GitHub unveils 'Codespaces', GitHub Discussions and More

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GitHub has unveiled multiple new functionalities for it's platform in it's online Satellite 2020 event held on May 6. The biggest of them all is 'Codespace' - a feature that lets you code directly on the web browser without any setup. Other functionalties inlcude are GitHub Discussions, Code Scanning, Secret Scanning.

The functionality added on the GitHub are:

1) Codespaces

Codespaces works like a virtual Interated Development Environment (IDE) on the cloud. The name may sound similar to most of us, that's because Microsoft too rebranded Visual Studio Code Online to Visual Studio Codespaces about a week ago and both of them works in a similar manner.

So far, you had to pull request to make a contribution to your project. This requires setting up of the environment on your local machine based on the requirement of the project you are working on. But Codespace will eliminate the need to perform this task manually. With a click on the Code button, the whole site will set the environment on it's own in seconds.

The idea behind this functionality is to help the developers who want ot contribute to a project. The workspace can be set up in any way you like. Even multiple configurations can be set for the same project and you can also add plugins you use normally 

It is now available as a beta version for free. While GitHub has said that the code-editing functionality in the CodeSpaces IDE will always remain free, the company eventually plan to charge it's users for intensive tasks such as builds.

2) GitHub Discussions

GitHub Discussions act as a seperate new space for it's users to discuss different aspects and ideas for new features of a project. It can also act as a Q&A platform where developers can ask and answer questions to help one another.

Your contribution to Discussions will also appear in the contribution graphs on your profile. Currently Github is testing the Discussion feature with a few open source communities.

3) Others

Other major addition to the GitHub include Code Scanning & Secret Scanning.

Code Scanning is a new security feature added by GitHub that can identify potential security vulnerabilities in your code. This feature is available for  free in all public projects as of now.

Secret Scanning is another feature added by GitHub that looks for secret API keys in code. It is also available now for all private repositories.