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Bitbucket vs. GitHub: Which is Right for You?

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A publishing tool, a Version Control System, or a Collaboration Platform! These can be some of the defining words for the two very famous web-hosting Git repositories: Bitbucket and Github. Git is widely used amongst the programmers and developers for re-developing a maintained code. With this technology, a local and web copy of projects can be saved. 

How Does Version Control System Works?

A Version Control System simply allows saving multiple snapshots of single project. Say, we have a project and files of code. When we work on it for some time, we might find the need to create a safe point of it (which is S1 in the figure).

Now, if we want to work more on the same project, we can copy the code and modify it and then again create its safe point (which is S2 in the figure). And likewise, it is possible to continue modifying the project (S3) but at the same time maintain history of previous projects as well. Say, at some point of time, our project did not work well (S4). So, we have the option to go back to the previous version (S3) and get started again.

When a Git repository is created, a master branch is developed and as long as we generate safe points, the master branches are added. Now, there can be requirement of adding new features to a project that is working currently (S4). So, when one developer is busy adding features to the project (F1), another can continue to make relevant modifications and work on it (S5) and same can be continued. When the features branch is done with the development, they can be merged to the main development branch (S8). 

version-control-system.pngThere are two types of Git repositories that can be found at both the platforms: Private and Public. While the public repositories are available to everyone, the private repositories can be made visible or hidden according to its developer’ choice and the account type.

A Comparative Study: GitHub Vs. BitBucket

Features Factor:

If we talk about the popularity factor, then definitely Github is way ahead with around 4 million users. But this does not mean that BitBucket is any way less in this concern but yes Github is running the race). At the front-end of both the platforms, developers get direct access to issues tracking, command line tools for Mac, Windows, Linux, and mobile phones, wikis etc. Although, one is better than the other but in many of the cases, it’s the matter of taste that helps to make the decision. 

However, if we talk about prioritizing function of Github that is unavailable on Bitbucket is Gist which is a technology to make the developer’ work shareable. Files or applications can be shared through Gist which is itself a Git repository that can be cloned, modified, or forked.  

Another effective feature available in GitHub is two-factor authentication (2FA). This is helpful for the websites that rely upon the single piece of security code for authentication. This means along with the password to login, there will be an additional security measure offered. When you login to the Github account, an OTP (One Time Password) will be generated and sent on the mobile phone (if 2FA is activated). This OTP has to be entered when asked while login and then only the account can be accessed. But this 2FA feature is absent from BitBucket. 

HTML Pages:

Both Github and Bitbucket are platforms for developers but to make it flexible, they are made opened for normal users for project sharing. This is done through the HTML pages that can be designed for user convenience. Also, URL creation is completely a user’ choice: Either it can be a nifty URL like github.io (URL Shortner) or a URL with name.bitbucket.com. 

The Welcome Board:

A lot more about both the platforms can be known through their Explore page. If you check out Bitbucket, it will showcase it as a normal Search page while on Github, You can check out it give view of all the trending topics on the main page, the job board etc.

Community Support:

On analyzing some popular and entrusted communities like Stackoverflow, it can be noticed that much questions are asked about Github than Bitbucket. More than that, Github questions are answered within minimum possible time. Also, for some popular libraries (for example: Java, JS, Ruby), undoubtedly the place to visit for developers in Github. And here, the open source nature can be counted as the contribution. 

Git or Mercurial?

Initially, Bitbucket was a platform for Mercurial and the support for Git was added in the year 2011. On the other hand, Github was dedicated for Git from the start. If you are migrated to a distributed VCS, then Mercurial is the best available option. Although, from learning point of view, mercurial is the better option but definitely, Git offer a better control.

Price Comparison:

Bitbucket assigns a price tag of around 10-200 dollars for 5 unlimited collaborations. While on the other hand, GitHub is divided into personal and organizational accounts. With an organizational account, there is option for a team management layer which cost around 25 to 200 dollars for every month. However, academics have the advantage of free as well as discounted services. 

Pros and Cons of Using GitHub:

Positives:
  • Developers are provided with the ability of creating their own websites for submitting or sharing projects.
  • The issue tracking feature of GitHub has made it easy for developers to work around on bugs.
  • The interface of Github is very intuitive. Plus, anyone can fork a request and can submit a pull request.
  • The search box of Github gives a simplified way to the developers to look out for number of projects that are hosted on it and get the relevant one.
  • GitHub dedicatedly includes a page where developers can find open source projects. Likewise, the trending topics are displayed and sorted accordingly.
  • There are popular cloud hosting services that are integrated with GitHub which gives the advantage of submitting Gits on them. Some of the services are: Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services etc.
Negative:
  • At Github, you will find that only the public repositories are available free of cost. Closed repositories are only available to those who have premium account and the highlighting point is, they are not cheap.
  • To sign in to Github on web, there is no other alternative than the normal login credentials. There is no way offered to get into the service through Facebook or Google+ account.
Pros and Cons of Using BitBucket:

Positives:
  • On this platforms, the developers get the benefit of unlimited private repositories and that too free of cost. But, this offer would applicable only when the number of members in the team are 5 or less than 5. So, the point is, the charges are dependent upon the number of team members and not the access to number of private repository.
  • JIRA is one biggest source for projects and for tracking issues and is developed by Atlassian (which is the mastermind behind Bitbucket). When both of them work in collaboration, there is advantage of automatic up-dation when new commit is done in BitBucket repository.
  • There are number of ways offered for login: Google, Twitter, Facebook, Github etc.
  • Atlassian is known for providing licenses for academic purpose wherein teachers as well as the students can have unlimited private repositories.
  • Bitbucket includes the option of importing repositories from different platforms. This is done through the URL of a repository to be imported.
Negatives:
  • Private repositories are made free only for 5 members (max). For an additional member in the team, additional charges has to be made.
  • There is no way included in BitBucket to search for required source code. The developer have to download the repository first and then perform the search locally.
Final Verdict:

Both GitHub and Bitbucket are designed to ease the job of a developer in one way or the other. On comparing the good and bad points about both the platforms, it can be concluded that choosing one over the other is completely a matter of choice as both of them are empowered with absolute features to get the best and relevant source code for projects at best possible price. 

However, when it comes to making a choice between both, GitHub takes over the game due to its better security, more open source projects, complete dedication over Gits, and definitely better public sharing.  
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by:Sofía Tomas
Dear Moderator,

My article "Bitbucket vs. GitHub: Which is Right for You?" is ready for re-review. Please Check it.

Regards
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by:Sofía Tomas
Dear Editor,

Thanks for your reply.

Regards
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