Git 2.8 improves on code control for Windows users

The latest version of the open source version control system makes the experience for Windows users more in line with other platforms

Version 2.8 of Git, the popular and powerful open source version control system used to power the GitHub and GitLab services, was released late yesterday.

According to an announcement on GitHub's blog, version 2.8 includes various small but useful improvements to features, as well as a range of bug fixes. Some of the most significant changes are for Windows users, but functionality across all three major platforms (Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X) will be kept in closer sync from now on.

For example, "it is relatively expensive to start processes on Windows, so many Git commands that were originally written as scripts have been rewritten in C to make them snappier," the GitHub announcement says.

Performance has also been improved for submodules -- a way for Git repositories to include each other as subdirectories, such as when using external libraries. Git 2.8 allows the process of fetching submodules to run in parallel, so the process of performing git fetch on projects with many submodules is faster and more efficient.

Git normally users a configuration file to set the username and email used to identify commits from a user on a given project. A new option in Git 2.8 forces the user to set the username and email before the commit is placed. According to GitHub, this allows users who employ multiple email addresses -- one for personal projects, one for work, etc. -- to avoid mistakenly committing under the wrong email.

Git 2.8 also includes a fix for a previously documented security vulnerability, and a convenient way to determine where a particular configuration setting originates from.

Even though the source code for Git is hosted on GitHub, it resides there in a "publish-only" repository, so pull requests aren't accepted there. If you want to submit patches, you'll have to follow the project's guidelines and submit them by email.

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