On the subject of version control – moving to github

When I started programming, we considered ourselves lucky to have a filesystem… Well, ok, I’m not quite that old, but up til now, git was something that had eluded me. CVS and svn have served me fine so far in my career (let’s not talk about Visual SourceSafe).

As I commented to a friend, I learn new tech stuff because it seems fun or interesting, and git hadn’t sparked that kind of interest in me. However it is clear it was a growing trend: in particular the use of GitHub for project sharing. And I have a couple of projects which I’d talked to people about and felt could do with more sharing. So I’ve finally got around to migrating them out of my own svn repository and into the wide world. Here is my home on GitHub.

One of the projects is ‘ct’ my command line twitter client, which I’ve mentioned previously on this blog. It’s had some updates to keep up with twitter and gem library changes, since I still use it day to day, but it’s still fairly personal and rough around the edges. Maybe one day I’ll figure out how to package it as a gem but right now that also falls into the ‘not exciting’ camp.

The other project I’ve put up is my mail tool which I use for post-dated filtering of emails. I’ve been using a version of this for quite a while, but I’ve recently put some effort into a new version with some enhancements. Moving to GitHub has helped encourage me to move on with some cleaning up.

Unusually for one of my spare time projects, the mail tool is written in Java (which I write a lot of in my day job). Usually when I’m hacking I like the brevity of Ruby or Bash, but for this task Java was useful because it has a mature mail library. I have plenty of ideas for more enhancements so let’s hope I find some time to work on it.

I can’t say I’ve learned that much about git, but it turned out that what I needed to do my normal project development was a fairly small subset of commands, so switching these projects over was far less onerous than I had expected. Thanks GitHub!

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