Improved Git Support Reaches Visual Studio

| by Jeff Martin Follow 17 Followers on May 02, 2013. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |


Microsoft's Visual Studio Tools for Git have been updated, providing a significant increase in speed among other key changes.  This edition of the tools promises faster push operations and greater speed when working with larger repos.

Microsoft’s Brian Harry reports that with the exception of one use-case (pushing 10 one-kilobyte files) this new release demonstrates performance increases of up to 4765%, with most averaging in the 3 figures.  On my (non-scientific) test of the new release I was able to obtain times not quite as fast as what Harry reported but improvement nonetheless over previous versions.

Beyond the speed improvements, other notable new features include better handling of CRLF (carriage return linefeed) characters that could have previously caused checkouts to fail.  Another corrected bug fixes a situation that caused CRCRLF sequences to be incorrectly added to files.  Beyond the benefits of stability, maintaining proper line endings is very important when dealing with cross-platform development.  Helpfully the IDE will now prompt to save solutions before beginning merge and pull operations.

The tool still requires remote repositories to support access via https, although there is a work-around for those needing access via SSH.   While this doesn’t affect popular Git providers like Gitub or Bitbucket, it can hinder developers working on local repositories accessed via SSH.  The quickest work-around may be to use command line tools to pull/clone a remote repo, and then using the VS Git tools to manipulate the local repo once it is created. 

Microsoft’s Martin Woodward states that the reason VS Git currently lacks SSH support is because it is dependent on the libgit2 library which does not provide this functionality.  Further, Matthew Mitrik (also of Microsoft) states that further improvements to https support currently take precedence over any work that the team would take for SSH. 

 A positive aspect of the libgit2 reliance is that this tool benefits from improvements made upstream.  While the specific version of included with VS Git was not given, peering at the source bundled with the installer indicates a rough vintage of April 19, 2013.


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