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The new Git-scm.com (git-scm.com)
317 points by tanoku on May 4, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 106 comments

This is great in so many ways:

- New logo! Much better "brand" than previous, and look good in small sizes, although I will miss the cute visual pun of GIT letters being refresh, addition and subtraction symbols. Although, both favicon and logo image would look better without half-transparent-pixels in vertical branch.

- New font! Adelle from Typekit, not from Google Fonts. They took it seriously, and it's a fantastic choice.

- The whole branding and theme and everything is way better than what was before, and arguably the best looking site for any DVCS. (maybe took some design inspiration from http://www.joyent.com/products/ ?)

- Built on Rails, and open sourced: https://github.com/github/gitscm-next That's great, and hopefully will allow the community to contribute more to the site itself.

“New font! Adelle from Typekit, not from Google Fonts. They took it seriously, and it's a fantastic choice.”

To my eyes, it is a poor choice:

First, Adelle does not seem to work well for body text. Second, it does not look good on Windows.

Not being argumentative, but I'm curious: why do you think that Adelle doesn't work well for body text? I'm trying to learn more about fonts and their selection.

Just what my eyes told me when I looked at the page.

Looking now at the Typekit site (where the font comes from) I see that Adelle, indeed, is not recommended for body text by Typekit, only for headings.

The Typekit site offers some short explanations about what these recommendations mean:

Fonts recommended for paragraph text: “Recommended for continuous text at small sizes, these fonts possess a generous x-height and are manually hinted to perform well across operating systems.”

Fonts recommended for headings: “Recommended for short text at medium to large sizes, these fonts are generally more decorative and often served with PostScript outlines for improved rendering.”

A good place to start reading if you are interested in this is a post at the Typekit site again, part of a series on web fonts and font rendering:


It includes this:

“All of the fonts tagged Paragraph have been manually hinted to look great on screen at text sizes in every major browser/OS mix. Use these recommendations to make informed decisions about how well a font will render, knowing that they are backed up by Typekit’s font diagnostic tools.”

More generally:

I have found that often—I’m tempted to say more often than not, but I have not the data to back this up—designs using web fonts are worse than they would be without web fonts. When you consider how complex the issue of good rendering across devices and operating system is, that’s not suprising. It is interesting though that even professionals—even people who teach web design and who write books on web design—make such mistakes.

He probably means "a fantastic choice" for people who like or have no problem with good quality fonts, not for outliers.

I see no problem with "body text". In fact even tiny sized text on the size is still very legible, like the descriptions of operations in the "About" page.

No your parent is right, font replacement on windows still looks bad most of the time. Larger font sizes look a little less bad but there still exist rendering issues especially in chrome.

I made a GitHub Issue for cleaning up the favicon per your suggestion: https://github.com/github/gitscm-next/issues/46

I don't know--this one's polished and all, but looks like another startup's landing page more than anything else. The old one was distinctive and had character. I also miss the old logo, even if it didn't make much sense.

I agree; I feel rather disappointed by this move. The layout feels cookie-cutter to me. If anything, it just looks like an effort to "sell" the project to businesses, especially with the list of projects/companies at the bottom. The no-js default of Mac for the download is also a poor choice, regardless of its popularity, especially considering that Git was created by the author of the kernel Linux.

The previous theme was cute, fun and different. This site does, however, do an excellent job of laying out the information (minus the fact that it needs JS when stylesheets are enabled).

As a developer who loves using git, I am more than happy for others to go to the effort of selling it to business stakeholders. Why wouldn't I be?

I don't see that as a problem; I just think that Git has built up a certain user base that they should continue to appeal to with their website.

I don't understand why they're even offering a download. If I'm using a Mac and I want to start using git for the first time, chances are the pre-installed git (, from last December) is the best option.

Git isn't "pre-installed" on OSX; it comes with XCode. You can be a developer on OSX and not use XCode. It's not common, but it doesn't hurt to offer a download. And, of course, it's not like XCode gets updated every time Git does.

I mourn the loss of the old awesome tree-munching git monster logo.

