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Main topic: git and github
git: software for developers to handle revision control. (You can read more about git on wikipedia.)
gist: lets you create public snippets of code that you can share publicly. If someone asks for some code, you can share it with them through gist.
github is a great way to develop open source code projects, learn what others are working on, and get new code to try out for yourself. It’s free to use if all code is open source and available; you can pay monthly fees for private workspace on github.
Pat explained that he and Nick were working on a project together, and needed a way to work collaboratively without overwriting each other’s code. They created a repository of all the files they were going to be working on so that they could check out files that represented the most recent version. github will mark all changes in the history, compare versions, and update the files to reflect the changes. When you view a file you can see what has been added or deleted from a file. You have control over what gets updated, so you can choose to merge just added lines of a file.
In addition to collaborative work, you can follow different users/developers as well as follow projects under development.
The development community tends to police projects so if someone posts malicious or bad code, someone else will likely correct it.
github: distributed version control system/repository; you have a local version of the repository that you can commit and make sure it’s working properly before you commit to the main repository
Subversion/SVN: nondistributed version control
You can use gist to post code, browse other gists, and even use the code on your WordPress site (there are plugins you can install to do this). There are no private gists. For an example, check out Bill Erickson’s gist for a popular posts widget.
Bitbucket is another git hosting service.
If you use git/github/gist in your WordPress development process, please post in the comments how you’ve found it useful.