Earlier this week, web-based code hosting service GitHub released GitHub for Mac, a free Git client for Mac OS X that makes managing and interacting with GitHub repositories and sharing code a snap.
Git is a distributed revision control system (DVCS) developed by Linus Torvalds for managing the development process of the Linux kernel. It’s a great way for teams to collaboratively share code. Like other DVCS tools, Git was designed for use at the command line.
GitHub for Mac isn’t the first GUI-based Git client for Mac OS X, but the fact that it’s free, well-designed and integrates beautifully with the world’s most popular Git host certainly sets it apart from some of the other options. That isn’t to say that apps like Tower, Gitbox, GitX and Sprout don’t still have their own merits, but GitHub for Mac sets a high bar for other Git clients.
The user-interface of GitHub for Mac is top-notch; browsing through histories, looking at commits, switching branches and syncing changes is a snap.
The app is fast and it makes it easy to add a new repository to your GitHub account, share code, clone branches that don’t exist on your local machine and do standard push and pull requests. You don’t even have to use GitHub as your Git remote (though obviously, the program was optimized as such). You can set a remote manually and push, pull and sync changes within the app.
GitHub has also added a fantastic new “Clone in Mac” button on its website that makes cloning a repository a snap. I don’t commit a lot of code to GitHub, but I follow a lot of different projects and frequently download repositories and releases from the site. Being able to clone a repo directly in GitHub makes it easier to watch for updates, sync changes and also manage my own branches and forks locally (and if I choose, publish my changes publicly).
For a 1.0 release, the GitHub team did a great job. The app will be updated on a regular basis (a few bugs have already been fixed) and we look forward to seeing the app become bigger and better.
Do you use Git? If so, how do you manage your code and interact with remote repositories? Let us know.
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