From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Github)
Jump to: navigation, search
GitHub logo 2013.svg
Web address
Slogan Build software better, together
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Collaborative revision control
Registration Optional (required for creating and joining projects)
Available in English
Written in Ruby, JavaScript
Owner GitHub, Inc.
Launched April 2008[1]
Alexa rank positive decrease 168 (July 2014)[2]
Current status Online

GitHub is a Git repository web-based hosting service, which offers all of the distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) functionality of Git as well as adding 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.[3]

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,[4] making it the largest code host in the world.[5]

GitHub has become such a staple among the open-source development community that many developers have begun considering it a replacement for a conventional resume, and some employers require applicants to provide a link to and have an active contributing GitHub account in order to qualify for a job.[6][7][Unreliable fringe source?]



Development of the GitHub platform began on 19 October 2007.[8][9] 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.[1]

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[1] which is for hosting code snippets, whereas GitHub proper would be for hosting larger projects, and a slide hosting service called Speaker Deck.

The software that runs GitHub was written using Ruby on Rails and Erlang by GitHub, Inc. (previously known as Logical Awesome) developers Chris Wanstrath,[10] PJ Hyett, and Tom Preston-Werner.

GitHub launched a new program to give students free access to their tools on October 7th, 2014. It is called the GitHub Student Developer Pack. GitHub will partner with Bitnami, Crowdflower, DigitalOcean, DNSimple, HackHands, Namecheap, Orchestrate, Screenhero, SendGrid, Stripe, Travis CI and Unreal Engine to launch the program.[11]


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 almost any professional who 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.[12] 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
  • Issue tracking (including feature requests)
  • Visualization of geospatial data
  • Gantt charts

Terms of Service[edit]

GitHub's Terms of Service does not require public software projects hosted on GitHub to meet the Open Source Definition.

GitHub Enterprise[edit]

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.[13]


Tom Preston-Werner presented the new Gist feature at a punk rock Ruby conference in 2008.[14] 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 can 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.


One of GitHub's primary revenue streams is GitHub Jobs[15] where employers can post job offers for $450/listing. GitHub's salespeople are not paid on a commission basis.[16]


The shading of the map illustrates the number of users as a proportion of each country’s Internet population. The circular charts surrounding the two hemispheres depict the total number of GitHub users (left) and commits (right) per country.
  • 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.[17]
  • 25 July 2010: GitHub announced that it hosts 1 million repositories.[18]
  • 20 April 2011: GitHub announced that it is hosting 2 million repositories.[19]
  • 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".[20]
  • 16 January 2013: GitHub announced it had passed the 3 million users mark and was then hosting more than 5 million repositories.[21]
  • 23 December 2013: GitHub announced it had reached 10 million repositories.[22]


Organizational structure[edit]

As of December 2012, GitHub, Inc. was a flat organization with no middle managers; in other words, "everyone is a manager" (self-management).[23] Employees can choose to work on projects that interest them (open allocation). However, salaries are set by the chief executive, Tom Preston-Werner.[24][needs update]

However, in 2014, GitHub, Inc. introduced a layer of middle management. [25]

Finance[edit] is a start-up business, which in its first years provided enough revenue to be funded solely by its three founders and start taking on employees.[26] In July 2012, four years after the company was founded, Andreessen Horowitz invested $100M in venture capital.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Catone, Josh (July 24, 2008). "GitHub Gist is Pastie on Steroids". 
  2. ^ " Alexa Ranking". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  3. ^ a b Williams, Alex (July 9, 2012). "GitHub Pours Energies into Enterprise – Raises $100 Million From Power VC Andreessen Horowitz". Tech Crunch. "Andreessen Horowitz is investing an eye-popping $100 million into GitHub" 
  4. ^ Whitaker, Marisa (April 2014). "Former UC student establishes a celebrated website in GitHub that simplifies coding collaboration for millions of users". University of Cincinnati. Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  5. ^ Georgios Gousios; Bogdan Vasilescu; Alexander Serebrenik; Andy Zaidman. "Lean GHTorrent: GitHub Data on Demand". The Netherlands: Delft University of Technology & †Eindhoven University of Technology. p. 1. Retrieved 9 July 2014. "During recent years, GITHUB (2008) has become the largest code host in the world." 
  6. ^ Doubrovkine, Daniel (July 14, 2011). "Github Is Your New Resume". Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  7. ^ "Github Is Your Resume Now". June 17, 2012. Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  8. ^ Weis, Kristina (2014-02-10). "GitHub CEO and Co-Founder Chris Wanstrath Keynoting Esri’s DevSummit!". "in 2007 they began working on GitHub as a side project" 
  9. ^ Preston-Werner, Tom (October 19, 2008). "GitHub Turns One!". GitHub. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  10. ^ "Interview with Chris Wanstrath". 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  11. ^ By Frederic Lardinois, TechCrunch. “GitHub Partners With Digital Ocean, Unreal Engine, Others To Give Students Free Access To Developer Tools.” October 7, 2014. October 7, 2014.
  12. ^ Weinhoffer, Eric (2013-04-09). "GitHub Now Supports STL File Viewing". 
  13. ^ "Introducing GitHub Enterprise". GitHub. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Preston-Werner, Tom (2008-07-20). "God's memory leak - a scientific treatment". RubyFringe. Retrieved 2014-10-21. "He previewed the upcoming git feature gist" 
  15. ^ "Github Jobs API". 
  16. ^ "Github Raises $100 Million From Andreessen Horowitz". Forbes. July 9, 2012. 
  17. ^ Dascalescu, Dan (3 November 2009). "The PITA Threshold: GitHub vs. CPAN". Dan Dascalescu's Wiki. 
  18. ^ "One Million Repositories, Git Official Blog". 25 July 2010. 
  19. ^ "Those are some big numbers, Git Official Blog". 20 April 2011. 
  20. ^ Peter Levine (2012-07-09). "Software Eats Software Development". 
  21. ^ "Code-sharing site Github turns five and hits 3.5 million users, 6 million repositories". 2013-04-11. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  22. ^ "10 Million Repositories". 2013-12-23. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  23. ^ Ryan Tomayko (2 April 2012). "Show How, Don't Tell What - A Management Style". Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  24. ^ Quentin Hardy. "Dreams of 'Open' Everything". New York Times. 
  25. ^ Evelyn, Rusli (17 July 2014). "Harassment claims make startup GitHub grow up". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  26. ^ Michael, Carney (June 20, 2013). "GitHub CEO explains why the company took so damn long to raise venture capital". PandoDaily. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 

External links[edit]