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Git Features

Last Updated : 06 Dec, 2019
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Git is a free and open-source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.
Git relies on the basis of distributed development of software where more than one developer may have access to the source code of a specific application and can modify changes to it which may be seen by other developers. It allows the user to have “versions” of a project, which show the changes that were made to the code over time, and allows the user to backtrack if necessary and undo those changes.

Features of Git –

Git is the most popular Version Control System nowadays because it is an open-source software which is easy to handle and perform work on various projects.
Git allows a team of people to work together, all using the same files. And it helps the team cope up with the confusion that tends to happen when multiple people are editing the same files. Git provides each developer a local copy of the entire development history, and changes are copied from one such repository to another.
Here are some basic and most important features of Git:
Distributed System:
Distributed systems are those which allow the users to perform work on a project from all over the world. A distributed system holds a Central repository that can be accessed by many remote collaborators by using a Version Control System. Git is one of the most popular Versions Control System that is being used nowadays. Having a Central Server results in a problem of Data Loss or Data disconnectivity in case of a system failure of the central server. To tackle such kind of a situation, Git mirrors the whole repository on each snapshot of the version that is being pulled by the user. In this case, if the central server crashes, then the copy of repositories can be gained back from the users who have downloaded the latest snapshot of the project.

Having a distributed system, Git allows the users to work simultaneously on the same project, without interfering with others’ work. When a particular user gets done with their part of the code, they push the changes to the repository and these changes get updated in the local copy of every other remote user which pulls the latest copy of the project.

Distributed Version Control System

Git is compatible with all the Operating Systems that are being used these days. Git repositories can also access the repositories of other Version Control Systems like SVN, CVK, etc. Git can directly access the remote repositories created by these SVNs. So, the users who were not using Git in the first place can also switch to Git without going through the process of copying their files from the repositories of other VCS’s into Git-VCS. Git can also access the central repositories of other VCSs. Hence, one can perform work on Git-SVN and use the central repository as the same. Git has a CVS server emulation, which enables the use of existing CVS clients and IDE plugins to access Git repositories.

Non-linear Development:
Git allows users from all over the world to perform operations on a project remotely. A user can pick up any part of the project and do the required operation and then further update the project. This can be done by the Non-linear development behavior of the Git. Git supports rapid branching and merging and includes specific tools for visualizing and navigating a non-linear development history. A major assumption in Git is that a change will be merged more often than it is written. Git records the current state of the project in a Tree form. A new branch can be added to the tree anytime and is further merged with the final project once it’s complete.

Git allows its users to work on a line that runs parallel to the main project files. These lines are called branches. Branches in Git provide a feature to make changes in the project without affecting the original version. The master branch of a version will always contain the production quality code. Any new feature can be tested and worked upon on the branches and further, it can be merged with the master branch.
Branching and merging can be done very easily with the help of a few Git commands. A single version of a project may contain n number of branches as per the user’s requirement.
Branching in Git

Git stores all the data from the central repository on to the local repository while cloning is done. There might be hundreds of users working on the same project and hence the data in the central repository might be very huge. One might be worried that cloning that much data into local machines might result in system failure but Git has already taken care of such a problem. Git follows the criteria of lossless compression that compresses the data and stores it in the local repository occupying very minimal space. Whenever there is a need for this data, it follows the reverse technique and saves a lot of memory space.

Since Git stores all the data related to a project in the local repository by the process of cloning, it is very much efficient to fetch data from the local repository instead of doing the same from the remote repository. Git is very fast and scalable compared to other version control systems which results in the handling of large projects efficiently.
The fetching power from a local repository is about 100 times faster than what possible with the remote server.
According to a test conducted by Mozilla, Git is one order of magnitude faster, which is about 10 times faster than other VCS tools. This is because Git is actually written in C language which is unlike other languages, very close to machine language and hence it makes processing very fast.

Git is a free and open-source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency. It is called open-source because it provides the flexibility to modify its source code according to the user’s needs. Unlike other Version Control Systems which provide paid functionalities like the repository space, privacy of codes, accuracy, and speed, etc. Git is all open-source software that provides these functionalities in free and even in a better way than others.
Being open-source Git allows multiple people to work on the same project at the same time and collaborate with each other very easily and efficiently. Hence, Git is considered to be the best Version Control System available nowadays.

Providing a central repository that is being cloned each time a User performs the Pull operation, the data of the central repository is always being backed up in every collaborator’s local repository. Hence, in the event of crashing of the central server, the data will never be lost as it can be gained back easily by any of the developer’s local machine. Once the Central Server is all repaired, the data can be regained by any of the multiple collaborators. There is a very low probability that the data is not available with any developer because the one that has worked on the project last will definitely have the latest version of the project on its local machine. Same is the case at the client’s end. If a developer loses its data because of some technical fault or any of the unforeseen reasons, they can easily pull the data from the Central repository and get the latest version of the same on their local machine. Hence, pushing data on the central repository makes Git more reliable to work on.

Git keeps a record of all the commits done by each of the collaborators on the local copy of the developer. A log file is maintained and is pushed to the central repository each time the push operation is performed. So, if a problem arises then it can be easily tracked and handled by the developer.
Git uses SHA1 to store all the records in the form of objects in the Hash. Each object collaborates with each other with the use of these Hash keys. SHA1 is a cryptographic algorithm that converts the commit object into a 14-digit Hex code. It helps to store the record of all the commits done by each of the developers. Hence, easily diagnosable that which commit has resulted in the failure of the work.

Git is released under the General Public’s License(GPL) and hence it is available for free. Git creates a clone of the central repository on the local machine and hence, all the operations are performed on the local machine of the developer before pushing it on to the central repository. Pushing is done only after the version on the local machine is working perfectly and is ready to be pushed on the central server. No experimenting is done with the files on the central server. This helps in saving a lot of money on costly servers. All the heavy lifting is done on the client-side and hence, there is no need to have heavy machines for the server-side.

These features have made Git the most reliable and highly used Version Control System of all times. The central repository of Git is termed as GitHub. GitHub allows to perform all the Push and Pull operations with the use of Git.

Some remarkable features of GitHub are :-

  • Commit History can be seen
  • Graphs: pulse, contributors, commits, code frequency, members of it.
  • Pull requests with code review and comments
  • Issue Tracking
  • Email notifications

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