So I’ve been using git more and more as I work on my hymn arrangements. Since the engraving software I use, lilypond, is text-based keeping track of changes I make using a standard source control system is a breeze. Except when it isn’t. I really love how git works but I don’t enjoy using the command line tools and many of the other tools I’ve tried didn’t fit my workflow well. A few days ago I was looking again for an easier way to use git and I found this: Source Tree. At first I was overwhelmed. Just looking at the UI you can see this is a powertool. But I soon figured out the basics of how to use it for my purposes and now I am hooked. It is made by Atlassian who also have a repository service, Bitbucket, that I had signed up for awhile back but hadn’t been using actively. Now I use that instead of Github, since you can have free private repositories on Bitbucket but not on Github. I’m not collaborating with anyone on my scores but having a repository online gives me a sense of security and also allows me to access my files from anywhere.
So my current workflow is like this:
- Open the Session in Frescobaldi named for the piece I want to work on.
- Begin editing the parts I need to and save the files I’ve changed.
- Switch to Source Tree, which automatically shows the files that have changed.
- Click the Unstaged box to put the files in the staging area.
- Write my commit comment about what I changed and click Commit.
- When I done or am taking a break, I click the Push button and my changes are sent to my Bitbucket account and everything is synced up and current.
Great tools make work more fun and reduces friction when you keep putting things off.