We review GitHub

Source control is crucial to any developer. Not only is it important to securely store your code, having good version control lets you experiment more freely with new functions without constantly worrying you’ll wreck the program.

GitHub is a powerful and popular code hosting platform that lets you store, share and review code, track issues and collaborate with others. Simply put, GitHub is the largest and most widely used code host on the planet. Since launching in 2008, there are now more than 9 million users and 21 million repositories, which is why we thought a review was in order.

Largest code host in the world

As with similar services, such as BitBucket or GitLab, at the heart of GitHub is Git, an open source distributed version control system that manages and stores revisions of projects. When developers make changes they are made directly to a central repository. All this is managed in a web-based graphical interface and comes with advanced access control and several collaboration features such as wikis and task management tools.

Top features of GitHub

Here are just some of its many features:

  • Integrated issue tracking. Stay on top of bugs with a customisable issues page that lets you filter by open and closed issues, assignees, labels and milestones.
  • Collaborative code review. Streamline the process of discussing, reviewing and managing changes to your code. “Pull Requests” instigate conversations around what and where changes will occur, which then can be discussed by the whole team, and later committed and merged by the project lead.
  • Permission-based controls. Give your developers as much or as little access as required. Grant members read, read-write or admin-level access to repositories. Further, notifications make transparency and collaboration even easier.
  • Autocomplete text entry. Make quick work of mentioning people and teams, creating links to other issues and more with GitHub’s smart autocompleter (aka GitHub Flavored Markdown). It’s touted as a quick and easy distraction-free writing experience.
  • Windows and Mac plus mobile. Get native applications for Windows and Mac. Also, GitHub’s mobile web views make on-the-go tracking easy.

Any downsides?

It is free to use GitHub, but of course there are implications and limitations. The start with, only public repositories are free. In return for this free use, public repositories are made available for access and download by anyone.

There are private repositories available for projects that you don’t want to make publicly available. These are available through various Personal and Business Plans. Plans start from as little as $7/month and go up to as much as $200/month depending on how many private repositories you need.

In all plans, there is a storage limit of 1GB and a bandwidth of 1GB/month. Additional storage and bandwidth is possible if you purchase an add-on Data Pack.

Get more with iFactory

Good version control gives our web developers the freedom to create the most advanced features possible. It also gives our clients the security of knowing that the work we do to realise your digital solution is securely backed up at all times.

To find out how iFactory can drive your business further online, contact our team today on 07 3844 0577.

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