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"Compare selected ancestor with working tree" needs "select for compare" #279

Mellbourn opened this Issue Feb 8, 2018 · 5 comments


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Mellbourn commented Feb 8, 2018

  • GitLens Version: 8.0.0
  • VSCode Version: 1.20.0
  • OS Version: MacOS 10.13.3

I'm not sure I understand how "Compare selected ancestor with working tree" is supposed to work.

The only way I can get it to show up is by first doing "select to compare".
And only if I choose my current branch does the result of "Compare selected ancestor..." make sense to me.
Shouldn't "Compare selected ancestor..." work without first doing "select for compare", implicitly choosing the current branch for the merge-base calculation?

@eamodio eamodio added the question label Feb 9, 2018


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borekb commented Feb 17, 2018

Agree with this feedback. The functionality is great, basically removing the need for git-tree-compare, but the discoverability and usability is not that great, IMO, in GitLens 8.0.

For reference, the issue where the feature was introduced, is: Compare working copy to merge-base #240

@eamodio eamodio added bug and removed question labels Feb 24, 2018

@eamodio eamodio self-assigned this Feb 24, 2018

@eamodio eamodio added this to the Soon™ milestone Feb 24, 2018

@eamodio eamodio closed this in 266b43b Mar 7, 2018


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borekb commented Mar 7, 2018

Regarding 266b43b, "Compare Ancestry with Working Tree" still feels a bit weird to me. For example, it's not obvious to me what "ancestry" means, exactly, and also, I'd like to compare my branch with the base, not the uncommitted changes in my working directory.

Simplest label from my point of view would be "Compare current branch with master" – that says exactly what I want to do. The base branch would need to be selectable I believe, which is discussed in #293.


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eamodio commented Mar 12, 2018

@borekb I feel like these are 2 separate operations -- Compare Ancestry with Working Tree is to compare the common ancestry of the selected branch and the current branch's working tree. While what you are suggesting exists as Compare with Index (HEAD) if you select the master branch.

Does that make sense?


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borekb commented Mar 12, 2018

No, what I'm after is a GitHub PR style diff, i.e., HEAD (most recent branch commit) vs. common ancestor with my "base branch" (usually master).

It's all a bit confusing, the use cases and terminology should probably be reviewed. Currently, I see these options when I right-click the current branch:


There are many "compares" there but I don't think there is a single one that does GitHub PR-style diff, is there?

I think it's very common to want to know the answer to the questions "what did change in this branch"?


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eamodio commented Mar 12, 2018

@borekb I opened #309 to discuss this more, please let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

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