Get Started with Git

by Al Shaw

17 Reader Comments

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  1. I’m the only designer in my office that uses Git. It’s too technical for the average artsy-fartsy type to “get” git. I wish there was “Mindless Git”. For instance, “Dropbox”:dropbox.com does versioning on its synced folders. I know every save gets versioned away in the ionosphere, mindlessly. Mac needs that built-in. Time Machine isn’t frequent — or powerful — enough.

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  2. Good article, Al. I’ve been reading about Git for ages and been meaning to get around to trying it and after reading this article (or should I say while), I finally have. Now I’ve just got to start using it. ;)

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  3. You’re right, you don’t have to be a code writer to need a tool like this. As a web developer, I’m often creating dated filenames, dated directories, pre, post, active, you name it…just to try and keep up with everything that’s archive, current, and future.

    I may give this a rey.

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  4. I don’t think that’s really getting started. Maybe you like the command line a lot but, for most tasks, Git GUI is sufficient and is far more illustrative of what Git actually does, especially for those new to VCSs.

    I love Git and use msysgit every day. I don’t have to use the command line very much to be productive.

    I like my favourite bash commands set as (often global) tools in the in the Tools menu. I have stash git stash save, unstash git stash pop, great for quickly stopping what you’re doing to do something else then, going back to it without any branching. For regular exporting, I use some variation of git archive—format=zip -9 master > ../latest_version.zip, that one archives adjacent to the repository directory.

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  5. Mac users that already use “MacPorts”:http://macports.org/ (e.g. if you’re running their Apache/MySQL/PHP/Python ports) will find Git and some applications around Git (e.g. GitX) there as well.

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  6. Thanks so much for this article, I finally clicked on the ‘staging area’ and so much more of git makes sense now.

    The key thing was your explanation of how to turn a somewhat tangled set of changes into a sequence of well-organised commits.

    The “double-add” discussion with Marcel underlines this nicely – to a new user it would be easier to understand if the initial add was called something like “git-include” (ie include this file in the repository) that auto-committed the change. Then the need for a “git-add” later, if changes were made to the file, would seem natural.

    This is the first time I’ve seen (in a lot of reading about git) such a vivid example of what the staging area is good for. I encourage you to try to get this example into the git reference documentation; it’s one every user of a text editor can relate to.

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  7. I would imagine what they were thinking with the hot pink was to remind people you can style the selection, being a starter’s kit and all.  Regardless it’s still a good example.

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