The GitHub Tech Tree


In their third deposit, GitHub preserved what they refer to as the Tech Tree, a selection of works intended to describe how the world makes and uses software today, as well as an overview of how computers work and the foundational technologies required to make and use computers. The purpose of the GitHub Archive Program is to preserve open-source software for future generations. This implies also preserving the knowledge of other technologies on which open-source software runs, along with a depiction of the open-source movement which brought this software into being. “This initial version of the Tech Tree will consist almost entirely of copies of pre-existing works, none of which were written for an unknown audience a long way into the future. As such it is not so much a guide as a collection of resources that we hope will be historically interesting and/or useful. We have tried to strike a balance between abstract/theoretical and concrete/practical work, and to provide at least an overview of the entire technical stack on which modern software engineering rests.” Jon Evans, Founding director of the GitHub Archive Program. In addition to all the technical documentation, GitHub have also included a selection of artistic, cultural, and historical works, to help describe the overall cultural context in which this archive was created. A data dump of an entire 2020 snapshot of Wikipedia in the archive’s five primary languages, along with a snapshot of Stack Overflow and sundry other smaller data collections, is also stored alongside all the technical documentation in the Tech Tree.

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