Skip navigation

I put the code availability on a mailing list and some suggested I use github or the like.  I had heard of it before and my basic idea of what it is, is that it’s a place where you put your software and you can update it while the updates are being tracked and you develop it.  You can also share the code with other people, who can help or maybe even take it in a different direction.  This is all I knew from what I have heard/read about.  So I decide to check it out.  I setup an account, and then I decide to read about how to use this and what it really is.

1.3 Getting Started – Git Basics

Git Basics

So, what is Git in a nutshell? This is an important section to absorb, because if you understand what Git is and the fundamentals of how it works, then using Git effectively will probably be much easier for you. As you learn Git, try to clear your mind of the things you may know about other VCSs, such as Subversion and Perforce; doing so will help you avoid subtle confusion when using the tool. Git stores and thinks about information much differently than these other systems, even though the user interface is fairly similar; understanding those differences will help prevent you from becoming confused while using it.

I want you to read that again.  Was the question answered?  Not in the least!  Hell, they went right off the damn track in the second sentence that didn’t even come CLOSE to start to answer the question.  The page does go on for another 4.5 screens (that’s with a 23″ monitor at 1680*1050).  I don’t know about you but when someone says ‘in a nutshell’ that usually means the idea is described in a sentence or two.  Not 4 1/2 pages!

There is a rampant problem out there.  It’s a self-recursive issue.  You don’t know how to do something because you don’t know how to do it.  If you know how to do it, then you know how to do it.  So, never used Git before(or anything else like it) then don’t start there, they don’t really explain things easily.

Yeah…I’m ranting.  Most  The vast majority of software documentation sucks because it is written by the people who use it and they always, and I mean always, skip over the obvious steps needed for people who have never used their product before.




  1. You can check out also mercurial and bitbucket.

    I’ve put a quick intro to mercurial (the dvcs) and bitbucket (the main repository – you’ll make a local copy that is also versioned thanks to mercurial) on my site. Bitbucket can also mirror a mercurial (hg) repository into a git repository for those contributors that would be more comfortable with git. Plus a greater number of private repositories for free.

    The above two cover linux/unix and windows from the desktop side of things. For the overall experience with bitbucket, check out this bitbucket 101:

    Also, mercurial is written mainly in Python:

    And it has a nice python api:

    • Thanks for the info and recommendations. I’ll check into those.

  2. It takes a lot of time to get good at something. Once you’re there, it can seem like a trial to retrace your steps for another. Context comes from experience and laborious error; why should others require less? If you do not understand this, parental IT opens eyes. Free software needs free documentation; if you want better, you can write it too!

    • This is part of why I am writing this blog, to make things easier for those who follow. I think there is enough material to learn and simply being difficult just to get to said material is a waste of time. Still, don’t understand how ‘free documentation’ seems to equate ‘figure it out yourself’ idea you seem to be siding with. And when I write documentation, it’s very detailed otherwise the inevitable ‘how do I do this part’ always comes back from others trying to follow.

      I’ll never understand why people who write documentation can’t see that. Do it right the first time(or at least by the time it gets into the public hands). This is not about simply adding something ‘they forgot’, this is about writing out clear, concise directions to use the thing you just built. Leaving it up to others is simply being lazy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: