GitHub has announced the launch of GitHub Desktop 2.8, an app that allows developers to work more seamlessly on their GitHub projects. With this update, you can now expand diffs to get a better understanding of the surrounding lines of code around changes you and others make, you can hide whitespace in diffs to more easily see changes, and now repositories can be assigned new aliases locally to more easily differentiate them.
In older versions of GitHub Desktop, you could only view the few lines of code above and below changes that you or someone else had made. This made it difficult to fully understand why a particular change had been made and to fix this, GitHub Desktop 2.8 allows you to tap the expand button so you can see the rest of the file around the changes.
Another new feature in this update allows you to remove the whitespace from around your code changes. GitHub explains that similarly to there not being enough context being shown around changes, sometimes there’s just too much surrounding whitespace. With this update, you can press the little gear icon in the top right of the diffs window and choose to hide whitespace. This should help you understand a bit better what was altered in the code.
The final change pertains to local repository names. GitHub said that many developers keep more than one copy of a repository on GitHub Desktop, therefore, it can be tricky to remember which repository was which. With GitHub Desktop 2.8, you can now give each repository its very own alias which will only be stored locally just so you can differentiate while working on them.
GitHub Desktop is available on Windows and macOS. The latest version can be downloaded from the GitHub Desktop website now.