- 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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).
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.
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'?
git - the stupid content tracker
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).
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...
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.
My parents divorced before version control was commonplace, how dare you imply such a thing!
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.
"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! ;-)
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.
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.
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.
> 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 .. :)]
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.
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.
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'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.
I'm just trying to document my thought processes as a website visitor accurately.
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).
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.
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%.
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.
Before git-scm.com there was git.or.cz:
$ git --distributed-is-the-new-centralized
Unknown option: --distributed-is-the-new-centralized
usage: git [--version] [--exec-path[=<path>]] [--html-path]
[--bare] [--git-dir=<path>] [--work-tree=<path>]
[-c name=value] [--help]
I didn't know that it'd gotten a whole new look so recently. Amazing. Congrats to all at Git-SCM, nice job.
The title tags could use some love, but I'm sure it's been a mad scramble to get the site up.
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.