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Source code repository software company GitHub today said that in the coming weeks it will roll out Protected Branches, a new feature that should help companies cut down on catastrophes stemming from developers “force pushing” code to certain parts, or branches, of repositories.

The “force push” command of the Git open-source software, which is at the core of GitHub, can force the software to overwrite existing code irrevocably. That can lead to months of setbacks if not done right.

Now GitHub — wisely — wants to make sure that doesn’t happen for the most precious parts of software projects sitting in a repository on GitHub’s website or in the GitHub Enterprise software companies run in a cloud or their own data centers. Hence today’s news.

“Over the next few weeks we’ll be rolling out a new feature called Protected Branches which gives repository administrators the ability to disable force pushes to specific branches,” GitHub designer and product manager Ben Bleikamp wrote. “When it’s enabled for your repositories you’ll be able to go to the Branches tab in repository settings and protect branches.”


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Boasting more than 10 million users, San Francisco-based GitHub announced a $250 million funding round in July.

Some more information on Protected Branches is here.

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