An alternative use for GitHub

Alternative Use

Article from Issue 147/2013

With its easy-to-use web interface, GitHub can be put to totally different uses than archiving code. For example, Perlmeister Mike Schilli used GitHub to deploy a content management system for simple websites.

GitHub is the place the open source community frequents to work on its projects; the former startup from San Francisco has gained some fame in this way. In fact, GitHub is actually starting to earn money. The company is also regarded in the extended Silicon Valley area as a prime example of how to attract talented developers. Thus, it is not surprising that the repositories offered for free in the open basic version, the associated disk space, and reliable web hosting act as a safe haven for all sorts of data that somewhat stretches the definition of “open source.”

Many readers will have been frustrated that new computers don’t come pre-installed with their own configuration files that they have maintained over the years (e.g., .bashrc or .vimrc). Because these files rarely contain secrets, it has become commonplace to store them on GitHub in a repository by the name of dotfiles. Now, if you run aground in an unconfigured environment, you only need a browser to download the familiar files from a single, easy-to-find website.

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