Repos Beyond Code: A Collection of Creative Uses of GitHub

By September 28, 2018 Uncategorized

One of my secret hobbies is following all manner of cool GitHub repositories. My chops as a developer are limited, but it’s always fun to learn about new technologies and poke around the READMEs to get a sense of how various apps, libraries, utilities, toolkits, and side projects are used.

GitHub is mostly used for projects based on code, so it’s these that make up the large majority of the projects I’ve starred.

But I’m particularly interested in how GitHub, and its underlying protocol Git (about which more below) can be used for things that are not based in code. So for a while I’ve been maintaining a separate list of fascinating projects on GitHub — to date over 60 repos across a wide variety of topics and forms.

I’m calling this collection Repos Beyond Code — right now it primarily lives on Are.na, and you can find the whole thing embedded below.

While GitHub is a proprietary platform, it’s built around the open-source software tool “Git”, which has become the de facto standard for version control. If you’re not a developer: version control software is what enables things like tracking line by line differences in text files, collaborating with a team and resolving conflicts when multiple people are editing a document at the same time, and restoring earlier versions of files when needed (if a recent change caused a bug, for example).

It’s one of the main mechanisms used for collaborative, tracked creation and sharing of text — specifically and most often code, but in practice (and potential)…almost anything! And I think the fact that Git is almost always used in the context of writing code makes it all the more exciting to see uses that break that mold and demonstrate its wider applicability.

Some of my favorite use cases, to name a few I see repeatedly:

  • Would-be-blog-posts
  • Resource lists
  • Guides and handbooks
  • Documentation (of code or otherwise)
  • Books and zines
  • Curricula and syllabi
  • Reading lists
  • Open data sets

Why do I find these projects so interesting? And why does the fact they’re found on GitHub contribute to that?

Part of it is a fascination with the diverse ways we can use technology to both create and share. First, it’s interesting to see how version control software and “working in public” can enhance the processes of writing, editing, and collaborating, helping to bring about all kinds of interesting work. And second, I love how the ethos of open source and the tools (like Git) that power it can extend the ways such work is shared, archived, branched, remixed, and made all the more valuable by being both publicly accessibly and malleable.

Here are a few of my favorites from the collection so far:

If you like opening lots of new browser tabs a little bit I’d start with the links above. If you like opening new browser tabs a lot, go ahead and click each item below!

chadsansing/open-facilitation

 

ubuwaits/beautiful-web-type

 

dariusk/corpora

 

appplemac/cooking-patterns

 

bamos/reading-list

 

coryschires/reading-list

 

nsbarr/HAM

 

thoughtbot/til

 

thoughtbot/design-sprint

 

sinker/tacofancy

 

busterbenson/public

 

dianakimball/mentoring

 

tchoi8/poetry

 

allisonburtch/Critical-Theory-of-Technology

 

maxfenton/boq

 

dylanegan/travel

 

clef/handbook

 

lpatmo/git-training-notes

 

jed/building-brooklynjs

 

awesomedata/awesome-public-datasets

 

WorldAfterCapital/WorldAfterCapital

 

vic317yeh/One-Click-to-Be-Pro

 

nayafia/lemonade-stand

 

datasciencemasters/go

 

prakhar1989/awesome-courses

 

hock/SupplyStudiesSyllabus

 

hypotext/notation

 

frnsys/speculating_futures

 

jwasham/coding-interview-university

 

melanierichards/just-build-websites

 

jdiedrick/whitefragility

 

tegacodes/Dark-Ecology-Studio

 

tegacodes/Drawing-Seeing-Moving-with-Code

 

tegacodes/EccentricInterfaces

 

tegacodes/speculative-bureaucracy

 

dmvaldman/library

 

tchoi8/teachingasart

 

tchoi8/teachingasart2018

 

kdeldycke/awesome-falsehood

 

piepdx/pie-cookbook

 

kamranahmedse/design-patterns-for-humans

 

terkelg/awesome-creative-coding

 

thoughtbot/apprenticeship

 

edouerd/products-systems

 

k4m4/movies-for-hackers

 

nicoleslaw/strategicwriting

 

dexteryy/spellbook-of-modern-webdev

 

learn-anything/curated-lists

 

Untitled

 

MimiOnuoha/missing-datasets

 

danluu/post-mortems

 

openmusictheory/openmusictheory.github.io

 

open-source-ideas/open-source-ideas

 

tiimgreen/github-cheat-sheet

 

noffle/art-of-readme

 

JJ/hoborg

 

antimodular/Best-practices-for-conservation-of-media-art

 

nayafia/awesome-maintainers

 

10up/Engineering-Best-Practices

 

danistefanovic/build-your-own-x

 

basecamp/handbook

 

protocol/research-RFPs

 

OpenJournal/awesome-textbooks

 

nasa-jpl/open-source-rover

 

Droogans/unmaintainable-code

 

kickstarter/kickstarter-autodesk-3d

 

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