What does “nit” mean in hacker-speak?


When someone writes "nit: removed whitespace" on a commit, what does "nit" mean? I've also seen it capitalized as if it were an abbreviation (i.e. NIT). For an example usage see this post:

Of course there is a difference between a comment saying: "Nit:
Trailing whitespace" and "According to Section V, Subsection VII of
the Coding Manual you should never add trailing whitespace. Please see
that you don't." or some stuff like that. The latter is a
passive-aggressive potshot, the former IMO is just a quick reminder.

Other example from "Chromium Code Reviews":

Issue 9662: fix minor style nit (Closed)

EDIT: And an answer comes from Bugzilla's review page:

Sometimes the reviewer will prefix his comments with "Nit:". This
means that he's just "nitpicking"–you don't have to fix these points,
but we'd like you to.

Best Answer

In the context of "nit: removed whitespace," I would assume that the term is short for nit-pick. That is, a small change that may not be very important, but is technically correct.