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GitHub Desktop evolves for improved workflow support

10 Jun 2019

GitHub Desktop has evolved to version 2.0, bringing more capabilities to developers that better support workflows.

GitHub Desktop 2.0 has now expanded to include stashing, rebasing, and better ways to share credit with other developers, and emoji support.

GitHub’s Billy Griffin says in a company blog that stashing and rebasing were two of the most requested features, which is why they are now supported with Desktop 2.0.

“We’re focused on listening to our users and supporting the workflows you need to be most successful when building software. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or brand new to concepts like version control, GitHub Desktop puts the things you need most front and centre,” Griffin writes.

Stashing, GitHub explains, allows developers to choose where to save changes.

“It’s a common situation: you’re in the middle of reproducing and fixing a bug, and you need to switch context temporarily. Git branches are incredibly useful, but what do you do with your changes that are in progress? In Desktop 2.0, if you’re not ready to commit your work, you can choose to bring your changes to the new branch or keep them on your current branch,” Griffin explains.

Rebasing allows developers to keep commit history clean and tidy.

“Developers have also shared that many teams prefer a clean commit history without merge commits. This is a great example of where preferences dramatically differ. If you’re used to merging branches normally, you can still continue using the same workflow. But if you work in a repository where you don’t want those merge commits, Desktop 2.0 now supports rebasing to help you keep that commit history clean.”

Additionally, GitHub is encouraging ‘fun’ collaboration in place of ‘tedious’ work. Developers can now select a co-author of a commit by mentioning the person’s GitHub username and push their work to GitHub with a suggested next step when commitment is complete.

GitHub has even enabled capability for developers to add emojis to commit messages.

“Looking forward, you can expect to see more in GitHub Desktop that surfaces context from GitHub.com to help make you even more productive on your local machine. We’re taking the first step by tightly integrating pull requests between GitHub and Desktop. You can easily open any pull request from GitHub.com in GitHub Desktop and have everything ready to go locally. You’ll be able to test things out, add more commits, or take a closer look at the code on your machine during a review. And now it’s much easier to create a pull request in GitHub Desktop using suggested next steps.”

Griffin says that the company is now focusing on extending GitHub.com features to provide a seamless experience, and to lower barriers to entry in software development.