Do not use this software

Do not use this software

There is a piece of software on your computer that you shall not use.

It is not broken or alpha-software, it works perfectly fine. It is part of git after all, the basis of almost all modern and not so modern software. But have a look at it’s manpage and you will find a big warning to please not use it.

I am talking about the command git filter-branch. Just have a look at it’s manpage. I quote:


git filter-branch has a plethora of pitfalls that can produce non-obvious manglings of the intended history rewrite (and can leave you with little time to investigate such problems since it has such abysmal performance). These safety and performance issues cannot be backward compatibly fixed and as such, its use is not recommended. Please use an alternative history filtering tool such as git filter-repo[1]. If you still need to use git filter-branch, please carefully read the section called “SAFETY” (and the section called “PERFORMANCE”) to learn about the land mines of filter-branch, and then vigilantly avoid as many of the hazards listed there as reasonably possible.

I read a lot of documentation: manpages, infopages, html-manuals, api-references, docstrings and (occasionaly) even as books. But I don’t remember reading about a piece of software that tries so hard to convince you to not use it, while simultaneously being available on nearly every computer in the world.

I found that quite amusing.