AWW—A Formula For Writing Git Commits

For software engineers, it is easy to reach an agreement that good commit messages are important. It is equally easy to reach the agreement that most commit messages are not good. In this post, AWW, a formula for writing basic meaningful commit messages, will be discussed.

3 Things Meaningful Commit Messages Should Have

  • action: this word is a verb that describes what the commit does
  • what: word(s) that describe what the action is relative to
  • where: word(s) that describe where the action is happening to what

This is called AWW which sounds cute, so I like it.

Here’s a git terminal example:

git commit -m 'changes `dataObj.id` in the `dataObj`'

In the example above:

  • action is the word ‘changes’
  • what is dataObj.id
  • where is ‘in the dataObj

Why make a formula?

Git messages are important. They seem simple to write in discussion. When changing multiple files or things in a file, the meaning of changes can be lost easily. Following the AWW formula helps composing meaning when committing.