Git for the Antisocial: Setting Up a Local-Only Git Repository

Scenario: You want to use git but you don’t want to expose your code on a site like GitHub and you don’t want to deal with setting up your own remote repository from scratch. You want a simple, private, LOCAL repository. Is this possible with git? Is it possible to use git locally? Is it possible to use git without GitHub?

For all that git is often described as a “distributed” version control tool and sometimes confused with GitHub itself[1], you can and should sometimes be using git locally (without GitHub) if you’re using git (or GitHub) at all. Git may not be appropriate for every project, but more importantly, GitHub isn’t an appropriate venue for every project that uses git. Since setting up a local-only git repository takes all of ten seconds…


Defensive Programming Example #1

The other day I stumbled across this bit of C# code, intended to randomly return one of four messages.

// Choose one of 4 messages to display randomly
string theMsg = "";
Random r = new Random();
    case 0: theMsg = "Hey!"; break;
    case 1: theMsg = "Whats up?"; break;
    case 2: theMsg = "Salutations."; break;
    case 3: theMsg = "Hail-"; break;
    default: throw new ArgumentException(); break;
return theMsg;

Few programmers would have trouble grokking what this code does. It’s intelligible and, in its current form, not too much of a maintenance headache. But defensive programming isn’t just about making your code intelligible; it’s about making your code tolerant to quick changes made under pressure, and incremental changes made over time, by people other than yourself, including the future version of yourself who no longer remembers the code.

In that light, this code has a lot of problems: