For the past several months I’ve been working on a project with my amazing cohorts, Paul, Tim, and Adam, and Cameron at GitHub. I’ve had the joy of learning new technologies and digging deep into the inner workings of Git while lovingly crafting code.
But today, is a good day. We’ve called the shipit squirrel into action once again! We all know that the stork delivers babies and the squirrel delivers software. In our case, we are shipping GitHub For Windows! Check out the official announcement on the GitHub Blog. GitHub for Windows is the easiest and best way to get Git on your Windows box.
If you’re not familiar with Git, it’s a distributed version control system created by Linus Torvalds and his merry Linux hacking crew. If you are familiar with Git, you’ll know that Git has historically been a strange and uninviting land for developers on the Windows platform. I call this land, Torvaldsia, replete with strange incantations required to make things work.
Better Git on Windows
In recent history, this has started to change due to the heroic efforts of the MSysGit maintainers who’ve worked hard to provide a distribution of Git that works well on Windows.
GitHub for Windows (or GH4W for short) builds on those efforts to provide a client to Git and GitHub that’s friendly, approachable, and inviting. If you’re a Git noob, this is a good place to start. If you’re a Git expert on Windows, at the very least, GitHub for Windows can still be a useful part of your workflow. Just visit http://windows.github.com/ and click the big green download button.
In this post, I’ll give a brief rundown of what gets installed and how to customize the shell for you advanced users of Git.
GitHub for Windows is a 100% native application that will run on Windows XP, Vista, 7 and even the pre-release Windows 8. Included in the application is a complete installation of msysGit making this the single best way to start using Git on Windows.
Discover, Create and Share
GitHub for Windows is the easiest way to manage your repositories on GitHub.com. Clone your repositories right from the app or clone directly from GitHub.com with the new Clone in Windows button.
Under the Covers
The application is written in C# and uses a ton of great open source projects, many of them hosted on GitHub.
- libgit2 provides a beautiful and fast API for Git repositories and we take advantage of the stellar C# bindings.
- msysGit fills in the gaps and lets us provide a fully functional version of core Git to distribute with the application.
- We love PowerShell and have bundled Keith Dahlby's amazing posh-git.
- We've mashed up the elegant Caliburn.Micro with ReactiveUI to provide a responsive interface and to allow for greater testability.
- The Reactive Extensions (Rx) for .NET provide the ability to compose asynchronous and event-based code using observable sequences and LINQ-style query operators.
- Local README rendering is provided courtesy of the Chromium Embedded Framework and the C# bindings.
- We make heavy use of the GitHub API v3 and leverage James Newton-King's Json.NET and John Sheehan's RestSharp.
Pointy-clicky, me likey...
This does look like a drop dead easy way to get going with Git on Windows. If you haven't got it, Git it...