I agree, tree-munch was cute and fun. I wish he were back in some capacity

I apologize for the language, but one of my co-workers said that the new logo looks like a penis (the diagonal branch) with a dangling scrotum (the vertical branch) to him. The circles on the end are the glans and the testes. Unfortunately, I do now see what he is saying.

This is yet another incident in a long line of easily-misinterpreted open source project logos or names. MongoDB is one of the most significant, with "mongo" being slang for mental retardation in several languages. The scrotwm window manager, while quite excellent, also has a name that's easily misinterpreted.

Git itself has one of those names. Personally I think anyone who is offended by those names can go use something else.

Only in case of Git it is intentional. This is how its creator jokingly describes himself.

it's a blob committed to munching trees. :-)

I'm not sure which one you mean, but the new logo looks great and it visualizes the concept of branches quite effectively.

The old git-scm.com had this as its header:


It was one of the first things that comes to my mind when I think about cute looking site :).

As others have already said 'I miss the tree eating blob' and the site had character.

The new version obviously had the corporate types in mind. It is clean and optimized to sell it to the pointy haired boss. At first I thought some company had bought and changed the website. Then I realized it is just a cookie cutter template where almost any generic computer program could be plugged in. Then there is the grey color scheme, I see enough websites everyday that have grey color schemes, it is generic and boring. The color scheme before was different and that was a good thing. This constant conformity to sell the corporate and enterprise users on software stinks.

Someone going to censor the man pages because it has phrases like this: 'git - the stupid content tracker'?

While good looking I am not sure if the new deign is an improvement. For one the download button is less obvious. The new one is likely to be mistaken for noise, there are too many details around it.

Also, it's now much harder to find tarballs for Linux. You have to follow the "older releases" link even if you want the most recent version.

Great, except for the tag line. I know they're trying to be trendy, but its not really helping.

I really like git's original tag line:

    git - the stupid content tracker
And, of course, "the information manager from hell", http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2177877

I don't know if Linus meant it as a tongue-in-cheek joke, but that last one is pretty funny to me (probably because I read it as "the IT manager from hell", which evokes dilbert).

I think it's neat. When you refresh the page you get a new one.

Tag line(s). There's multiple and they're displayed randomly.

Very nice and clean, but, and I know I'll get boo'ed down for this, it's always a bit tiresome to see gender norms reinforced in slogans like, "--not-your-daddys-version-control."

There are a few places in the US where going up to someone on the street and saying "not your mother's version control" will get you stabbed.

Both my mother and my father have worked in the software industry (though before version control was the norm). I don't find either version offensive and I don't see any problem with a silly quip implying my father uses a version control system unlike the one being described.

EDIT: It occurred to me that my story goes even deeper.

The syntactic template "Not your father's X" is a reference to a well known ad campaign by General Motors. "Not your father's Oldsmobile" the slogan went. It was clearly an attempt to remove the strong association with an older generation that the brand had among younger buyers. It couldn't have helped that the nickname for the brand was "Olds", but that association was also somewhat based in fact: the car was indisputably a favorite among old people. Once at a family reunion I noticed that most of my aunts and uncles drove Oldsmobiles, with a few Buicks thrown in for good measure.

Note that another effect of this campaign also worked to discourage the perception of Oldsmobiles as appropriate for specifically male buyers. Clearly they wanted all the buyers they could get. So "Not your father's X" seems constructed to actively remove gender stereotyping, not reinforce it.

Apparently the ad campaign didn't work well enough, as GM stopped producing new cars under the Oldsmobile brand a few years ago.

Indeed my father did have an Oldsmobile for a few years, during which he had a software startup. However, he had inherited it from my grandmother when she died. When the AC broke in a way that was not economical to repair my dad went back to driving Toyotas and he gave me the Olds. So that actually was my father's Oldsmobile (but I associated it more with my grandmother).

That reminds me, I've been meaning to ask Dad what kind of source code control system he's using these days...

> There are a few places in the US where going up to someone on the street and saying "not your mother's version control" will get you stabbed.

The alternative isn't "Not your mother's version control" but rather "Not your parents' version control". Neutral should be the norm. Not a big deal, but there is a lot of subtle sexism in tech and it adds up at the end of the day.

But "Not your parents' version control" could be taken to imply that my parents used version control collectively.

