After talking with Lukas on Thursday night, I realised that I've got a bit of a reputation as a Github hater. (As an aside, I seem to be often writing blog posts dispelling myths that people believe about me - why is this, I usually say what I think but maybe it's just that I don't express myself properly). So to be clear - I don't hate Github at all. I don't really use it, other than a few exceptions that were policy based rather than choice based. I am inherently deeply suspicious of what I think of as the mac-owning github-using whiskey-drinking ruby-on-rails hipster rockstar-geek crowd (I wrote about this before, in 2008), and despite my best efforts, seem to be surrounded by them, which in and of itself is rather alienating. But let's just say that I left my feelings about Github to mild interest, a good dose of wariness, disappointment that the FOSS equivalent, Gitorious, isn't really as good, and mild annoyance that when I was forced to use it for a work a few times it was down.
However, I recently started doing a lot more running (surely coinciding with my foray into unemployment) and having exhausted the Radio New Zealand play I was listening to and giggling at the familiarity of the accents which I miss living on the other side of the stupid world from home, I turned to Podcasts for the first time in my life (really sometimes I do think that I'm deliberately keeping myself in the dark ages). Anyway today I listened to this interview with Scott Chacon from Github and was quite struck by it. I think the two most interesting points he made where I found myself thinking, "yes! exactly!" were about the vastly improved development workflow that git encourages if you are open to it - I think he used the words, "crafting commits" - which would hugely benefit the development community and help us to produce higher quality code, and the second was about actually learning a bit about what git could do and how to really use it (compare to how well you know your editor) rather than just memorise the few commands that you need to just keep going because it's a necessary annoyance that you need to live with.
I am continually frustrated by the fact that people don't think exactly like me about this - "what, I need to read the diff before committing it?" makes my hair catch fire with rage, seriously. So if Github is making git more accessible to people and this is improving the development practices of the community, then I say, Go,Github Go!
As an aside, another tool mentioned in this episode was Showoff, which looks really interesting - a text based presentation format that you can keep the source code to in Git. I have been using Latex Beamer for my slides for years for this reason, which is kind of a bit like trying to nail jelly to the ceiling and getting so frustrated in the process that you gouge out your eyes with blunt spoons. So I'll be definitely taking a look at that.