GitHub Introduction


GitHub is a code hosting platform for version control and collaboration. It lets you and others work together on projects from anywhere. Here is some basic “Hello World” documentation to get you started on GitHub, after you create an account. I have included below some of the instructions on the page the the Hello World link points to.

A repository is usually used to organize a single project. Repositories can contain folders and files, images, videos, spreadsheets, and data sets – anything your project needs. We recommend including a README, or a file with information about your project. GitHub makes it easy to add one at the same time you create your new repository. It also offers other common options such as a license file. Your hello-world repository can be a place where you store ideas, resources, or even share and discuss things with others.

Branching is the way to work on different versions of a repository at one time. By default your repository has one branch named master which is considered to be the definitive branch. We use branches to experiment and make edits before committing them to master.

When you create a branch off the master branch, you’re making a copy, or snapshot, of master as it was at that point in time. If someone else made changes to the master branch while you were working on your branch, you could pull in those updates.

Here at GitHub, our developers, writers, and designers use branches for keeping bug fixes and feature work separate from our master (production) branch. When a change is ready, they merge their branch into master.

Gist

A GitHub gist is a great way to share your work. You can share single files, parts of files, or full applications. You can access gists at https://gist.github.com. Every gist is a Git repository, which means that it can be forked and cloned. Secret gists don’t show up in Discover and are not searchable. Use them to jot down an idea that came to you in a dream, create a to-do list, or prepare some code or prose that’s not ready to be shared with the world. Secret gists aren’t private. If you send the URL of a secret gist to a friend, they’ll be able to see it. However, if someone you don’t know discovers the URL, they’ll also be able to see your gist. If you need to keep your code away from prying eyes, you may want to create a private repository instead.

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