My parents divorced before version control was commonplace, how dare you imply such a thing!

To be clear, I don't think it's offensive, or sexist. Just enforcing a gender norm that I don't it lazy and exactly what I said...tiresome.

That's a level of political correctness I did not anticipate to be required of source control software. Taking it a bit too far imo.

The tag lines are one of the few things I dislike about this site. Show me the technology, not memes

Leaving the gender-stereotypes, etc. etc. aspect of it aside, git is quite literally "my daddy's version control." I used to work for my family (writing software) and one of the last things I did a few months before leaving was get the entire company onto Git from our "existing" "version control system." He completely loves it! And he internalised something quickly that I still see in this very thread - Git makes it harder, not easier, to screw things up and lose changes.

Unnecessary, agreed. FWIW, they appear to rotate randomly on page load.

And terms like "his/her" which is also in the documentation. The ordering shows a preference that is not necessary. The singular "they" (or the relevant variant) is acceptable in written English, so "their" in this case.

Actually, I recently read an article by Khosroshahi which included a study demonstrating that "his/her" does not in fact carry a gender bias -- people who use "his/her" in writing were likely to assign a person described without gender terms their own gender, cf. people who use a single gender generically (i.e. "his"), who were more likely to assign a person that gender.

Assuming that because "his" is listed before "her" there is a gender bias is taking things way too far - since language is a linear medium, you have to pick one to be in front, and I think most people understand that it's not trying to give the choices an inherent order.

Your first paragraph relates to another study that Wikipedia cites: "a study by John Gastil found that while the plural 'they' functions as a generic pronoun for both males and females, males may comprehend 'he/she' in a manner similar to he."

"his/her" is a bit of a bugbear of mine in any case, not only for the ordering, but because it lacks cosmetic elegance. "They" is an ideal alternative.

It is interesting to note that in most figures of speech, the male variant is listed first. For example, "his and hers", "Mr and Mrs", "he and she", "his/her", "Lords and Ladies". Yet, "ladies and gentleman" is a popular counterexample. Funny stuff this English language! ;-)

The old website had character. This one just seems like they are trying too hard and has too much noise. Also, I do not like that it just assumes that I'm on a Mac if JavaScript is not enabled. Wouldn't Linux have been a better choice?

I had the same thought about the download link -- it does seem a bit odd.

But if you think about it, it does make sense. Very few people will not have JavaScript enabled -- those who do will be web developers or other technologically-minded individuals. I'm sure this is not exactly valid, but . . . it seems to me, at least, that a lot of the time this sort of person is going to be using either Linux or an Apple system.

Between the two, AFAIK, a Linux system is far more likely to have git installed already. If not, most would probably want to install it via their distribution's package manager (as the Linux download page actually directs you to do). So it does seem a semi-logical choice.

Personally, though -- I would have fallen back to a list of download links for different platforms.

Many web developers use Windows and might have their JavaScript disabled. What about them?

They click the 'Windows build' link. The one with the Windows logo.

I'm going to be brutally honest here, but don't worry I'm not a connoisseur of these things! I'm actually probably close to your target audience.

I've been using git as a single developer in a very timid way for years. This is my public repo https://github.com/marshray . I know how to 'add' and 'commit -m ...' and 'push'. Anything else I usually have to look up. Just yesterday I actively collaborated for the first time and did a fastforward pull and a merge a few times. Scared me to death I was going to screw something up because we had a hard deadline.

When I followed the link on HN, I didn't know what it was. I thought you might be starting a GitHub competitor service. It's a pretty design, but the first two paragraphs I skimmed over. I already know what git is or I wouldn't be on the site. I actually know quite a bit about how git compares to those other products because I've used most of them. But the graph with the stack of books on the right reminds me "gee I know exactly how to do that in Perforce, I wish it would just sink in how to do it with git. The branch diagrams still look like Feynman diagrams to me and I don't know quantum physics".

I saw the 'About, Documentation, Downloads, Community'. All very obvious categorizations, but here's was my first impression:

About - yes I've figured out by now this is a website about git, and already know what git is about

Downloads - I've never downloaded git except via a package manager so this is probably not useful to me

Documentation - ok that could be helpful, but I have no sense at this point if it's any good. You know a lot of sites amount to mostly just manpages.

