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What is Git?

Are you a software developer or aspiring to be one? Then you probably know about the importance of keeping track of changes you have made to your codebase. While there are other implementations of version control software out there, nothing is as widely used and popular as Git. Today, we will introduce it to you and finally answer the question: What is Git?

15 Sep, 21 by Antoniy Yushkevych 8 min Read

List of content you will read in this article:

Git is beneficial for anybody who develops code or tracks changes to files, from software developers to application developers. Then, in a nutshell, what is Git? And why do we need to consider employing it? This is an essential thing to grasp because if you know what Git is and how it works, utilizing Git successfully will be a lot easier. 

Well, if we put it simply, Git is a piece of software that allows you to monitor modifications in any group of files. It's typically utilized to coordinate work amongst programmers who are working on source code together amid software development. Let's take a deeper look and explore everything we can learn!

 

Git is the most extensively used version control system in the field. Git keeps track of the modifications you perform to files so you can see what you've done and go back to previous versions if you really need to. Git also facilitates cooperation by enabling many people's contributions to be blended into a single source.

Linus Torvalds designed Git for Linux kernel development in 2005, with other kernel engineers collaborating to its developmental stages. Since 2005, Junio Hamano has always been the lead maintainer. Every Git directory on every system, like most other decentralized operating systems and with the exception of most client-server systems, is a full-fledged library with the entire history and full version tracking capabilities, independent of network connection or a central server.

Git operates on your computer. Your system saves your data and its history. You may also save a copy of the files and their revision history using web hosts (like GitHub). You can work more readily with other developers if you have a central location in which you can submit your modifications and get modifications from someone else.

Git can blend modifications instantly so two individuals may work on separate portions of the same file and then combine their changes without losing each other's work! Isn't that amazing? Also, Git is a public and fully accessible software released under the terms of the General Public License, Version 2. You may use Git from a command line or a graphical user interface on your desktop.

 

When learning about the Git system as a whole, it's necessary to grasp some of the terminologies that go along with it. With the aid of the following points, these words may be clearly comprehended:

Open-Source System

It is critical to understand the structure of Git technology while understanding it. The term "open-source" refers to a system whose source code is publicly and easily accessible. It is the original source code, which may be changed further.

Distributed system

There is a repository that is located in a faraway location. This repository is kept in two different locations. For starters, it's on the server. It can also be obtained from the developer's PC. This means that, in addition to the central server, the repository is located in a distributed network.

Control system

The term "control system" refers to a system that is linked to a tracking system. The files may be saved for any further tracking with this approach.

Version-controlled

The code in the Git folder changes as new code and is uploaded to the folder. Furthermore, the developers continue to add code as they see fit. The full history is preserved using a version-controlled method.

 

As we explore Git further, consider putting other VCSs, such as Subversion or Perforce, off your memory; this will help you avoid minor misunderstandings while using the program. Despite the fact that Git's user interface is identical to that of these other VCSs, Git saves and considers data in a completely different way, and knowing the distinctions can prevent you from getting confused when using it. But what else makes Git unique and so favorable? Or what are its other features?

Importance

Git is a decentralized version control system (VCS) that can manage projects of any size, from tiny to extremely big. Git offers low-cost local branching, handy staging spaces, and a variety of workflows. Git is free, open-source software that reduces costs by allowing developers to use it without having to pay for it. It aids in the creation of non-linear applications. Different developers or teams may work separately without interfering with each other's work, thanks to Git.

Performance

Git's performance benefits set it apart. Branching and merging, committing fresh modifications, and comparing previous versions are all performance-optimized activities. Git's sophisticated algorithms are one of the program's strengths.

When calculating the tree's storage and version history, Git focuses solely on the file content. The source code files are constantly renamed, divided, and reorganized. Git repository files utilize a combination of delta encoding and compression in their object format. It saves the contents of directories as well as version information items.

Security

The security of controlled source code is Git's top priority. File content, versions, tags, and directories are all safe in a Git repository because the SHA1 hashing technique is employed, which provides a secure code record. Git keeps track of the source code's content history.

Flexibility

One of Git's benefits is its versatility in various areas:

  • Changes can be monitored because everybody who makes a modification ends up leaving a commit statement about it.
  • Backup and Restore - It aids in the preservation of source code backups.
  • Collaboration - It allows software developers to work together.
  • Branching and Merging - Modifications are performed on a branch, which may then be combined with the master branch following approval. You can see who modified the file and which sections of the material were altered.
  • Deployment - It simply takes one command to deploy the source code to the server.

 

Git is the most used version control system nowadays since it includes virtually everything that developers require to get better outcomes. The following are the primary causes behind this:

  • Git is so widely used that a vast percentage of developers can use it before graduating from college or university. Furthermore, Git is often regarded as the foundation of version control systems, as those who have mastered it may quickly master others.
  • Git is used by many major software products and services because of its popularity.
  • There are several books, courses, and even dedicated websites available to assist developers in their learning of Git.
  • Git is open-source software, which means that developers can use it without paying a fee.

The challenge of understanding Git is the major cause of its criticism. Some words in Git, in particular, may have different definitions than in other VCS. It is, nevertheless, worthwhile to understand it since knowing how to use Git gives teams and individual engineers a significant edge and is one of the pillars to their success in the future.

 

Just like the pros, it also has certain cons. These limitations are listed below:

  • Not suited for binary files: It fails when files containing binary data are present. It takes a long time to process each piece of work. This technology is incompatible with any file that does not support textual data.
  • Sub-trees cannot be checked: This system does not allow sub-trees to be checked. The necessity to establish several repositories with pre-package arises while verifying each individual project.

 

Because of the benefits it delivers, Git is a highly essential tool in software development. 

We've only covered the most fundamental Git functions in this article. In this article, you learned about the various elements of Git technology. This article's aim was to provide extensive descriptions that will give you an insight into such a system.

Our goal is to get you familiar with the notion so that you understand what Git is really about. Thanks for reading!

Antoniy Yushkevych

Master of word when it comes to technology, internet and privacy. I'm also your usual guy that always aims for the best result and takes a skateboard to work. If you need me, you will find me at the office's Counter-Strike championships on Fridays or at a.yushkevych@monovm.com