Github: the essential things to remember about the open source platform

Not to be confused with Git, Github is a website providing developers with several services. They can freely store and manage their codes there. Essentially bringing together players in open source software on PC or Android, this platform offers multiple features. Among other things, it is a Cloud tool for sharing, saving and retrieving content. The goal is to create scalable mobile applications or PC programs. An entire community can contribute. This article gives the definition, but also explains the main features of Github.

Github, more than an open source project host

The term hub indicates a crossroads. Github is a meeting point for programmers from all backgrounds. Its main mission is to host coding projects. However, its vocation is to share and above all to bring to life PC software and applications that are completely royalty-free, but above all innovative. Contributors from all over the world can find computing adventures they want to take part in. Real communities form around the best ideas.

An open hosting site, Github supports the majority of programming languages. It supports almost all file types to make access universal. Images, videos, spreadsheets and in some cases texts are welcome. Many believe that the platform specializes in software development. This is false and reductive. It welcomes without the slightest discrimination projects without code and simple content to be saved.

A headquarters of coders under the supervision of Microsoft

Microsoft relies on Github for its Azure project. The Windows publisher is the owner of the site. The company bought it from its initiators for a whopping $7.5 billion 10 years after its creation. The community of coders works in a Windows ecosystem, but remains free as Chris Wantstrath wished. The founder and former CEO of the platform had the ambition to democratize programming. The source codes thus remain open.

Github advocates collaboration for each project developed within it. The platform is open to any suggestions for improvement. Contributors can raise problems or flaws in existing software and propose concrete solutions. New ideas thicken the list of features. Moreover, some members present a concept without having the technical skills to develop it. He will then find a whole team on the Coders Hub ready to lend him a hand in bringing his project to life.

Several ways to join the community

Access to Github is possible in several ways. The most recommended is to install the Git version management tool. It will then be necessary to issue commands from a prompt for Windows users. Another method is to visit A little navigation allows you to reach the “test” tab. Then there is the GitHub Desktop app. This is the easiest way to consult the host and the projects that are being prepared there.

Each new member of the community must open their Github account. He also needs to install a Git version control tool. In any case, the process can be done from any web browser. You will then need to go to the “Sign up” tab. Brief instructions are given to the visitor. In all cases, follow the necessary procedure to have your identifier.

Access the different folders

There are several requirements to use Github correctly. In particular, you will need to download the most recent version of the platform. Compatibility with the user’s computer operating system must be checked. The team gives a precise order. You will need to copy it into the terminal window. The word “Name” should be replaced by the name of the contributor. Furthermore, the “user@example” address must be changed to the future collaborator’s email.

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On Github, each project is stored in a virtual repository hangar. This location is divided into folders, then files. The user can classify them according to their wishes. Most repositories include and The latter explains the ins and outs of the project. There is in particular the method of construction. For its part, provides the license as well as the ideas of the developer.

Submit a file or project on the site

Files and projects to be hosted on Github can be local and remote. For this last option, you must see the “+” icon on the toolbar. Then, you must continue with “New Repository”. The file should be renamed and the custodian must provide a description. He can decide whether the content is private or public. Resetting a file is done from the “Initialize this repository” icon. The information should be left as clearly as possible.

As for a local repository, you will need Git tools. On their computer, the user must open a folder. Then, he must launch the command prompt which points to the content he has just created. The path is preceded by “cd”. This local repository can be linked with a remote repository. That said, you must specify the URL followed by the suffix “. git”. Validation is done with the “Enter” key. It is possible to add extensions using the “git add” command.

The same project available in several versions

Github is unique in that it allows you to host multiple versions of the same project. This aspect gives coders the opportunity to test new features. The branching system consists of a main trunk and several extensions. Files under development are labeled “dev” or “beta”. These names distinguish them from saved files. The owner can decide to change the status of a file at any time. It goes from a stable format to a version to be developed and vice versa.

Github carefully stores the work carried out on current projects. In addition, the site allows you to collect opinions from developers who have looked into the matter. Branches are also used to keep multiple versions specific to a group of users. Classification can be done by specific operating system or other preference. The “Branch: Master” button enriches the tree structure.

Multiple benefits for Github

GitHub has a number of advantages for those who know how to use it.

  • The platform facilitates project creation and management.
  • Developers can count on other collaborators.
  • The work and its updating are carried out in complete transparency with respect for deadlines in addition.
  • This site offers security, particularly with “private” sharing.
  • It is a collaborative tool that could be extended to a community.
  • Open source packages can be used legally.
  • Organizing a team becomes easier on Github.
  • Moderation encourages members of each group to stay focused.
  • With the pull requests tool, it is possible to propose new codes.
  • Technical means of analysis find vulnerabilities in code.

Some competitors are available

The GitHub business sector is very competitive. There are relatively many providers offering the same specialized hosting services. There are so many offers that expert companies in the field have had to aim for specific targets. Names like Bitbucket, Phabricator, Google Cloud Source Repositories, GitLab, and Gogs no longer need to be introduced to coders. They can also turn to Gitea, Apache Allura, SourceForge, AWS CodeCommit and Launchpad.

Faced with strong competitive pressure, Github must stay one step ahead of its opponents. Since May 2021, the site invites you to save, extract or work on videos. Furthermore, this format allows you to communicate effectively with other programmers. Better than files, it explains the objectives and scope of the work to be carried out more quickly. Employees can also express themselves more easily. They can even make annotations in the code using tools like Loom and Vimeo.