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Clarifying defining the .gitignore file in Ep.6 Ignoring things #710

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seacatkim commented Dec 12, 2019

As I novice going through this lesson (also my second pull request), it was not clear that the lesson is implying you need to define what you want to ignore with the '.gitignore' file as it jumps straight to the output of the new '.gitignore' file. This is likely because I am not familiar with nano.

Also a side note, the lesson starts using 'echo' toward the end and also the 'touch' command when creating new files which novices may not be familiar with. The 'Tracking Changes' episode does mention you can use any editor with a link to information about editors. Perhaps being consistent throughout the lesson with the editor or a line explaining echo is another editor would be helpful.


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munkm left a comment

Hi @seacatkim! Thanks for your feedback about gitignore in this lesson. I know this particular topic can be difficult for new learners, so your contribution and thoughts here are much appreciated!

I like one of the lines you've changed, but the other I think makes this part of the lesson repetitive. I've requested that be changed before we merge your PR. Let me know what you think!

the lesson starts using 'echo' toward the end and also the 'touch' command when creating new files which novices may not be familiar with.

This is a really good point that you're bringing up. In earlier episodes of this lesson, we show changes with nano followed by cat, and then in episodes 05, 09, and 14 we use redirects to modify the file. All of these commands should be covered by the bash lesson prior to teaching the git lesson, but I think it might be worthwhile to add reminder callout boxes in this lesson to remind learners of their meaning. What do you think? would that be helpful to you as a learner?

@@ -62,7 +62,7 @@ results/
~~~
{: .output}

These patterns tell Git to ignore any file whose name ends in `.dat`
The text in the `.gitignore` file is telling Git to ignore any file whose name ends in `.dat`

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munkm Jan 6, 2020

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I like this modification to the text.

@@ -48,7 +48,7 @@ What's worse,
having them all listed could distract us from changes that actually matter,
so let's tell Git to ignore them.

We do this by creating a file in the root directory of our project called `.gitignore`:
We do this by creating a file in the root directory of our project called `.gitignore` specifying we want to ignore the `.dat` files and `results` directory we just created.

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munkm Jan 6, 2020

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I think this added text here is repetitive. The line just below the shell the output of cat says what is being ignored, and the line just above this one states our intent to ignore files that aren't going to matter to our project. Would you mind changing this text back to the original wording?

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munkm Jan 6, 2020

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Alternatively, this sentence could be modified to further state how we plan to change the .gitignore file. e.g.

We do this by creating a file in the root directory of our project called .gitignore. Then we'll add lines specifying which files we'd like to ignore in our project.

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