Sometimes an author feels compelled to update spelling, grammar, or the overall structure of the code for legibility or other subjective purposes. When doing so, the author should be mindful that moving/editing code for aesthetic reasons also has a downside: it pollutes the output of
git blame, which connects code to its “main” last author/maintainer.
It's nice for a
blame to be as clean as possible. It's nice for the history of a stanza to have fewer entries. Being mindful of
blame is just common hygiene. There is a bar for changing a line of code; we don't do it gratuitously. For example, and, generally speaking, simply fixing an obvious typo (in a comment) does not meet that bar.a one-line change to fix a typo in a comment impairs the output of
blame and also has an opportunity cost in your use of time. (But see also the section “Comment updates “ in Code commenting guidelines.)
Besides the effect of blame churn on humans, it also has an effect on machines. For example, GitHub might start suggesting this person as a reviewer for future patches.