The GitHub logo
|Slogan||Build software better, together|
|Type of site||Collaborative revision control|
|Registration||Optional (required for creating and joining projects)|
|Alexa rank||168 (July 2014[update])|
GitHub is a Git repository web-based hosting service which offers all of the functionality of Git as well as adding many of its own features. Unlike Git, which is strictly a command-line tool, Github provides a web-based graphical interface and desktop as well as mobile integration. It also provides access control and several collaboration features such as wikis, task management, and bug tracking and feature requests for every project.
GitHub offers both paid plans for private repositories, and free accounts, which are usually used to host open source software projects. As of 2014, Github reports having over 3.4 million users, making it the largest code host in the world.
GitHub has become such a staple amongst the open-source development community that many developers have begun considering it a replacement for a conventional resume and some employers require applications to provide a link to and have an active contributing GitHub account in order to qualify for a job.
Development of the GitHub platform began on 19 October 2007. The site was launched in April 2008 by Tom Preston-Werner, Chris Wanstrath, and PJ Hyett after it had been made available for a few months prior as a beta period.
Projects on GitHub can be accessed and manipulated using the standard git command-line interface and all of the standard git commands work with it. GitHub also allows registered and non-registered users to browse public repositories on the site. Multiple desktop clients have also been created by GitHub and other third parties which integrate with the platform.
The site provides social networking functionality such as feeds, followers, wikis (using gollum Wiki software) and a social network graph to display how developers work on their versions ("forks") of a repository and which fork is newest.
A user must create a profile in order to contribute content to the site, but public repositories can be browsed and downloaded by anyone. With a registered user account, users are able to discuss, manage, create repositories, submit contributions to others' repositories, and review changes to code.
GitHub also operates other services: a pastebin-style site called Gist which is for hosting code snippets, whereas Github proper would be for hosting larger projects, and a slide hosting service called Speaker Deck.
GitHub is mostly used for code, but is also sometimes used for non-code types of files like Final Cut or Word documents. GitHub is not solely for programmers: in their educational videos, GitHub states that any "knowledge worker" (defined as most any professional whom makes use of a computer) can benefit.
In addition to source code, GitHub supports the following formats and features:
- 3D render files which can be previewed using a new integrated STL file viewer which displays the files on a 3D canvas. The viewer is powered by WebGL and Three.js.
- Photoshop's native PSD format can be previewed and compared to previous versions of the same file.
- Nested task-lists
- Documentation and wikis
- Small websites can be hosted from public repositories on Github. The URL format is http://projectname.github.io.
- Issue tracking (including feature requests)
- Visualization of geospatial data
- Gantt charts
Terms of Service
GitHub's Terms of Service does not require public software projects hosted on GitHub to meet the Open Source Definition.
GitHub Enterprise is similar to GitHub's public service but is designed for use by large-scale enterprise software development teams where the enterprise wishes to host their repositories behind a corporate firewall.
Gist builds upon that idea by adding version control for code snippets, easy forking, and SSL encryption for private pastes. Because each “gist” is its own Git repository, multiple code snippets can be contained in a single paste and they and be pushed and pulled using Git. Further, forked code can be pushed back to the original author in the form of a patch, so pastes can become more like mini-projects.
- 24 February 2009: GitHub team members announced in a talk at Yahoo! headquarters on that during the first year that GitHub was online, it accumulated 46,000 public repositories, 17,000 of them in the previous month alone. At that time, about 6,200 repositories had been forked at least once and 4,600 merged.
- 5 July 2009: a GitHub Blog post announced that they had reached the 100,000 users mark.
- 27 July 2009: In another talk delivered at Yahoo!, Tom Preston-Werner announced that GitHub had grown to host 90,000 unique public repositories, 12,000 having been forked at least once, for a total of 135,000 repositories.
- 25 July 2010: GitHub announced that it hosts 1 million repositories.
- 20 April 2011: GitHub announced that it is hosting 2 million repositories.
- 9 July 2012: Peter Levine, general partner at GitHub's investor Andreessen Horowitz, stated that GitHub had been growing revenue at 300% annually since 2008 "profitably nearly the entire way".
- 16 January 2013: GitHub announced it had passed the 3 million users mark and was then hosting more than 5 million repositories.
- 23 December 2013: GitHub announced it had reached 10 million repositories.
As of December 2012[update], GitHub, Inc. was a flat organization with no middle managers; in other words, "everyone is a manager" (self-management). Employees can choose to work on projects that interest them (open allocation). However, salaries are set by the chief executive, Tom Preston-Werner.
However, in 2014, GitHub, Inc. introduced a layer of middle management. 
GitHub.com is a successful start-up business backed by venture-capital investments with its first investor coming in July 2012, 4 years after the company was founded. The company received its first major investment of $100M, made by a single investor in 2012, Andreessen Horowitz.
- Bug tracking system
- Collaborative intelligence
- Collaborative innovation network
- Commons-based peer production
- Computer programmers
- Git (software)
- Open source
- Open source license
- Request Tracker
- Shared source
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