What is GitHub?

That’s my question of the day.

How Github‘s own website describes it: “powerful collaboration, code review, and code management for open source and private projects.”

How my game artist friend Harry described it (via Facebook chat, hence the lack of punctuation):

basically think of it like a library

you can check out files to work on things and no one else can work on them but you

until you check it back in

it basically just is a way for projects not to get screwy when lots of people work on them

there are tons of types

He also sent me this link to a video about version control and why it’s handy.
Essentially, this is what the video says about version control:
  • saves efficiently
  • makes it easy to track changes
  • stores previous versions
  • allows “branching” to experiment with changes safely
  • combines changes from collaborators
  • creates backups
And what role exactly does GitHub play in this? This Codemy School video explains the basics (starting at around 2:25 into the video):
  • Git (installed on computer) allows direct sharing on local network
  • GitHub allows upload and download via server

And finally (at least for now) this Open Source Basics video, explains why programmers make their projects open source and how roles work when a change is contributed. Terms covered:

  • licensing: author’s rules for how code can be changed
  • branch: change from the original code
  • maintainer: person who accepts/rejects code changes
  • contributor: someone who adds a patch into the original code
  • upstreaming: incorporating a patch into the original code
  • fork: permanent split in code versions



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