Digital Humanities - Version Control

Version control systems track changes made to a file or a set of files over time. They help preserve your work history securely and avoid the need to create multiple versions of the same file. 

We all practice version control in some capacity, some method of naming and saving files or drafts. Version control systems such as Git make this process more automated and less prone to human error. As well as backing up your own work, version control is useful for teams working together, both to track who did what and to help prevent unintended overwriting of work.  

Traditionally used for software development, version control systems have become more commonly used in projects of all kinds, including humanities research. 

Git and Github

Git is a popular version control system while Gitgub is a web-based version of the software which can be used for hosting and sharing Git projects. Git and Github are useful for teams to work collaboratively or for individuals to manage and back up and sync projects across multiple devices. 

Github also has a useful facility for building a website called Github Pages.

Intro to Git Workshop

We offer a hands-on workshop in Git and Github. This course is introductory level and is aimed at those new to version control or who need a refresher.

You will learn about:

  • what is version control, and why is it important for research
  • Git and Github; what is the difference?

By the end of this session, you will have experience with the following:

  • Creating a project (or ‘repository’) using Git
  • Recording changes to files
  • Viewing changes
  • Pushing your work to the web with Github

Git is most often used in a text-based environment and we will work in the command line for much of the lesson. We will also be working with plain text files and a format called Markdown. Git does not work as well with word processor files such as MS Word or Google Docs.

No prior knowledge of Git, Github or the command line is assumed.