Git is a powerful, distributed source code management system. However,
the way it’s used for
gawk development purposely does not take
advantage of all its features.
Instead, the model is rather simple, and in many ways much like more traditional distributed systems such as the Concurrent Versions System (CVS) or Subversion (SVN).
The central idea can be termed “push/pull.” You pull updates down from the central repository to your local copy, and if you have commit rights, you push your changes or updates up to the central repository.
Where Git does stand out is in its management of multiple branches of development. Git makes it very easy to set up a separate branch for use in fixing a bug or developing a feature. You can then easily keep that branch up to date with respect to the main development branch(es), and eventually merge the changes from your branch into the main branch.
Almost always Git does these merges for you without problem. When there is a problem (a merge conflict), usually it is very easy for you to resolve them and then complete the merge. We talk about this in more detail later (see Merge Conflicts).