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What is Git?

in Misc on April 27, 2020

By far, the most widely used modern version control system in the world today is Git.

Git is a mature, actively maintained open source project originally developed in 2005 by Linus Torvalds, the famous creator of the Linux operating system kernel. A staggering number of software projects rely on Git for version control, including commercial projects as well as open source.

Git is a distributed version-control system for tracking changes in source code during software development. It is designed for coordinating work among programmers, but it can be used to track changes in any set of files.

A distributed version control (or distributed revision control) is a form of version control in which the complete codebase, including its full history, is mirrored on every developer's computer. So, distributed revision control synchronizes repositories by transferring patches from peer to peer. There is no single central version of the codebase; instead, each user has a working copy and the full change history.

Git is a distributed version control system, meaning your local copy of code is a complete version control repository. These fully-functional local repositories make it is easy to work offline or remotely. You commit your work locally, and then sync your copy of the repository with the copy on the server. This paradigm differs from centralized version control where clients must synchronize code with a server before creating new versions of code.

Git lets developers see the entire timeline of their changes, decisions, and progression of any project in one place. From the moment they access the history of a project, the developer has all the context they need to understand it and start contributing.

Without version control, team members are subject to redundant tasks, slower timelines, and multiple copies of a single project. To eliminate unnecessary work, Git and other Version Control Systems give each contributor a unified and consistent view of a project, surfacing work that’s already in progress. Seeing a transparent history of changes, who made them, and how they contribute to the development of a project helps team members stay aligned while working independently.

According to the latest Stack Overflow developer survey, more than 70 percent of developers use Git, making it the most-used VCS in the world. Git is commonly used for both open source and commercial software development, with significant benefits for individuals, teams and businesses.

Git serves as the foundation for many services, like GitHub and GitLab, but you can use Git without using any other service.

Git takes snapshots of a project, and stores those snapshots as unique versions. Every time you save your work, Git creates a commit. A commit is a snapshot of all your files at a point in time. If a file has not changed from one commit to the next, Git uses the previously stored file.

Sources

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