Category Archives: Github

The Intersection of Github… and Babylon 5?

Lurkers guide to Babylon 5Back in the 1990’s I was a huge fan of the show “Babylon 5” for a great number of reasons. It remains, to this day, one of the best series I’ve ever watched on TV and I greatly admire the creator/writer, J. Michael Straczynski, for the narrative arc he used over the five year run of the series as well as the overall “universe” he created.

One of the web sites that those of us who enjoyed Babylon 5 frequently used was “The Lurker’s Guide to Babylon 5“. The pages there helped in the understanding of how all the pieces fit together and frequently offered glimpses of what was coming ahead. It was a great tool and reference source.

Today a Google search brought me back to that site although I hadn’t been there in years. And in visiting I learned that as of this past December the entire source for the website is now available on Github at:

https://github.com/sgrimm/lurkers-guide

It’s very cool that site creator Steven Grimm has made his site publicly available via Github. As he notes, others can now fork the code, send him updates via pull requests, etc.

It is also a great example of how I’ve told people that Github, and git in general, can be used for so much more than simply “source code” and that you don’t need to be a programmer to use it.

Plus… if you wander through some of the pages, like this one, it’s kind of fun to see references to how we used to get our information: “Stay caught up with the Usenet B5 discussions, which are often a great source of material.” ūüôā

Cool stuff!

Use Google+? Join the Github and Git Communities

Github community on Google+Are you a Google+ use who is also interested in the git version control system and the Github hosting service? ¬†If so, there are two of the new “communities” in Google+ that you may find of interest:

In the short time communities have been around on Google+, I’ve already found both of these communities to have very useful information and links in them related to Git and Github. ¬†Well worth checking out and joining if you are a regular Google+ user.

And if you are a Google+ user, why not connect with me there?

P.S. We can also connect on Github.

SourceForge Redesigns Itself To Compete With Github

sourceforgeWhen I received an email today telling me that one of my ancient projects was being “upgraded” to the “new” SourceForge developer platform, I had to admit that I had no clue that SourceForge was even¬†launching a new platform.

But sure enough, “The Next SourceForge” is out with a host of redesigned features that do look nice… and do remind me of everything that I currently use over on Github!

Of course, the project being “upgraded” is a small python app called “viewportfolio” that I wrote back in 2000 during the height of the .COM insanity when Red Hat’s stock had exploded and the tech bubble was all around us.

I last touched the code over 12 years ago!

I have no clue if it actually still works – and to be quite honest if I were to do anything with that app today, even to test it and make any fixes, I’d probably move it first to my Github account where I do all my work today.

But back twelve years, SourceForge¬†was¬†THE place where you hosted your project. ¬†Everyone was using “SF” and it was where we all interacted for code.

Then, over time, it became a site so hideously overwhelmed with advertising that it was close to useless to interact with the site. And, well, more and more people started using the git version control system and for quite some time SourceForge seemed to still be wedded to SVN.

So I moved any new projects over to Github, as did many others that I knew, and I left SourceForge behind, only occasionally going in there when I needed to find older projects. ¬†Even today, I’m working with someone who has a project on SF, but he’s moving that to Github in the next few weeks where I can work on it with him and where we’ll publicize it.

I applaud the folks behind SourceForge for launching “The Next SourceForge,” if for no other reason than that I do believe it is healthy to have competition around – and having another competitor for Github (there are several already) is a good thing in that it will continue to encourage innovation among the platforms providing project hosting services.

It’s also great to see the visual redesign of SF – a¬†much cleaner interface and thankfully all the ads that were slathered all over the site seem to be gone. ¬†And these new features¬†do seem to be great improvements for projects hosted on SF.

Will “The Next SourceForge” prompt me to launch new projects on SF? ¬†Or to stop migrating projects away?

Probably NOT.

The reality is that I’m now comfortably ensconced over on Github and I rather like it there. I guess I also trust¬†the people/company behind Github more than I do Dice Holdings, the latest corporate overlord of SourceForge, in terms of being responsive to users and to continuing to improve the user experience. ¬†Now this may be unfair… the folks behind SourceForge may be as equally committed as the folks behind Github… but one is a passionate startup and the other is part of a large¬†publicly-traded¬†company that is ultimately focused on helping connect employers and professionals with each other.

What about you? ¬†Will “The Next SourceForge” get you to open new projects there? (Or to not migrate away?)

Github’s “Command Bar” Makes Site Navigation So Much Faster

Recently Github introduced a new “Command Bar” into the site that I simply have to comment on because I find it so useful. It’s sitting right up there at the top of the site looking like your garden-variety “search” box:

Github command bar blank

But in truth it is so much more than just a search box. As explained in the Github blog post, this “Command Bar” lets you perform tasks such as:

  • View a user’s profile
  • Go to a repository
  • List a user’s repositories
  • List issues
  • Search open issues
  • Jump to the wiki associated with a repo
  • See the graphs associated with a repo

As an example, I started typing in the name of one of the repos with which I work (a WordPress theme). You can see in the screenshot below the available commands that I can add to jump to various parts of the repo:

Github command bar

You can also enter a user’s name with the “@” sign before it to jump to that user’s profile. For example, I am “@danyork“.

All in all it’s a very cool way to quickly navigate through the Github site. Thanks to the Github team for adding this functionality… if you are on Github, give it a try!

