Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Allow GIT into Your Life !











Have you started to work with GIT already? Are you making GIT part of your daily programming life? Do you know how to clone a repo, add files, make a commit and push your changes using the console? Maybe through a visual GIT interface?

If the answer is yes, then you are already on track and probably know far more than myself regarding GIT. However, if your answer is no, then you might get some useful information if you keep reading.

I have used a few source control tools in my career. I have used Team Foundation Server (TFS) for .NET projects, which is quite robust and powerful, although big and somewhat difficult to set up and maintain. I have also used SVN, mainly with TortouiseSVN, which is quite common in open source and flash projects.

But we all know that things are moving towards GIT and similar distributed source control systems. I know that sometimes it would be really hard or even impossible for you to convince your colleagues or your tech directors to move towards newer source control systems. IT will always argue against it, especially if they already have a big centralized source control system in place.

No matter what is your situation, you should at least use GIT for your personal projects. You should check other distributed systems, like Mercurial (I’m doing it right now)  There’s nothing better than to share code, to provide and share knowledge, samples and experiences. I use to blog and share small bits of code, but it will always be better if you can actually share a full project, that people can compile and run. Additionally, if you commit yourself to maintain your prototypes, ideas, samples and such source controlled, you will get a lot of benefits !

So, I set myself up to start committing my prototypes and samples to Github so I can share them easily and post the links on my blog. I’m a Windows user, so I’m not used to typing commands in an ugly, unfriendly black screen. Add to that that I haven’t had to deal much with SSH and such, so getting started in my context is a bit hard and out of my comfort zone (which is actually quite good).

There are tons of useful blogs, tutorials, articles and guidelines about how to set up and start using GIT. However, it took me a bit of time and trial and error to get my stuff running, so let me share with you the info that actually got me up and running, hopefully it will help you too.

Install a GIT Tool: First, you need to install some kind of GIT utility. I chose msysgit for Windows, which apparently is the one people are pushing for.

Create your SSH key: you need to create your SSH key on your machine. You will add this key later to your remote GIT server account.

Create your Github account: well, actually is just creating your remote GIT server account, it might be a private company or client server, or your own server, although Github is by far the most popular GIT server, and is free !

Add your SSH key to your Git server account: once you have everything ready, you need to make sure to add the SSH key you generated, to your remote server account, so you can actually push your local changes to the server.

Check out the following links to get some help and guidance:

Hope it helps you out ! Make sure to check my stuff on Github here.

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