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Learning Git with Visual Studio #5

In previous article I showed how to take changes from a branch into parent branch, visually we could imagine this operation like “copying” some files from a directory into his parent, but what if, while acting on a branch a colleague working on another branch fixes a bug or add a feature we need to get asap? What if we need to “copy” some changes from parent folder into the one we’re working on at the moment?
This operation is called Rebasing

Starting from the sample solution we’re using in this series of post, let’s move to Master branch and let’s add an empty MustHave.cs class, solution now looks like in following picture


Let’s commit this change and checkout the dev branch created in the past article, we’ll see that MustHave.cs class is not present, how can we have it, together with any related change happened on Master branch since we initially created the dev branch?
Checkout Master branch (or in general, the branch that contains the change you want to “merge” into your branch) go to Team Explorer, Branches tab, right click Master branch and select Rebase Onto… menu


You will be now prompted to indicated the destination branch where the changes will be merged, in our case the dev branch


Click Rebase and you’ll now see MustHave.cs class being listed into the project, so basically we can think Rebase being a sort of reverse Merge, a really nice to have feature especially when multiple people are working on different branches.

Cool but: We have included ALL changes, including maybe some that could conflict or break the branch we’re working on. What if I need to take just one or more commits, maybe from different branches, because very critical for what I’m working on and ignore the others?
Cherry-Pick is the git feature we need.

Let’s imagine, that while on dev branch, someone did a series of commits adding a NewFeature1.cs file, then a P1 property and suddenly a P2 property (of course in real world the changes would be more articulated)
The history for master branch now is:


While on dev branch, let’s now take single commits 193d63b4 by right clicking and selecting Cherry-Pick


You will get this confirmation message on Team Explorer


Let’s do the same with commit b46c2419, we will get a similar confirmation message, and the history of dev branch will now include both cherry-picked commits.


As you see, git offers several option for mixing and matching code residing in different branches, of course all have to be treated with care since the risk of overwriting changes is always around the corner.

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