You have to admit, the title is pretty cool right? It’s cause you clone the repos and the clones are in Star Wars, get it? A? Get it? Never mind…
In this article I’ll tackle some of the differences between GitHub and BitBucket, two of the currently most popular version control services. Although at first, the two may seem only to differ in terms of design there is actually more than it meets the eye.
The first difference is the technical implementation which surprisingly is quite different. GitHub is written with Ruby and Erlang and hosted on Rackspace while BitBucket was built almost entirely on Django (Python). There’s an excellent article on how the developers from GitHub made the most of Ruby on GitHub blog which you can read here. Another structural difference is that Bitbucket hosts mercurial AND git repositories while GitHub hosts only git repositories.
In terms of features it all depends on what you require. I personally host all my freelance projects on BitBucket since I usually work alone and I get an unlimited number of free repositories which is a great save on the budget compared to GitHub which charges every private repo. However, when it comes to open source I can’t really imagine hosting one on BitBucket and in this area GitHub my winner since I somehow find it to be like a synonym for open source. Some of the major open source projects like Linux, jQuery and recently Swift are hosted on GitHub servers.
If you need an enterprise solution BitBucket seems to win over. You get free plan with unlimited private repositories with as many as 5 collaborators, amazing Jira integration, both Git and mercurial support and android app (Bit Beaker). Even though BitBucket was released after GitHub and many people accused if of being a copy cat in the last period I’m seeing some major improvements to their platform (especially after the acquisition by Atlassian) while the developers and owners at GitHub don’t work too much on adding new features. Proof of that was a letter of the community addressed to GitHub in which GitHub users stated that they are frustrated.
In conclusion I would say that for 99% of developers GitHub is the first choice for hosting open source projects while for enterprise (or even freelance) projects BitBucket seems to be wining the game because of the constant improvements and new features. For those of you who prefer to be hipster oriented in the developers world I would recommend checking out GitLab which is an open source software with free unlimited collaborators and unlimited (private) repositories. Share in the comments your preferred version control service and what are the reasons behind it.