New Github for Mac 1.1 Release Nov 23rd…

GitHubforMac

I just noticed yesterday that a new version of Github for Mac was released on November 23rd. The blog post about the 1.1 release highlights the major changes as:

  • The “Changes” view has been completely redesigned.
  • The ability from the GUI to commit individual lines of code.
  • A “Commit & Sync” feature so that you have just one step to get your code on Github (or wherever it is hosted).
  • Full screen support for Lion.
  • Tracking repositories if they are moved or renamed.

I’ve gone ahead and downloaded Mac for Github 1.1 and am looking forward to seeing how it works.

P.S. And yes, being perhaps old-skool, I mostly use the command line to work with git. But there are times when a GUI is nice, particularly when looking at changes between versions.

How To Create Github-style “Fork Me” Ribbons Using Only CSS

Githubribbons

Can you create a “Fork Me On Github” ribbon using only CSS? And have it say some other message?

That was the question I asked myself while working on a new website (for the new job). You see, the new website is going to go online in a “preview” mode and I wanted some way to very clearly indicate to visitors that the site is still in development. I’ve seen the Github ribbons on many project sites and thought this might be a great way to do the kind of marking that I want to do.

The problem is that the “official” Github Ribbons are simply images that are overlaid on your site using absolute positioning in CSS.

With an image, of course, I can’t modify the text to have my own message. And while the PSD files are available for the ribbons, I didn’t want to get into modifying images.

I figured with the modern browsers we have I ought to somehow be able to do this using plain old text and Cascading Style Sheets.

Thankfully, I found out that Daniel Perez Alvarez had already done this with a wonderful walk-through:

He steps right through the process showing you exactly what you need to do in CSS to approximate the images.

John Balogh from Mozilla wrote a similar post a bit earlier with a slightly different recipe:

Both posts were helpful to me in learning more about how you can manipulate text using CSS.

Of course, the question is…

WILL THIS WORK IN MANY BROWSERS?

Daniel Perez Alvarez includes a table at the end of his post showing which browsers would support this technique as of when he wrote the post in October 2009. I’d like to hope that two years later more browsers will support these techniques… but then again, there are still people out there using IE6 so we can’t expect newer browsers to be widely deployed.

Still, for the target audience for my new website I’m going to expect many of the users will be using newer browsers – and I’m going to see what I can do to make it degrade gracefully (as in, not appear) for older browsers.

My ribbon looks great… and no, I can’t show it to you yet. ūüėČ

Thanks to both Daniel Perez Alvarez and John Balogh for posting their tutorials online.

Amusing Video Tutorial: Let’s Suck at Github Together

If you want to learn more about using git and Github, or are a fan/user of git/Github (as I am) and want to pass along a video tutorial for others to see, you may enjoy this episode from Chris Coyier entitled “CSS-Tricks #101: Let’s Suck at GitHub Together“. As you can tell from the title, Chris doesn’t mind poking some fun at his own abilities – and his own aversion to the command-line and preference for GUI utilities.

For me personally, I’m rather “old skool” and typically prefer the command-line, but I appreciate that many people don’t… and I enjoyed Chris’ entertaining episode. Sure, as some commenters noted, there were a few minor inaccuracies/faults… but overall it did the job well in helping introduce people to what git and Github together can do. I can’t embed the video here, but if you click on the image below you’ll be taken to his site where you can view the episode…

Csstricks github video

And if you are over on Github, you can follow me there as github.com/danyork.

The FCC … on Github??? and releasing a WordPress plugin???

FCC logoI love being surprised… did you know that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is making code available as open source over on Github? And that FCC staffers have released a WordPress plugin?

I discovered this via a tweet from someone that brought me to the “Official FCC Blog” and the July 6th post, “Contributing Code Back: FCC.gov‚Äôs Open-Source Feedback Loop,” that outlines many of the contributions they have been making.

As a long-time open source advocate, I’m thrilled to see the FCC doing this. It’s great to see them on Github – and it’s great to see them giving back to the WordPress ecosystem.

And I love that they end the post asking readers to fork their code and contribute changes back!

Great to see – and kudos to the FCC “new media” team for getting involved in this way.

Quick Way to See What Programming Languages Are Used on Github

Ever wonder what programming languages are the most popular? One way is to look at a programming community and see what is being used within that space. A large community right now in 2011 is the people using Github for git repositories (and I am one of those) and Github nicely provides a URL showing the languages in use:

https://github.com/languages

When I look at the chart at the time I’m writing this post, it looks like this:

Githublanguages

This is across 600,000+ developers and close to 1.8 million git repositories.

Given that historically many Ruby developers used git and Github, it’s not surprising to see Ruby there. With JavaScript, I have to wonder if its ranking is due to the phenomenal interest in Node.js and the heavy usage of git and Github within that community. Glad to see my old friend python hanging in there, too. The Microsoft languages like C# are missing… but then they simply may not be well represented within the Github user base.

Like any measurement this can only be taken as language popularity within the Github community. Measurement within another community would give different results. Still, the Github space is very vibrant and dynamic with lots of energy… it’s interesting to see what folks there are using.

Want to see what I’m working on? Follow me on Github…

github.jpgIf you want to track what I’m working on for programming projects these days, the best place to go is my Github account at:

http://github.com/danyork

If you are also a Github user (and accounts are free), you can simply “follow” me so that my updates appear in your Github “News Feed”. Or, you can simply go back to that page from time to time. ūüôā

I am a big fan of the Git version control system and I do use git for pretty much all my coding projects right now… and generally link all the public projects into Github.