Community get involved! - I'm not so invested in git that I would want to join a list about it. I feel grateful for the community because when I have questions a web search usually turns up an appropriate discussion. But usually it's a blog post or stack overflow. I don't recall a mailing list or a forum post being helpful, but probably it has and I've just forgotten.

I saw the picture of the book. "Oh yes, the black and yellow publisher" I thought. Its bold colors visually dominated everything else on the page. I suspected that the site may be a guy who wrote a book on git and this is his personal site.

I saw all the list of logos of companies using git and thought "I wonder if he got permission for all of those, wow that must have taken a lot of emails". But that's just how my mind works.

At this point I closed the page, not having any pressing need to interact or explore the site.

I totally didn't notice the Mac on the right hand side.

I read the HN discussion a little bit. Mostly I found myself replying to the guy who said the slogan (which I didn't even notice) was reinforcing gender stereotypes. Reading a few more comments it starts to dawn on me: "OH! This is that same git-scm site I think I've been to before. The one that had the good manual on how to use git in some practical situations..." I remembered it fondly, though not very clearly because I wasn't a very frequent visitor.

I see someone mention in an HN comment that a Mac appears when Javascript is disabled. I had totally tuned it out before but now it looks ridiculous. Why in the world would the primary choice be to download for Mac? Why would the only other platform download be for Windows? (But it's good to know there may be a supported option for Windows if I ever need it.)

To explore further, I click on 'Documentation' as it's the only link that remotely seems like something useful to my forseeable needs. My eyes go to the picture of the book "Reference manual" OK there's the printout of the man pages I guess. Scanning down I see "Getting started, Git basics, ... yawn standard stuff"

For some reason, I scroll down a bit. WOW! brightly colored business cards! "Git Basics What is version control?" The title seems useless, but I'm more focused on trying to figure out what these very visually distinctive rectangles are doing below the fold on a table of contents. OH WOW these are Videos! Earlier today I'd had a passing thought about watching some video on git when I was at O'Reilly's site for DRM-free day. They'd had a 6 hour video you could download for $40 or something. That wasn't in my price range, but these videos could be worth watching.

So sorry if I didn't pick up on the visual appeal of your redesign, but I hope my best effort at describing the state of my mind in retrospect will be helpful to you or others in your web design endeavors.

I'll be equally brutally honest here: as a software professional, craftsman, hacker, or even hobbyist, there is a minimum amount of intellectual effort required for mastery of your toolkit.

> At this point I closed the page, not having any pressing need to interact or explore the site.

IMHO, the single most valuable asset of a creative mind is curiosity.

[p.s. HN: don't read anything into the order of that list .. :)]

> IMHO, the single most valuable asset of a creative mind is curiosity.

All the minds curious enough to explore exhaustively every new website have been pruned out of the reproduction pool since the 2000s. They still haunt some websites, but the only one left are now those able to form an arbitrary judgement of the value of a website from its homepage.

I agree completely.

But just to let you in on where I'm coming from:

* Git is not part of my main-line toolkit. I just dabble in it. (out of curiosity!)

* I have limited time and energy to pursue my curiosity. My goal is to focus that on a manageable number of things. Writing fun code projects is my primary goal, git is a means to that end. Since this is mostly solo coding, I don't often have the need for the advanced distributed features.

* I visted the site from a link on HN on a Friday evening, not as someone seeking information about git.

I think the branch diagrams not making sense is the core of your problems becoming fluent with git. You need to understand what a graph is, and specifically what a directed acyclic graph is. That's all there is to it.

Each vertex is a snapshot of the git-tracked contents of your project; each edge is a patch (or could be a collection of patches in the case of a merge).

A branch name is a pointer, always to the most recent node (commit) on the branch.

A tag name is a pointer to any node (commit) at all, not updated after a commit like a branch pointer is.

The common git commands (rebase, merge, etc.) should be easy to grasp and use given that basic knowledge.

I know and love graphs, including DAGs, and even sometime write C++ to operate upon them using boost::graph or my own representation.

