BootCamp Workshop 3: Distributed Version Control with Git

Continuously renaming an index.html file to a series of files that look something like index-old-07b-nov-2010.html. Emailing a file to share it with others and ceasing all work while you wait for their changes to come back. Remembering which emailed or renamed file had some content or a bit of functionality or design, now gone, that you would really like back. The cat walking across the keyboard and managing to simultaneously hit Ctrl and S, saving her changes to your web page or WordPress template right over the top of yours. Permanently.

Welcome to hell.

This workshop will introduce the conceptual and basic pragmatic use of Git, a powerful piece of free and open-source software for distributed version control (sometimes referred to as ‘content versioning,’ ‘revision control’ or even ‘change management’). So powerful, in fact, that it enables thousands of developers to independently and simultaneously revise and improve the Linux operating system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: something most of us struggle to do with a single document co-written by three people.

Due to time constraints, participants should install Git prior to coming to this Workshop. Well-maintained instructions for Mac, Windows, and Linux users are all available on GitHub; in cases where there are multiple methods for installing Git, GitHub has listed the easiest method first (none are harder than that for any other piece of software you may have installed).

The workshop will begin with the simple configuration of Git and move on to creating or cloning a Git repository. From there, we’ll focus on the most everyday uses of Git: regularly establishing the history of changes to a project–and inspecting, traversing, sharing, and even manipulating that history.

Workshop materials are available as a Git repository on GitHub; see https://github.com/karlstolley/git-workshop-i

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