2021-02-28 16:00

Selecting a GIT Client

When I decided to create this blog using Blot.im, I had to select the synchronization mechanism between my Mac and the Blot.im service. Blot.im offers two choices: Dropbox (easy, seamless, but too invasive and bloated software) or GIT. I decided to use GIT, for a few reasons.

First, GIT is geeky. I like geeky stuff. This blog is about being geeky, so why not! More seriously, using GIT means that I have to select a GIT client on my Mac (and eventually on the iPad too, for on the go publishing). The leanest way to manage content sync could have been to settle for the command-line only. It is super easy to install GIT in the command line, on the Mac. But, now that’s too geeky to my taste. I prefer going GUI, be able to preview commits, file content, etc.

Here is a list of GIT clients for the Mac that I more or less tested with my impressions for each.

  • GITHUB Desktop Client. I think this one is mandatory as it is the official Github client. Works fine as a Github client. Super easy to use but limited in editing functionalities, but I can configure it to open files in Nova1. But it cannot connect to Blat.im GIT remote repo. Yet, it’s a keeper because of Github. It’s free.

  • Microsoft Visual Studio Code. This one is impressive but also overwhelming. Do I need this complexity? Probably not. I don’t like its look and feel too: too Microsoft, not enough Apple-ly. Still not optimized for my M1-based Mac mini which is not good! It’s free. Will probably delete it from my machine.

  • Tower. This one was mentioned by someone I follow on Micro.blog. It’s not free. I like the look and feel of this app. It’s clean. Works great on macOS Big Sur. But somehow, I find it less intuitive compared to Nova. It’s a fully native application (not Electron-based). Will be deleted.

  • Sourcetree. Another GIT client but for Gitlab only (could not find a way to connect to Blot.im GIT repo). Still Intel only, not optimized for M1-based machines. No go. Deleted. Thanks to App Cleaner.

  • Atom. Still Intel-only sadly. Looks good but cannot connect to Blot.im GIT repo. Only supports Github.

  • Nova. This app is well-known in the Mac community. They recently released version 5.0. It looks great: a tad busier and crowded interface and cost more than Tower. It comes with a local web server, so I can preview my Markdown files edits effortlessly. Supports a bunch of file types too (HTML, CSS just to name a few). It does support extensions to augment its features which is cool. I installed a few of them (Prettier for example). Finally, Nova supports connecting to many type of servers (FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, etc.). I have a feeling Nova will serves me better in my blogger workflow in the long run or could be used if I ever want to test a local installation of Hugo. Who knows.

As I write this blog post, I chose to settle on Nova, for now. I’m still on the trial period. I have 18 days left. I can still change my mind. Meanwhile, if you have any suggestion, feel free to post a comment at the end of this blog post (not from the main page but by hitting the date & time of the post which will bring you to the post page where you can comment).

In a future post, I’ll explore GIT clients for the iPad. WorkingCopy seems pretty popular.

  1. Nova does both, GIT and file editing.↩︎

GIT Tools Editor Blot.im Github Nova

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