I'm sure I can learn git, just as a casual user (we use P4 at my day job) I just haven't put in the time to learn about its branching and merging system, or had much occasion to practice it. I was hoping I would just absorb it magically, but git is using a lot of its own terminology and it's just doing something differently that I just don't feel like I know what I'm doing yet.

Man, that is a painful criticism. I applaud those that created git, those that maintain it, and those that document it. I know you meant all of this in a good way to help them get their site in order, but even if the new site is unreadable, I'll drink a beer to git anyday. Cheers.

To be clear I was definitely left with a positive impression of the site and even a desire to return to it. I didn't go as far as bookmarking it, but I expect to return via web search to some of the great content (that I'm sure is there) that I didn't drill down into.

I'm just trying to document my thought processes as a website visitor accurately.

I made a GitHub Issue for a suggestion that might have helped you understand the videos to be videos quicker: https://github.com/github/gitscm-next/issues/47

>I see someone mention in an HN comment that a Mac appears when Javascript is disabled. I had totally tuned it out before but now it looks ridiculous. Why in the world would the primary choice be to download for Mac?

Because Mac has 10% share (US at least), Linux has around 1%, so most Git users use Macs, thus it would make sense to use it? In programmer conferences, for example, from Ruby, to R, to Scala to Python, most people come with Apple laptops. In campuses, it's even worse (or better, depending on how you see things.

Last but not least, even the creator of Linux and Git himself, uses a Mac (albeit with Linux loaded).

>Why would the only other platform download be for Windows?

Maybe because Windows has like 90% market share, and because Git was historically not well supported on the platform they want to attract users to it?

As for why no Linux download, well, because Linux users get it from their distro.

(Discl: I use Linux (Ubuntu LTS) for servers and OS X for my desktop. Cut my teach on Sun OS in the nineties).

Those market shares - both among the general population and among developers, which are themselves very different - are completely irrelevant.

The share that matters here is mostly among "developers using NoScript". I wouldn't be surprised in the least to know that Linux has that share.

>Those market shares - both among the general population and among developers, which are themselves very different - are completely irrelevant. The share that matters here is mostly among "developers using NoScript". I wouldn't be surprised in the least to know that Linux has that share.

I thought he was making the general case, why a Mac picture at all as a choice, not why show a Mac specifically for the noscript.

If he means the latter, then, well, it doesn't matter at all. It's not like more than 0.1% of people visiting the page will see the noscript version --and it's not like anywhere should even care about what they will see.

It's not like more than 0.1% of people visiting the page will see the noscript version

What makes you say this? Of the folks I know who might like to use a site about git, most of them use Firefox with Noscript. I'm sure my sample is biased, but I don't think you can assume it will never be more than 0.1%.

"I thought you might be starting a GitHub competitor service."

That's exactly what I expected to find.

"I suspected that the site may be a guy who wrote a book on git and this is his personal site."

Exactly my reaction after seeing the book also.

I saw that there was a new version of Git, decided not to install it yet, and went about my business.

This isn't a slam on the site; I thought it looked fine. I was struck by the similarity in these reactions to my own, however.

As someone who has spent a lot of time convincing people to use git and helping them learn, it's great to see resources like this made available for free to the community.

I love the site update. It's very classy there's not even a direct GitHub homepage link, let alone a logo. Is this considered the official Git website? If so, would it not make sense for the domain to be owned by e.g. the SFC on behalf of the Git project?

The old one had character.

It's interesting to see how it's progressed.

Before git-scm.com there was git.or.cz:


I wonder how much awesome free/open source tools/services would benefit from a clean, good design like this.

I thought about making a site to allow designers to offer to design things for open source project as a way of giving back.

Stop thinking about it and do it, sounds like a great idea :)

DO IT! ;)

I wonder how much it would cost them to buy git.com.

From domainbrokers.com: > The owner might not respond to offers under $299520


Seems stupid on the part of the owner, not like they are going to find a big brand that matches the domain so well again and who knows how long domains will be valuable.

What an ass. He'll never sell it though, so his loss.

Yeah, I've inquired a number of times, it's ridiculous.

Yikes, 300k? How much would it cost to buy a new TLD?

