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Issue 9.1


Get REAL with Git

A practical introduction to the Git source control tool.

Issue: 9.1 (November/December 2010)
Author: JC Cruz
Author Bio: JC is a freelance technical writer living in British Columbia. He frequently contributes to REALbasic Developer and MacTech magazine. He was also featured in the now defunct Python Magazine. He explores the capabilities of Cocoa, Python, REALStudio, and AppleScript. More importantly, he spends quality time with his dear nephew. He can be reached at anarakisware-at-gmail-dot-com
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 53,739
Starting Page Number: 42
Article Number: 9108
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Excerpt of article text...

When we last looked at source control, we learned how it helps us manage our project files and workflow. We also surveyed three popular source control tools, and studied their abilities and issues.

Now we take a close look at one of those source control tools, namely Git. We begin with a review of that tool's provenance, features, and limits. Then we study how Git prepares a project for source control. Next, we will learn how Git works in a typical project cycle. We will also learn how the tool creates and manages branches, and how it keeps track of changes.

Source Control and Git

For those of you who missed the last article (see references), source control is what we use to manage our digital files. Those files may comprise a software project, documentation, or even a web site. They may have a single owner, or they may have multiple owners who work as a team.

With source control in place, we can identify which files have changed and what those changes are. We can better coordinate work with other team members, avoiding conflicts and overwrites. We can use source control to block out some files for trial changes, and then merge those files back to the project. We can even create multiple versions of the same project and work on those versions in parallel.

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