ProTip! Great commit summaries contain fewer than 50 characters

This statement is worded poorly. Great commit messages summarize the changes in as few characters as possible.

The wording choice for this just says “stop writing so many letters” which leads to poor commit messages like “updated the foobar”.

I think it’s important to separate “commit message” and “commit summary” here. The summary is the first line of the commit message. So a commit message in general looks like:

This is the summary

Words about the commit go here. As many as you want.

Think of the summary as a headline, and the commit message the article that follows. Convention says that lines in the commit message should not be wider than 80 characters (the traditional terminal width, in ancient times that was a common screen size), but you can use as many lines and paragraphs as you like. You could even do ASCII art. :smile_cat:

The 50 characters for the summary part is approximately what looks good in the GitHub web interface. I do think that’s kind of restrictive, getting a little over 60 is not uncommon for me. :sweat_smile:

I can also recommend Conventional Commits.