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Forking the code: how GitHub is changing software development

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Wired takes a look at the origins of GitHub, from the beginnings of the Git version control software in 2005, to the company's current roster of 1.3 million users.

Programming bookshelf (1020)
Programming bookshelf (1020)

The web-based software hosting service GitHub is everywhere lately, hosting over 2 million source code repositories being visited by 1.3 million users. Wired has a great look at the origins of the company — and the service itself — starting with the very beginnings of the Linus Torvalds-created Git version control software in 2005. What GitHub has excelled in doing is providing access and opportunity to programmers from around the world, giving them the chance to tinker with code that they may not have otherwise had the chance to touch, and then share their changes with a broad community of participants. It's a marked shift from the way software development had often been approached, with only a select few given permission to commit changes to a given piece of code, and others left lobbying for their own additions. GitHub is not strictly for programmers, either, with some using it for written works, and another user uploading their own DNA information. While not everyone is completely sold on GitHub — Torvalds himself has a few pieces of criticism — it's a great read, and a look into how much of the software we use in the future may come to be written.