December 20, 2017

Checking Differences Between Commits in Github

Changes are you use some dependencies that have their source code hosted on Github. It's useful to be able to check the differences between two commits to see what has changed, especially when determining what breaking changes there might be between two releases. git of course has this functionality, but accessing it through the Github UI is much more convenient. I couldn't find a nice way to access this feature, though, so I started to do a little digging.

It turns out that it's actually really easy to create the URL for viewing the differences yourself. For any given project, you can go to the URL that looks like:

https://github.com/__NAMESPACE__/__PROJECT__/compare/__EARLIER_COMMIT__...__LATER_COMMIT__

to see all of the changes between those two commits. So for example, you could go here:

https://github.com/alexlafroscia/til-blog/compare/3c7ae8...99b062

to view the most recent change to this blog (at the time of writing).

This works with any commit identier, including branch names and tags (which is great for comparing releases). So, you could go here:

https://github.com/alexlafroscia/til-blog/compare/3c7ae8...master

to view all of the changes between the most recent commit and the current published version.