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Setting up your working environment


Installing the required software

In the previous task you have chosen a Github project. As you will see the project has several sections, but the main ones are:

  • Code,
  • Issues,
  • Wiki and
  • Pull requests

 

Code

The code section shows you the source code of the application. Actually this could be anything, as Git can handle any binary format. For instance, if you are a designer you can use Github to track the different versions of images and see the differences between in a special viewer.

This section allows you to browse the folders of the project as well as the files, so you can see and even edit the file if you want directly in your browser.

This section will be the origin branch, or in other words the upstream version of the project. Usually, every project has different branches, that could represent different things:

  • A new feature that is being developed
  • A fix for a bug in the upstream branch

 

The goal of having different branches is that you can work locally in a specific feature for the project without interrupting the addition of new features to the origin branch. For the moment let's think that branches are special work areas or sand boxes where we can play with the code, text, images, etc. without breaking anything.

Issues

The issues section is where most of the interaction happens. You will see that the project that you selected in the previous task will have some open and closed issues. An issue represents anything that you can be related with the project:

  • A Bug description
  • A new idea

 

The goal is to have a "forum" style place where everyone can give their opinion and share their ideas about an issue. One of the most interesting features of the issues page is that you can directly mention people by writting their nickname like this: @nickname. When you mention someone in Github, the platform will send this user a notification via e-mail, so everyone will know that you want their opinion on an issue.

Wiki

The wiki section is a place where you will find the documentation about the project. It works pretty similar to Wikipedia, so you can edit every page for example for fixing a typo or adding a new section in your own language.

Pull Requests

What is a pull request? Well, Git allows you to have different branches. When you have fixed a bug, finished a new feature, etc. for the project you would love to share the changes with the project owners, right? Github provides this feature in order to simplify the process. When you have finished with your branch, you will upload the changes and request a pull request. This will open automatically and issue, so the main developers, designers, etc will look at your code and give you some feedback. If everything is fine, they will merge the changes and you will have contributed to the project

Installing the required software

Now that we have an idea about what we will find in Github let's install the required software. The goal of this task is to install a git client for your operating system and configure a git account in your environment. If you don't already have a Github account you can create one here!

Read the help page in Github and follow the instructions for your platform in order to install the client. Once you have finished, post here the steps that you followed, and how you installed the software.

 

NOTE: If you cannot install the required software, you can try the web tutorial try.github.com to learn about social coding and how to use github. This service will help you to finish this course too.

Task Discussion