at
Sun Jan 23 20:30:04 GMT 2011

Stephen Kelly, 23.01.2011:
> Thomas L├╝bking wrote:
> > Am Sun, 23 Jan 2011 20:43:42 +0100
> > 
> > schrieb Milian Wolff <mail at>:
> >> Recently, the format of the subject of git commit emails was adapted
> >> to use the old SVN format. This sucks in my opinion and I want to
> >> have it changed.
> > 
> > To me, this would be the driving question.
> > *Why* was it changed in the first place anyway?
> > 
> > It looks just like a bad idea to me, but I guess there /is/ some
> > justification which me and many other recipients don't know, thus
> > can't have an informed opinion about this?
> > 
> > Thomas
> I believe it was to un-break commitfilter emails.

What was broken? The sysadmins only told me that they reverted to the old 
format, because it was the standard for years. They did not give me any 
arguments in favor of the useless old format, just that they did not want to 
change anything. I.e.: they didn't have time back when we all moved to 
git/gitorious back then, now they have the time and want to make it "less 
painful" for the people yet to migrate.

Of course this is imo quite the opposite as the subject format is just useless 

> FWIW the problem I had with the old git format was that the subject was not
> long enough. I guess pretty=oneline only takes the first 72 chars or
> whatever of the first commit line, but in practice people don't stick to
> that as a limit, so pragmatically it should be extended if there's a way to
> revert to that email subject.

Right, but afaik email subject headers have a length-limitation so trimming it 
at 72 chars or something is fine.

a) you'd still get *some* information about what was committed
b) people would hopefully start to write useful, *short* summaries followed by 
a lengthy commit mail, as is advised to git users.


Milian Wolff
mail at
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