Show git branches with recent changes

As I work on various projects, I tend to end up with a bunch of git branches lying around in my repo. Every once in a while, I run a git branch --merged on master to see what can be trivially trimmed, but sometimes the list of unmerged branches grows as well.

Today I discovered a nice command to help me sort through this list: git for-each-ref along with some formatting and bash-fu:

$ git for-each-ref \
    --sort=-committerdate refs/heads/ \
    --format='%(refname:short):%(committerdate:relative)' \
    |column -t -s ':'

which results in something like

just-edited                   47 minutes ago
master                        4 days ago
worked-on-recently            5 days ago
wow-has-it-been-that-long     2 years, 2 months ago

The "one-liner" is a bit long to remember, so this is a perfect candidate for a git alias. (I tend to write mine manually into the .gitconfig file.)

Since we want to pipe the ouput through column for nicer output, we need !git in front of the comand in our .gitconfig:

    co = checkout
    recent-branches = !git for-each-ref --sort=-committerdate refs/heads/ --format='%(refname:short):%(committerdate:relative)' |column -t -s ':'

My whole .gitconfig can be found in my dotfiles

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