Git client for a 10 year old?
April 27, 2020 11:27 AM   Subscribe

I bought a web domain and set up a github pages site for my soon-to-be step nephew, who is 10. Next, I would like to set things up so he can edit the site himself. Is there a simplified git client that a kid this age could use? I could write some scripts and maybe even a little GUI myself, but then I'd have to maintain those as well :) I'm hoping there is an off-the-shelf client that will work for him.
posted by tom_r to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Something like Source Tree is a GUI that is straightforward. But I think a 10 year old might be able to follow a few git commands themselves as long as they are not doing alot of exotic branching and rebasing.

Is the goal just to allow them to sync their local repo with what is on the server?
posted by nickggully at 11:40 AM on April 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

GitKraken is pretty easy to use and even has a cute mascot that I think 10-year-old me would have enjoyed. The free version automatically integrates with Github, too.
posted by theodolite at 11:42 AM on April 27, 2020

There's also GitHub Desktop.

(Disclaimer: I work for GitHub, although not on Desktop)
posted by jordemort at 12:02 PM on April 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It might also be worth noting that GitHub lets you edit files directly on the website - if he's just maintaining and updating a Pages site, then it might be possible to get by without installing any tools at all.

If you think a text editor with an integrated Git client might be helpful, Visual Studio Code is free and pretty easy to get started with. There is also Atom, which might be a bit less beginner-friendly in general but has more complete / tighter integration with GitHub specifically.

When your nephew is a bit older, the Student Developer Pack will be cool, but you have to be at least 13 to qualify for that.
posted by jordemort at 12:11 PM on April 27, 2020

Response by poster: > [nickggully] Is the goal just to allow them to sync their local repo with what is on the server?

Yes, that's the goal. Right now I just want him to be able to edit the HTML that makes up his site so he can experiment and start to learn / understand how it works. Maybe someday he will want to do more, like learn css or javascript, but for now I want to keep it simple. I don't envision him doing branching or merges or even really understanding the point of source control for a while. But I figure he might as well develop good habits from the beginning.

The other, more self-interested goal is to minimize the amount of tech support I have to do :) Experience tells me that the most time consuming thing would probably be installing and maintaining a git client on his computer(s), and for that reason I think I'm going to try editing directly on the website. That sounds like the simplest solution, so I'll give it a shot and see if it works.

I also think he probably will like the GitKraken mascot, although the editor is likely a bit more than he needs right now :)

Thanks all!
posted by tom_r at 2:09 PM on April 27, 2020

the GitHub desktop client is dead simple, and should be perfect for what you're trying to do. it has a really simple interface and allows you to do the usual tasks really easily, and is really simple to install.
posted by capnsue at 3:54 PM on April 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Gitkraken was the first client that came to my mind as well when I read the question. It has an intuitive interface and the default view exposes the right amount of complexity while also being feature rich enough for him to pick up some skills by himself if he goes looking under the hood.
posted by tillwehavefaces at 7:01 AM on April 29, 2020

After reading this post I downloaded both GitHub Desktop and GitKraken and I *love* GitKraken. It has a built-in merge editor and a lovely GUI with themes and bright colors and simplifies a lot of git commands. Sometimes I don't feel like wrestling with the command line and it's great to be able to right-click on something in GitKraken and just get it done.

Two thumbs up would commit again.
posted by bendy at 8:13 PM on May 14, 2020

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