Branching

Branching is a feature of version control that allows developers to test new features within a software or application code before officially joining it with the active source code. A new branch within the code is basically a copied version of the first section of code, but it then receives its own name and can be edited separately. Branching may also be referred to as a stream or tree.

One of the most famous version control platforms that offers branching is Git, developed in 2005 by Linux creator Linus Torvalds.

Version control allows developers to move between different branches in the same section of the program so that they can experiment with features for a new version. However, these changes don’t have to be implemented with the rest of the code right away; they have time for testing. Once branches are ready to be joined, developers will merge them together. Although branching is very helpful for testing sections of code independent of the rest of the program, many developers recommend merging branches regularly so that the code doesn’t have trouble fitting together.

Branching is a crucial part of version control platforms; it permits developers to work on different sections of code simultaneously. Especially in large applications, being able to make concurrent edits without ruining someone else’s work is essential. Branching is just one way for developers to make software more reliable.

Branching differs from forking, in which developers create a new area of the code that’s intended to be independent, never to merge with the existing code.

Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps is a contributor for websites such as Webopedia.com and Enterprise Storage Forum. She writes about information technology security, networking, and data storage. Jenna lives in Nashville, TN.

Top Articles

The Complete List of 1500+ Common Text Abbreviations & Acronyms

From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 SMS, online chat, and text abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top...

List of Windows Operating System Versions & History [In Order]

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

Generations of Computers (1st to 5th)

Reviewed by Web Webster Learn about each of the 5 generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that...

Snail Mail

Snail mail, also called direct mail, is a slang term for...

CC vs BCC: What...

CC and BCC are two options to add third-party recipients to...

Eventbrite

  Eventbrite is an online event posting, event management, and ticketing website. Eventbrite can...