Re: [RFC PATCH] gitweb: use HEAD as primary sort key in git_get_heads_list()
Greg Hurrell
Greg Hurrell
See Also
2021-06-08 21:14:40 UTC
Prior to this commit, the "heads" section on a gitweb summary page would
list the heads in `-committerdate` order (ie. the most recently-modified
ones at the top), tie-breaking equal-dated refs using the implicit
`refname` sort fallback.

This commit adds another `--sort` parameter to the `git for-each-ref`
invocation in `git_get_heads_list()`, ensuring that the `HEAD` ref
always ends up getting sorted to the top, seeing as it is typically the
"primary" line of development in some sense.

This seems to be a useful change, because I can't see anywhere else in
the gitweb UI where we actually indicate to the user what the "default"
branch is (ie. what they'll checkout if they run `git clone`).

Signed-off-by: Greg Hurrell <>

On Tue, Jun 8, 2021, at 11:02 AM, Greg Hurrell wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 8, 2021, at 10:34 AM, Jeff King wrote:
> >   1. break ties by name, like:
> > 
> >        git for-each-ref --sort=refname --sort=-committerdate
> > 
> >   2. emphasize the HEAD branch, even if it isn't the newest:
> > 
> >        git for-each-ref --sort=refname --sort=-committerdate --sort=-HEAD

I was wracking my brains over this one trying to figure out why
it wasn't already doing the right thing based on what I see in
ref-filter.c.  It sure looks like the `--sort=refname` fallback should
be automatic, but I wasn't seeing it happen in my gitweb instance.

Turns out there was a bug that you fixed in 7c5045fc180ed09ed4cb5 which
made it in soon after v2.20.4 fixing a problem. I was seeing different
behavior on gitweb running on Amazon Linux AMI, because that's still
using Git v2.18.5.

So, that means "1" isn't necessary. "2" is the only possibly interesting
bit. I've reworded the commit text accordingly, still labeled as "RFC"
to see if there is any consensus on this being a good idea or not.


 gitweb/gitweb.perl | 3 ++-
 1 file changed, 2 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/gitweb/gitweb.perl b/gitweb/gitweb.perl
index e09e024a09..e5270b0291 100755
--- a/gitweb/gitweb.perl
+++ b/gitweb/gitweb.perl
@@ -3796,7 +3796,8 @@ sub git_get_heads_list {
 	my @headslist;
 	open my $fd, '-|', git_cmd(), 'for-each-ref',
-		($limit ? '--count='.($limit+1) : ()), '--sort=-committerdate',
+		($limit ? '--count='.($limit+1) : ()),
+		'--sort=-committerdate', '--sort=-HEAD',
 		'--format=%(objectname) %(refname) %(subject)%00%(committer)',
 		or return;