Git is an open source platform for program version control developed by Linux creator Linus Torvalds in 2005. As a version control tool, Git allows developers to see different versions of software and applications. When Torvalds designed it, Git was more flexible than other version control programs at the time because it is distributed: different sections of the code can show previous versions, rather than just one central section that contains a list of versions. This eliminates silos throughout the code and allows developers to view past versions of each piece of software they’re editing. Git offers better visibility for a group of developers who are working on different pieces of code simultaneously.
A few features and benefits of Git include:
- Management based on file content Git manages data from logs and files based on what is actually inside them rather than how they are labeled
- Branching and merging branching allows programmers to create a new section of code in which they want to execute a new feature experimentally. Once it’s satisfactory, they can merge it with the source code
- References objects can receive references, which make finding parts of code easier and make connections between similar objects. Requesting a reference pulls the referenced objects
- Packing objects all receive their own file when they are newly created in Git, but that takes up a lot of space. The packing feature helps compress objects better.
GitHub is a platform designed to host Git and add other features that help programmers collaborate. It was founded in 2008 and hosts repositories that store Git programs. GitHub also offers its own features and integrations with other software that developers can use. If developers have a GitHub account, they can collaborate and share projects with other users. GitHub also provides information and educational resources for learning more about Git.