Earlier this week, Wired published a story about GitHub, the “version control” site that’s taking the internet by storm. But it was more than just a story. It was an experiment in version control. In addition to publishing our GitHub story on Wired, we published our GitHub story on GitHub
GitHub was originally designed for software developers. It lets programmers upload code and share it with other developers. It keeps track of who made what changes where. And it helps merge all those changes together. It “controls” the various versions of an open source software project.
But nowadays, it’s also being used to oversee stuff outside the programming world, including DNA data and Senate bills that may turn into laws and all sorts of other stuff you can put into a text file, such as, well, a Wired article.
At Wired offices, you hear the question over and over again as we work on stories like the one you’re reading now: “Are you out of the story? I want to go in.” We have a version control problem. We publish Wired.com on WordPress. It’s a decent publishing tool, but when two people change a story at the same time, one of them doesn’t get her changes onto the final story.
We published our GitHub story on GitHub because it was meta-cool. But we also did it to see if GitHub might actually help us solve our problem.