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These text files can for example be source code for a programming language, HTML or configuration files.
Of course, version control systems are not limited to text files, they can also handle other types of files.
Or you may switch between versions of your files for experimental features.
The process of creating different versions (snapshots) in the repository is depicted in the following graphic.
For example, if you want to develop a new feature, you can create a branch and make the changes in this branch.
This does not affect the state of your files in other branches.
A developer can copy (checkout) a certain version from the central sever onto their individual computer.
Both approaches have the drawback that they have one single point of failure.
Both system makes it also harder to work in parallel on different features.
Typically, there is a central server for keeping a repository but each cloned repository is a full copy of this repository.
The decision which of the copies is considered to be the central server repository is pure convention.
Git originates from the Linux kernel development and was founded in 2005 by Linus Torvalds.
Nowadays it is used by many popular open source projects, e.g., the Android or the Eclipse developer teams, as well as many commercial organizations.