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GitHub : Code is the most direct way for programmers to communicate

  Peter      2012-07-20 11:38:31      2,211    0    0

If not invested by Andreessen Horowitz, GitHub might not be noticed by Forbes, CNN, New York Times. People didn't know this tool because it was very far away from the world -- GitHub is a project hosting service used by programmers.

But to some programmers, it is not just a place for project hosting, it is`also the hub for open source projects, a place for programmers improving themselves and a social network for programmers.

There are around 3.26 million projects hosted on GitHub currently, including Linux, Ruby on Rails, jQuery, Apache and the popular Node.js.

Why is GitHub so popular?

It is an excellent project management tool

Artodia drew a simple and clear diagram which illustrated the workflow of managing a project on GitHub.


  • First, check out one copy of the code from the repository and create a fork
  • Then, you can modify the code you checked out
  • After finishing modifying the code, you can merge your code with the original code. Merge doesn't mean simple copy and paste, it will only update those changed portions.
  • If the original copy on the repository is changed, you can also update your local copy with the changes on the repository
  • This means:

    • GitHub allows you to checkout a copy to your own computer, then you can experiment your new idea with the newly checked out copy without worrying about affecting the repository
    • Programmers can use simple commands to synchronize the code on local computer with the code on repository without worrying about messing up different versions
    • Programmers can work offline since you have a local copy of the project.
    • Programmers involving in a project can avoid lose the code since everyone has a backup of the code

    Open source culture

    Concerning open source is an important feature of GitHub. There are many popular open source projects are hosted on GitHub, even GitHub itself is built with open source technology.

    In GitHub, people admires open source spirit, the keys for this spirit are freedom and fairness. GitHub will welcome every new joiner on its official`blog with a big picture and a simple sentence introduction of the new joiner. Employees in GitHub can also freely choose the place they like to work,  office or home or any other places.

    Wanstrath told The Wall Street Journal that many employees felt that when there was no supervision, they could get faster growth. For a long time, GitHub is a company without "Boss", although Wanstrath is the CEO, he insists that only his name is printed on his name card without his title. In GitHub, employees discuss the priority of the project themselves, they no need to get orders from management, every employee can join the project he/she likes.

    Preston-Werne wrote an article before to express the view : "Open source everything":

    • open sourcing code is great advertising for you and your company
    • If your code is popular enough to attract outside contributions, you will have created a force multiplier that helps you get more work done faster and cheaper.
    • open source projects are your best resume, they proves your skills
    • open source code is an amazingly effective way to retain that talent.
    • open source can reduce duplication of effort

    Platform for programmers to communicate

    GitHub now attracts more and more developers, every programmer can view the codes hosted on GitHub, this can help programmers improve themselves.

    On GitHub, you can summarize all your ideas on your personal page. Other people can find issues and discuss your ideas. You can also follow the progress of other projects. Of course, the direct communication method among programmers is the product. If you think some projects are not so good, you can share your opinions, or you can checkout one copy and create your own forks to realize your own idea.

    For example, there is a popular text editor Notational Velocity(NV) on Mac. Since 2002, it is welcomed by many users because of its concise GUI and usability. However, NV lacks some features many users request, such as full screen mode, MarkDown etc.

    In 2010, Many programmers checked out NV source code and created their own forks.


    Now nvALT2.0 is the most famous branch created by Brett Terpstra. It realized almost all the targets set by Terpstra when he checked out NV source code.

    Summary

    The original slogan of GitHub was "git repository hosting", but now it is "Social Coding", it tells us that code is the most direct way for programmers to communicate.

    Finally, lets check out the first commit record of GitHub in 19th October, 2007.


    Source : http://blog.jobbole.com/23919/

    OPEN SOURCE GITHUB SOCIAL HOSTING

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