What's New With Git Support in Xcode 9

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Apple’s latest IDE version, Xcode 9, is being released along with iOS 11 this September. And it's a huge update! Fans of Git for source control management (SCM) are big winners in this upcoming release.

Previous versions of Xcode had support for SCM, but it was never considered a first-class citizen. Xcode's Git support was buggy and lackluster, paling in comparison to specialist tools such as SourceTree, which meant that developers had to jump between tools to be able to do advanced Git repository management tasks. 

All this has changed in Xcode 9. Apple no longer sees SCM as secondary, but instead has opted for tight integration with GitHub, and has collaborated with GitHub closely for Xcode 9. 

The net result is that you can now log in to your GitHub account right from Xcode, in order to browse, navigate and clone your GitHub repos. You can also search for other repositories without having to switch to a browser window. Inversely, if you have a GitHub repo open in your browser, you can click the clone button and have Xcode automatically clone and open up the project. 

As Apple puts it, “Support for Git is now front and center”, and Apple has introduced a new source control navigator, so you don't have to open up a new window that is visually detached from the rest of Xcode. Developers can now view branches, tags, and remotes through a clear and intuitive timeline, they can inspect commits more granularly, and they can see a more elegant and attractive comparison of changes. 

Objectives of This Tutorial

In this tutorial, I'll walk you through the list of new SCM features that were introduced with Xcode 9. We'll look at three major areas:

  • commits
  • branches
  • tags

Assumed Knowledge

To follow along with this tutorial, you should have some previous experience with Xcode and some working knowledge of source control management through Git.  

 

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Doron KatzXcode, ios