GitHub allows files of nearly any type to be uploaded to a project, such as audio files and images, but predominantly the site is text-based. Source code, pull requests, discussions, issues, and all other means of collaboration take place primarily via the written (typed) word. That changes today, with the open-source giant making video available to everyone, across the entire site.
Specifically, .mp4 and .mov files can now be uploaded to issues, pull requests, discussions, and other areas where dialogue and collaboration take place.
GitHub says it has already seen projects use video, during the feature's beta phase, in helpful ways. These include:
- helping a maintainer reproduce a bug. Sometimes words aren't enough to help someone reproduce a problem. Uploading a video significantly decreases the time a maintainer has to spend to try and reproduce a problem report from the text. It is also easy to imagine the video crosses language barriers - the problem reporter and the software maintainer do not need to speak a common language when a video easily demonstrates the steps used to reproduce an issue.
- provide context on pull requests for reviewers. GitHub sees pull requests as "conversations on code” and these conversations can now be augmented with videos, sharing more details about complex code changes through a walkthrough of the code, a demonstration of the functionality, and providing another important context.
- share how a feature might take shape. A static design or well-written product specification are always well-received, but sharing a video of a prototype can help development teams get to the heart of what they are setting out to build and why.
You can upload videos from anywhere; the GitHub mobile apps for iOS and Android also support uploading videos, as well as the website itself. Mobile developers can record a video of a mobile bug and upload it straight to an issue from the same device.
GitHub says this is a first step in bringing video into software development across the site and is looking to explore more use cases.