The “git-imerge” command is a tool that allows you to perform incremental merges or rebases between two Git branches. It is designed to simplify the process of resolving conflicts by tracking conflicts down to pairs of individual commits.
The main goal of “git-imerge” is to break down the merging process into smaller, manageable units called “steps.” Each step represents a pair of commits—one from the source branch and one from the target branch. By handling conflicts at the commit level, “git-imerge” makes it easier to understand and resolve conflicts in a more granular manner.
Here’s how the process typically works with “git-imerge”:
- Start the Imerge: You initiate the incremental merge or rebase process by running the “git imerge” command and specifying the source and target branches.
- Resolve Conflicts Step-by-Step: “git-imerge” starts with the first pair of commits from the branches. It applies the changes from the source commit onto the target commit, creating a new temporary commit. If there are conflicts, you will be prompted to resolve them manually. Once the conflicts are resolved, you mark the step as complete, and “git-imerge” moves on to the next step.
- Repeat Steps: “git-imerge” continues this process of applying changes, resolving conflicts, and marking steps as complete until all steps are processed. This allows you to gradually merge or rebase the branches, resolving conflicts in smaller, manageable portions.
- Finalize the Imerge: Once all steps are completed, “git-imerge” creates a new merge commit that incorporates the changes from all the steps. At this point, the incremental merge or rebase is considered complete.
The benefit of using “git-imerge” is that it provides a more structured and incremental approach to merging or rebasing, making it easier to understand and resolve conflicts. It allows you to focus on resolving conflicts at the commit level, rather than dealing with a large number of conflicting changes all at once. This can help simplify the process and improve the accuracy of conflict resolution.
It’s important to note that “git-imerge” is not a built-in Git command, but rather an extension or plugin that you can install separately. It offers additional functionality beyond the standard Git merge and rebase commands, providing a more fine-grained approach to conflict resolution.
git-imgerge Command Examples
1. Start imerge-based rebase (checkout the branch to be rebased, first):
# git-imerge rebase branch_to_rebase_onto
2. Start imerge-based merge (checkout the branch to merge into, first):
# git-imerge merge branch_to_be_merged
3. Show ASCII diagram of in-progress merge or rebase:
# git-imerge diagram
4. Continue imerge operation after resolving conflicts (git add the conflicted files, first):
# git-imerge continue --no-edit
5. Wrap up imerge operation, after all conflicts are resolved:
# git-imerge finish
6. Abort imerge operation, and return to the previous branch:
# git-imerge remove && git checkout previous_branch