Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Notes on my notes on Git

I was mildly shocked, but honoured, to find that the venerable (or at least popular!) Wikipedia references my tutorial in its article on Git. Interestingly, the entry states that Git tips and tricks are 'popularly referred to as "magic"'. I named my guide Git Magic as a homage to Arthur C. Clarke's quip featured in the preface, and also because magic happens to be a hobby of mine. If the Wikipedia comment is true, then either my title was fortuitously appropriate, or I have unwittingly coined a phrase.

More pleasant surprises followed. The guide appeared on the first page when I Googled for "git" (though sadly much lower on Yahoo). I found several pages linking to mine, whose recommendations were probably responsible. Thanks to everyone who praised and promoted my site. [I do work for Google, but I have no control over the ranking of my content.]

It almost makes me feel guilty that my enthusiasm for maintaining the guide and for source control in general has waned. But this is inevitable because of Git's power and convenience: I use Git so frequently that it has faded into the background. Fascinating new commands have gradually transformed into boring old reflexes. Documenting them has as much appeal and utility to me as documenting my exploits with, say, the ls command, or sleeping and eating. Also, there are many more Git tutorials these days. But as long as my site ranks well, I'll attempt to keep it updated.

I use Google Analytics to keep an eye on site traffic as I lack access to the logs on the Stanford server hosting Git Magic. Some observations:

On 20080412, traffic to my site, which includes Git Magic, spiked at over 10000 hits. Previously few days saw more than 100 hits. The spike rapidly diminished to 100 to 200 hits per day until 20080805, when a larger spike of 16000 hits occurred. Again, this activity tapered off quickly to a few hundred hits per day until 20081102, which featured a small spike of over 3500 hits.

It seems the first and third spikes were caused by, and the second spike was caused by an article at

Since mid-September 2007, roughly when the guide was released, the top three browsers were Firefox (67.43%), Safari (12.48%) and Internet Explorer (6%). The top three operating systems were Windows (36.53%), Linux (35.15%) and Macintosh (26.9%).

A handful of hits identified themselves as mobile devices: iPhone (489), iPod (113), SymbianOS (19), DangerHiptop (11), PalmOS (4), Android (3). Some intriguing curiosities: Playstation 3 (8), Nintendo Wii (6) and OS/2 (1).

During the last spike, the top three browsers were Firefox (69.42%), Safari (12.33%) and Chrome (5.15%), and the top three operating systems were Windows (49.45%), Macintosh (27.23%) and Linux (21.73%).

1 comment:

arcadio said...

Your Git Magic guide is awesome! I read it some time ago and it made me learn Git quite fast.