Monthly Archives: May 2011

So I Finally Figured Out Why Everyone Likes Git Repositories so Much…

Until recently, I didn’t really use version control software all that much. I primarily used SVN for a few WordPress plugins, as WordPress maintains a free repository on their SVN server for each plugin a developer submits. While I found it interesting, I didn’t really see the need to use version control for other projects…especially since that would require setting up a server or paying for someone else to host it.

After seeing the six thousandth post/comment/tweet raving about Git, another version control system, I decided to finally give it a closer look. The lightbulb finally clicked on. I now know what’s so special about Git.

Git, unlike, SVN is distributed. You can version your code entirely on your computer, only pushing to a server when you’re ready…if you’re using a remote server at all. When you commit changes, it’s still just updating the revision records on your local computer; you have to use a separate command to push the changes to the remote repository. This means if you’re working alone, without other contributors, you can version files without needing a special server hosting your code, although you lose the convenient off-site backup. This is great for small projects.

Then you have the Github service, with it’s magical socially-networked code repositories. Suppose you have an improvement upon an open source project hosted on Github. You just click a button to “fork” it, creating a new repository under your account with a copy of the original’s contents. You then pull the files down to create a working copy on your system, make your changes, and push them back to your Github repository. If the developers maintaining they original project like your changes, they can merge the changes in your repository back into the main one. That concept amazes me.

I think I’m starting to see why people rave about Git so much. I’ve been aware of it for awhile now, but the concepts didn’t quite “click” until recently.

Design Spotlight: Pro Blog Design 2011

The industrious Michael Martin has once again redesigned Pro Blog Design, this time going for a more open (and less blue) look. The new design better incorporates promotion for Pliable Press and his custom design services, while still leaving room for third-party advertisers on…

The League of Moveable Type

Looking for some high-quality open source fonts, perhaps to use with @font-face? Look no further than The League of Moveable Type, an organization that curates a collection of professional typefaces licensed in a way that doesn’t inhibit your ability to use them on the…

BlogBuzz May 21, 2011

What if PHP were Completely Rewritten to be More Elegant?

PHP gets a lot of flak for some of it’s strange idiosyncrasies. It’s lack of consistency about argument order (needle then haystack in str_replace,  haystack then needle in strstr) and function names (stripslashes vs strip_tags) are particularly head-scratching examples. This partly comes from PHP’s…

Dive Into HTML5

Looking to bring your HTML skills up-to-date, now that HTML5 support is growing in modern browsers? Mark Pilgrim has a nice online book by the name of Dive Into HTML5 that covers most of the big new things. It is also available in print,…

Angry Birds Comes to the Web, in HTML5

Rovio, on the 10th of May, released an unexpected new version of their popular Angry Birds game. Previously available on iOS, Android and OS X, Angry Birds is now available on the web. You can find it in the Chrome Web Store, or at…

Klout: Measure Your Twitter Influence

Klout is a service that provides all sorts of fascinating metrics about you—and the people you interact with—on Twitter. It measures things like the number of users who are actively engaged by your tweets, the “type” of Twitter user you are, and your influence.…

Tumblr-style Links with WordPress Post Formats

There are a few blogs, such as Daring Fireball and Digging into WordPress, that have microblog-style “link” items interspersed with ordinary posts. The post title links off-site instead of to a permalink page, and a more compact styling is usually used. Basically, like Tumblr…

BlogBuzz May 7, 2011

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