Actually, that's a fascinating point. I wonder if Github has considered coughing up the the $185k to apply for the .git TLD.

I wonder if anybody has a server on their network named 'git' with which the single label DNS name 'git' as a TLD would conflict?

Wait until someone picks up .intranet. Heh.

Can you imagine how many user credentials per minute a 'mailserver' TLD could harvest?

Yeah, I miss domo-kun.

Why does it think I have a Mac?

That should fix itself if you enable JavaScript. I had the same problem.

I have JavaScript enabled, using chromium, on Debian; it still thinks I have a Mac.

What OS and browser are you on?

A Mac? ;)

I am disappoint.

    $ git --distributed-is-the-new-centralized
    Unknown option: --distributed-is-the-new-centralized
    usage: git [--version] [--exec-path[=<path>]] [--html-path]
               [-p|--paginate|--no-pager] [--no-replace-objects]
               [--bare] [--git-dir=<path>] [--work-tree=<path>]
               [-c name=value] [--help]
               <command> [<args>]

As someone new to version control, and contrary to some opinions here, it was refreshing to see git represented in such a light. Modern, elegant and easy to use. I'm very curious to watch the videos, if they're what I'm expecting this just might be the time I can get my colleagues to use git. In electrical engineering it's very rare for people to even _know_ what version control is.

Im learning git right now for a project. Because all my life i've used win, im now fighting with git-gui and its ugly interface (because of this, and other reasons related to software development, im considering moving to a linux distro) <br> As a newbie, I really appreciate this move, its good for motivation to learn from the source in a clean and studied format

It looks really nice, I kind of miss the old carefree attitude the site used to have but, it's definitely an improvement.

curious question: Which projects within Microsoft are using Git? The company is listed as a user on the front page.

If you click on the Microsoft logo, you'll be taken to the GitHub profile page for Windows Azure: https://github.com/WindowsAzure

Microsoft codeplex now supports git I believe so the general Microsoft community supports it and that specific MS product uses it now. Presumably some internal projects also use it

The ASP.NET MVC and WebAPI frameworks use Git (hosted on Codeplex.) Link: http://aspnetwebstack.codeplex.com/

Something is strange. If you go to German version of the book and click "Los geht's", then click "next" and all you see is 500 Internal Server Error. I've checked the French and Dutch version as well, but they don't have that problem. I guess ' creates the problem.

I love this site - except for one thing. When you click on the Next link button on a page such as http://git-scm.com/about it navigates to the next page - but starts at the bottom! Very, very irritating.

Just realised this has a bug tracking page. Issue logged: https://github.com/github/gitscm-next/issues/51

"Not your Daddy's version control", looks like the brogrammers got their 2c in.

Coincidentally I accessed this in class earlier today without seeing HN first and thought how amazing it was.

I didn't know that it'd gotten a whole new look so recently. Amazing. Congrats to all at Git-SCM, nice job.

Proof that Open Source can have beautiful websites.

Huge improvement!

The title tags could use some love, but I'm sure it's been a mad scramble to get the site up.

If you have places where the titles could be better, please let me know at https://github.com/github/gitscm-next/issues or send a PR

Until I read few commentaries over here, I didn't even know what's the site about.

Sorry, but it's the website for git. Things have websites. How difficult is that to reason, really? The top of the page explains what git is. Isn't it obvious that the site is git's website? It then lists things which one would expect to find on git's website, including the documentation and download sections.

Here are some other websites for things. The front pages also explain what they are and links to more information.

* Y Combinator: http://ycombinator.com/

* Ubuntu: http://www.ubuntu.com/

* Google Chrome: https://www.google.com/chrome

I will admit that some websites don't do a great job at this.

* Firefox: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/fx/

Firefox doesn't say what it is. The other websites say that the things are.

But git-scm.com? How much more information do you need than "Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency." to realize that it's the website for git, the free and open source distributed version control system?

Your comment is not the only one in here like this, but I'm struggling to identify the reason why anybody would consider this website difficult to grok. Sure, it may not have the character of the old website with a monster eating trees, but I really feel that organization and clarity are not issues here.

Fantastic work guys, this looks amazing!

Blows. I miss tree muncher. :(


Looks great!

Sexy. I like.

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