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Checking your syntax on commit

A good IDE can spot programming syntax errors and alert you to them before they ever make it into a git commit. However, sometimes when you’re in a hurry, tired, or distracted, these alerts go unnoticed and there is a greater risk that you’ll commit broken files to your git branch. Git makes it a snap to revert changes, but wouldn’t it be nicer if you could prevent it from happening in the first place?

To that end, git has a nice feature called client-side hooks. In particular, you can create a hook known as a pre-commit hook that executes right before you commit something. It gives you the option to abort if something doesn’t look right. Using this feature, I created a simple script to check PHP and Javascript syntax on commit. It’s helpful for those mornings when I haven’t quite had enough coffee yet.