hg branch is a command used in Mercurial, a distributed version control system, to create or display the name of the current branch within a repository. Branches in Mercurial allow developers to diverge from the main line of development to work on new features, experiment with changes, or isolate bug fixes without affecting the primary codebase.
Key points regarding hg branch include:
- Creating a Branch: One primary function of hg branch is to create a new branch within the repository. Developers typically use this command when starting work on a new feature or addressing a specific task. By creating a branch, developers can work on changes independently of the main development line, reducing the risk of conflicts and ensuring that unfinished work does not impact other team members.
- Switching Branches: In addition to creating branches, hg branch can also be used to switch between existing branches. This functionality allows developers to move seamlessly between different lines of development within the repository. By switching branches, developers can focus on specific tasks or collaborate with team members working on different features or fixes.
- Displaying Branch Information: Another use of hg branch is to display information about the current branch. When invoked without any arguments, the command shows the name of the current branch, providing developers with visibility into their current context within the repository. This feature is particularly useful for ensuring that developers are working in the intended branch before making changes.
- Branch Naming: Branch names in Mercurial are user-defined and can convey information about the purpose or scope of the changes being made on that branch. Clear and descriptive branch names help developers and collaborators understand the context of the work being done and facilitate effective communication within the team.
- Documentation Reference: The Mercurial documentation provides comprehensive information about the hg branch command, including usage examples, options, and best practices. Developers can refer to this documentation to learn more about how to create, switch, and manage branches effectively within their Mercurial repositories.
“hg branch” Command Examples
1. Show the name of the currently active branch:
# hg branch
2. Create a new branch for the next commit:
# hg branch [branch_name]
In summary, hg branch is a versatile command in Mercurial that enables developers to create, switch, and display branch information within a repository. By leveraging this command, developers can organize their work, collaborate effectively with team members, and manage changes in a structured and efficient manner.