GitHub is a service that we keep hearing from geeks all the time. But most of the people don’t understand what it really is?
To understand GitHub, we will start with the understanding of Git. Git is an open-source version control system which was started by Linus Trovalds- the creator of Linux. Git is similar to different version control systems such as CVS, Subversion, and Mercurial to mention a few.
Version control systems
Whenever developers create any application or something else, they keep making changes to the code and keep releasing new versions, even after the first official (non-beta) release.
In the case of such revisions, Version control systems keep them straight, stores the modifications in a central repository. This allows the developers to collaborate easily as they can access and download software’s new version, make changes, and upload the newest version. Along with this, every developer can observe the changes made, download them at his/her end, and contribute.
In the same way, people not associated with the development of a project can also download the files and execute them. Most of the users of Linus should be readily familiar with this process, as using Subversion, Git or some other identical method is pretty normal for downloading the required files, especially in the case of preparation for compiling a program source code which is a normal and common practice for most of the Linux users.
Git is generally the most preferred version control system of software/application developers as it has numerous advantages over the other available systems, including an efficient way to keep track and store file changes and to ensure the file’s integrity.
Now we know that Git is a version control system, we will talk about why this is the most special one. Git is a command-line tool, but the Hub, GitHub.com is the center around which all systems associated with Git revolve. It’s the place where developers can keep their projects and even network with other people interested in it.
Reasons to use GitHub
First, we will talk about the repository. A repository is a location or an address where all the files related to a particular project are stored, which is usually abbreviated to “repo.” Here, each project will have its corresponding repo which can be accessed by a unique URL.
When you create a new project which is based on another existing project, then it’s called “Forking”. This unique and attractive feature encourages the further development of applications and other projects. You can find a project, and if you wish to contribute to it, you can fork the repo, make the necessary changes you would like to make and release the revised version of the project as a new repo. If the original repository which was forked by you to create a new project, gets updated, you can simply add those updates to the current fork.
- Pull requests
In case you fork a repository, edit and make a substantial revision to the project, and you wish to be recognized by the original developers or even in the official repository or the project, you can create a pull request. After receiving the request, the authors of the original repository can understand your work. They can then choose whether to keep or deny it into the original project. For such cases, GitHub provides the most suitable medium for you and the maintainers of the project to communicate.
- Social networking
Another powerful feature of GitHub is its social network aspect. It allows the projects to grow a lot. Each user on GitHub has his/her profile which acts as a resume, showing your past work and contributions made to different projects via pull requests.
These project revisions are discussed publicly to that a mass of experts can contribute their knowledge and collaborate, to advance the project. Before GitHub, the developers who were interested to contribute to a project, had to find medium to contacting the authors, mostly by email. By this, the developers had to convince the authors about their contribution and its legitimacy along with the fact that the developers can be trusted.
In the case of many people collaborating on a single project, it’s really tough to keep track of the changes made by the individuals and also to keep track of the revisions that has been made. GitHub solves this problem by keeping detailed track of all the changes that have been made and pushed to the repository.
When multiple people are collaborating on a project, it’s really hard to keep track of who changed what, and to keep track of the revisions that took place. GitHub takes care of this problem by keeping track of all the changes that have been pushed to the repository.
GitHub can actually be used for numerous types of files like if you have a group of people making constant changes to a word document, you can utilize GitHub as your version control system.
Now, with this, we end this article on GitHub. Just start using GitHub and experience its features and advantages. Meanwhile, don’t forget to leave your suggestions or reviews in the comment section.