Opening All Files in a Git Commit

Sometimes even Linux crashes, or a machine loses power, in which case applications lose their history.

This has been an annoyance for me with Emacs and a project that I’m working on that is version controlled with Git, or perhaps I just want to open all of the files in a commit so that they are the most recent in my list of open files in Emacs.

Finally I’ve devised a one line solution, as is noted below.

The first step is to get a list of files from the most recent Git commit, with the output being only the file names — no commit message, author, committer, etc.. Easy enough, where --pretty=format: means “write no commit summary output”:

% git log --git log --name-only --pretty=format: -1

This will be fed into the command to open a file in Emacs, which in my case is function named ec. This is Z shell, but should work for Bash.

ec () {
    for i in $*
        emacsclient --no-wait $i

Why a function and not an alias? Because evidently emacsclient only takes one file name as an argument, so it needs to be called once for each file.

Since ec is a function (and the same restriction applies to aliases as well), it cannot be a command executed by xargs, which would have been:

% git log --name-only --pretty=format: -1 | xargs ec

which produces the message “xargs: ec: No such file or directory”.

The fix is to read each line into a variable, then run the function against it. Voila:

% git log --name-only --pretty=format: -1 | while read -r i; do ec $i; done

More of my Z shell blatherings are over here.


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