Blogging about our lives online.


Git Whyto

There are plenty of Git howto's on the internet, instead I think many people need a Git whyto. This guide is specifically focused on using Git and GitHub for personal projects like writing, publishing and creative work.

1. Complete Content Control

Git basically tracks any folder you tell it to. As you make changes to files, you can commit the changes, roll back the changes or create branches to try out alternate paths without messing with the main branch. You then push these changes to GitHub, which is simply a mirror of the files on-disk.

2. Responsibile Collaboration

It's easy to add others as collaborators on your project, and easy to see what, when and how much they changed. Any changes that you don't agree with are easily rolled back to previous versions.

3. Tracking Intentions

Each time you commit a change, you write a short description of the change. This helps you to get a sense of where the project is at, what you were thinking, and what still needs work.

4. Scalable Projects

Personal projects start out small, but there is a chance one of them may catch fire and become a big idea. Git works well with a single contributor or thousands of contributors. And if the project takes off, you will have the track record of the entire project right from the first commit.

5. Universal Appeal

Git was designed for software projects but it really has many compelling features for any project, from thesis to portfolio to presentation. System-wide backup plans like Time Machine are great on the large scale, Git allows the same kind of snapshots on a per-folder basis but adds the ability to merge, clone and modify these snapshots across many computers.

One slight problem with GitHub is that the free version only allows public projects (view and download).

If your project is private you can always just use git on your personal computer, zip the folder and back it up to Google Docs. You can then unzip the folder to any other computer and it will work with git exactly as it should. Or, alternatively, you could keep your master on an external hard drive and merge changes from your laptop, desktop and work computers without a problem.

No comments:

Post a Comment