Welcome to the Treehouse Community

The Treehouse Community is a meeting place for developers, designers, and programmers of all backgrounds and skill levels to get support. Collaborate here on code errors or bugs that you need feedback on, or asking for an extra set of eyes on your latest project. Join thousands of Treehouse students and alumni in the community today. (Note: Only Treehouse students can comment or ask questions, but non-students are welcome to browse our conversations.)

Looking to learn something new?

Treehouse offers a seven day free trial for new students. Get access to thousands of hours of content and a supportive community. Start your free trial today.

Development Tools Introduction to Git First Commits Initializing a Repository

Sarah Breidenbach
Sarah Breidenbach
4,490 Points

I don't understand how this would work in a real project. Can I do this on my computer instead of in Workspaces?

If I create the same HTML files and put them in a regular folder on my Mac will that be the same as using the files that are in the Workspace sidebar? Or does that defeat the purpose of creating a repository? A repository is another folder right? So would I want two folders? The one holding the files I'm working on and also the responsitory holding the backup of those files? I'm confused how this example translates into a real life scenario. Is this only for collaborations? I don't think I'm getting the bigger picture.

2 Answers

Jennifer Nordell
seal-mask
STAFF
.a{fill-rule:evenodd;}techdegree
Jennifer Nordell
Treehouse Teacher

Hi there! Yes, of course, you can use git from your local computer and it will work with your file system whether it's macOS, Windows, or Linux. When you use git init inside a folder, it automatically creates a .git folder within the directory you are currently working. Git is used to not much as a backup, but rather to snapshot your files in time. It is a "version control system." That likely sounds really fancy, but I'll bet you've used your own "version control system" before, but sort of self-made.

Ever have a fancy document you need to write up for a meeting/proposal or something? Or even a picture you're editing for use somewhere? Let's assume that it's a Word document. Chances are you did some work on it and saved it as something like "Doc1.docx". You go and do some more edits on it, but you aren't sure you like them. So you save it as "Doc2.docx". Then you do even more edits, but you don't want to lose your first 2 versions (just in case), so you save it as "Doc3.docx". This is an ad-hoc version control system although, you are duplicating your files.

Git does this same sort of thing except it's your changes and "commits" that are saved as that "snapshot in time". If you were then to do something that broke your code, you could go back in time and look at how your code was before it broke. And it does all this without file duplication.

Later on, you will learn about GitHub, which is one of the ways we store a copy of our repository out on the web so that we can collaborate with others and so that we have a backup of our code in case anything catastrophic happens to our local system.

Hope this helps! :sparkles:

I highly encourage you to install git on your local system and give it a go! We learn the most by doing :smiley:

Sarah Breidenbach
Sarah Breidenbach
4,490 Points

Thanks to both responders. So am I correct in thinking that there is one folder that holds the project files I am working on and then a different, second folder, which is the repository, that only holds the changes made and not the complete project? I'm sure I will understand better once I finish the tutorial and try it out.

Colton Ehrman
Colton Ehrman
243 Points

I'm not sure exactly what it is you are asking.

Git is intended a version control tool, simply meaning that it is used to easily control different versions of your project. It is a very useful tool and allows for some complex version control within your project. After using it a bit you will start to see the purpose behind it.