Beginning with GitHub
GitHub is a website and cloud-based service that helps developers store and manage their code, as well as track and control changes to their code. To understand exactly what GitHub is, you need to know two connected principles:
- Version control
In this article, I’ll first explain those two principles. Then, we’ll dig into more about GitHub and how you can actually use GitHub to your works.
What Is Version Control?
Version control helps developers track and manage changes to a software project’s code. As a software project grows, version control becomes essential. Take WordPress…
At this point, WordPress is a pretty big project. If a core developer wanted to work on one specific part of the WordPress codebase, it wouldn’t be safe or efficient to have them directly edit the “official” source code.
Instead, version control lets developers safely work through branching and merging.
With branching, a developer duplicates part of the source code (called the repository). The developer can then safely make changes to that part of the code without affecting the rest of the project.
Then, once the developer gets his or her part of the code working properly, he or she can merge that code back into the main source code to make it official.
All of these changes are then tracked and can be reverted if need be.
What Is Git?
Git is a specific open-source version control system created by Linus Torvalds in 2005.
Specifically, Git is a distributed version control system, which means that the entire codebase and history is available on every developer’s computer, which allows for easy branching and merging.
According to a Stack Overflow developer survey, over 87% of developers use Git.
What Is GitHub, Then?
GitHub is a for-profit company that offers a cloud-based Git repository hosting service. Essentially, it makes it a lot easier for individuals and teams to use Git for version control and collaboration.
GitHub’s interface is user-friendly enough, so even novice coders can take advantage of Git. Without GitHub, using Git generally requires a bit more technical savvy and use of the command line.
GitHub is so user-friendly, though, that some people even use GitHub to manage other types of projects
Additionally, anyone can sign up and host a public code repository for free, which makes GitHub especially popular with open-source projects.
As a company, GitHub makes money by selling hosted private code repositories, as well as other business-focused plans that make it easier for organizations to manage team members and security.
So GitHub & Git is the same?
Actually, this is the most common question everyone asked. But the answer is NO.
Git is a version control system, a tool to manage your source code history.
But GitHub is a hosting service for Git repositories. So, they are not the same thing.
Git is the tool, GitHub is the hosting service for projects that use Git.