How do I fix a typo in a git commit comment?

Eric S. Raymond esr at
Mon Mar 26 01:13:42 UTC 2018

Hal Murray <hmurray at>:
> If nothing else, we should document the issues.  A reference to this 
> discussion might be appropriate.  Do we have a FAQ type place to collect 
> things like this?

No.  This is general git knowledge, not a project-specific issue.

> How messy is it for people who have cloned/pulled to recover?  I think that's 
> the key issue.  Is this a good time for a trial run?

Next time they pull they'll get a conflict message and request for merge that
they may not understand.  Recovery is relatively easy if they have no local
commits of their own; if they do it gets nasty.

It goes like this.  They have to

1. locate the point at which thir local tree diverged from the pre-surgery
public tree (we'kll call this point A),

2. use git format-patch to turn all their private commits after A to a
patch sequence,

3. locate the point of surgery where the new public tree diverges from the
old public tree (we'll call tihis point B).

4. git reset -hard at the parent of B,

5. git pull to resync withthe new public tree,

6. Reapply their local patches to the new gead, dealing with any merge conflicts.

> Are there any alternatives?  This seems like an interesting enough case that I expect there should be a reasonable way to recover.  (Only the text in the commit comment needs to change.)  What do other projects do?

Other projects suck up the damage and move on. The only reason trying to undo
this is even a discussion topic is that I am unusually skilled at stupid
git tricks and have actually run this process a handful of times.  But
custom is very strongly against it.
		<a href="">Eric S. Raymond</a>

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