TIL: git history visualisation via gource

Today I learned there is a tool out there, or rather part of Debian already1, which helps getting an intuitive understanding of a git repository's history, by means of generating an interactive visualisation! (This can be exported as a video, too, but I didn't test that.)

Thanks, Simon, for pointing out gource exists!

gource on canvon-blog

Letting gource run on this blog's git history was particularly interesting (N.B.: the git repos isn't published (yet?), though); I saw multiple entities "fighting it out" between each-other, as pages were added by my git identity and tag pages created by the wiki's. See the (in comparison: boring) end result here:

Screenshot of gource running on this blog's git history

gource on streamserver-cvn

Another way I've tested gource is by letting it run on my streamserver-cvn project's git repos; this was a bit boring, though, as there is only one author (myself), most of the time...

Operating gource

It seems as though you can just cd into your worktree (N.B.: bare repository doesn't work as of gource 0.44-1+b3 (Debian), whether running with GIT_DIR=. or not.) and run gource, without any additional command-line arguments, and expect it running.

A few points to note, though:

  • Seeking seems to be possible by hovering with the mouse pointer over the lower part of the window/screen so that a seekbar appears, then click where you want to go; as of gource 0.44-1+b3 (Debian; again), it'll start from there, though, so will arrive at a different result than when left running from the beginning of git history...

  • Pressing q or Ctrl-Q won't quit the application, but Esc does.

(Created Mon 20 May 2019 19:51:19 CEST, published around Tue 21 May 2019 00:58:42 CEST.)

  1. gource in Debian:

    Version 0.43 in Debian 8,
    Version 0.44 in Debian 9,
    Version 0.49 in upcoming Debian 10.