Git 2.8 improves on code control for Windows users

The latest update to the open source version control system brings Windows use more in line with that of other platforms

Git 2.8 gives Windows users better control over source code

Version 2.8 of Git, the popular and powerful open source version control system used to power the GitHub and GitLab services, was released late yesterday.

According to an announcement on GitHub's blog, version 2.8 includes small but useful improvements to features, as well as a range of bug fixes. Some of the most significant changes are for Windows users, but functionality across all three major platforms (Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X) will be kept in closer sync from now on.

For example, "it is relatively expensive to start processes on Windows, so many Git commands that were originally written as scripts have been rewritten in C to make them snappier," the GitHub announcement says.

Performance has also been improved for submodules -- a way for Git repositories to include each other as subdirectories, such as when using external libraries. Git 2.8 allows the process of fetching submodules to run in parallel, so the process of performing git fetch on projects with many submodules is faster and more efficient.

Git normally uses a configuration file to set the username and email that identifies commits on a given project. A new option in Git 2.8 forces the user to set the username and email before the commit is placed. According to GitHub, this allows users who employ multiple email addresses -- one for personal projects, one for work, and so on -- to avoid mistakenly committing under the wrong email.

Git 2.8 also includes a fix for a previously documented security vulnerability and a convenient method to determine where a particular configuration setting originates from.

Though the source code for Git is hosted on GitHub, it resides there in a "publish-only" repository, so pull requests aren't accepted. If you want to submit patches, you'll have to follow the project's guidelines and submit them by email.