GitHub and long CIA commit notifications

Ever since I started using GitHub I have been greatly bothered by the questionable design decision of sending only the first line of a commit message to — the service that allows us to get instant commit notifications on IRC channels. For people using Git like it was intended to be used, this means you will only see the subject line for each commit in your CIA notifications and the web feed.

That’s not my only reservation about GitHub’s custom CIA hook’s design, in fact. It also limits the amount of notifications sent per push to five; more commits than that get notified as a single commit along with a “(+n more commits)” notice in the message. While everyone knows that CIA is broken by design and all, it just doesn’t feel right to me that GitHub should be in charge of manipulating notifications to avoid flooding and all. Whatever, I say.

Regardless of CIA’s perpetual state of brokenness, there is something that it currently does right. CIA bots won’t flood a channel with more than a few message lines per commit. One could then assume that this renders GitHub’s single-line commit notifications entirely pointless, but there might be people who really want their CIA bot to behave like a continuous git log --format=oneline run without figuring out a complicated CIA formatting ruleset specification.

I am definitely not part of that crowd, but I respect people’s right to choose, so I decided to provide them with the choice to get full commit messages sent to The relevant pull request has just been accepted.

This is what the CIA hook configuration looks like in production now:

CIA hook configuration

I have gone and enabled the option for every repository I currently host at GitHub that’s already using the hook. If you really care about proper Git commit message formatting (or merging commits from people who do) and you are also using CIA, I urge you do the same.

It should be noted that the single commit in that pull request is my very first attempt at writing code in Ruby at all.