Reviewing changes

Looking before you leap

Once you have completed some work, it’s a good idea to review your changes prior to permanently recording it. This way, you can make sure you’ll be committing what you intend to.

Two bzr commands are particularly useful here: status and diff.

bzr status

The status command tells you what changes have been made to the working directory since the last revision:

% bzr status

bzr status hides “boring” files that are either unchanged or ignored. The status command can optionally be given the name of some files or directories to check.

bzr diff

The diff command shows the full text of changes to all files as a standard unified diff. This can be piped through many programs such as ‘’patch’‘, ‘’diffstat’‘, ‘’filterdiff’’ and ‘’colordiff’‘:

% bzr diff
=== added file 'hello.txt'
--- hello.txt   1970-01-01 00:00:00 +0000
+++ hello.txt   2005-10-18 14:23:29 +0000
@@ -0,0 +1,1 @@
+hello world

With the -r option, the tree is compared to an earlier revision, or the differences between two versions are shown:

% bzr diff -r 1000..          # everything since r1000
% bzr diff -r 1000..1100      # changes from 1000 to 1100

To see the changes introduced by a single revision, you can use the -c option to diff.

% bzr diff -c 1000            # changes from r1000
                              # identical to -r999..1000

The --diff-options option causes bzr to run the external diff program, passing options. For example:

% bzr diff --diff-options --side-by-side foo

Some projects prefer patches to show a prefix at the start of the path for old and new files. The --prefix option can be used to provide such a prefix. As a shortcut, bzr diff -p1 produces a form that works with the command patch -p1.

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