Git began life when the Linux kernel team sought a highly performant, distributed and robust version control platform for developers worldwide. This is an important tool in the development pipeline, allowing new code from multiple developers to be pulled together with robust protections from corruption.
Finding nothing suitable, Linus Torvalds wrote his own - after all, what else would Linus do? He began on April 3rd 2005 and released it on April 7th.
Today, Git is the major source code control system In use. It's seen off much off the competition and it's the basis for the world's largest single source code repository, GitHub.
"GitHub is built on Git, and GitHub wouldn’t have been around without it. We’re lucky to have been able to benefit from Git in a number of ways, including its internal data model and flexibility. Likewise, Git had an instant user-base because it was created for the Linux kernel, so it had a built-in endorsement from the kernel community," said Jeff King, Distinguished Software Engineer, GitHub.
GitHub has delivered back to Git, contributing "many substantial features upstream, including pluggable reference backends, object bitmaps, delta islands, much of the groundwork for the SHA-256 transition, HTTP authentication, the credential subsystem, and more," King said.
Git's 15 years not only chronicle the rise of the product, but a vast turnaround in open source software's standing. It's unfathomable now but at the beginning of this century there were enterprises almost at war with the open source movement. Today, open source is "the place developers and beyond work to solve problems at a global scale. Whether that be at work, for a personal project, or as a way to give back to issues they care about, open source is the place where people are coming together to collaborate and work towards a common goal," King said.
Git's come a long way, but there is more to come. What do the next 15 years hold? According to King, "the next stop for Git is a focus on larger repositories. Git repositories are a unique thing to try and make scale because they only grow larger over time. The Git community is already making steady improvements for larger-than-life repositories, like partial clones, sparse checkouts, and many optimisations at the object storage layer such as commit-graphs, multi-pack indexes, and more."