GitHub acknowledges autocrats with 'code owner' feature

Code host also seeking crowd comment on new T&Cs

GitHub's taken a leaf out of Google's Chromium book, introducing a feature that puts review requirements under the control of someone designated as a code owner.

Either individuals or teams can be code owners, responsible for a given slab of software and notified whenever someone makes a pull request.

Those who hold the honour/burden are simply listed in a file called – you'll never guess – CODEOWNERS in the root directory of a repository. GitHub describes the (pretty simple) syntax here.

# This is a comment.
# Each line is a file pattern followed by one or more owners.

# These owners will be the default owners for everything in the repo.
# Unless a later match takes precedence, @global-owner1 and @global-owner2
# will be requested for review when someone opens a pull request.
*       @global-owner1 @global-owner2

# Order is important; the last matching pattern takes the most precedence.
# When someone opens a pull request that only modifies JS files, only @js-owner
# and not the global owner(s) will be requested for a review.
*.js    @js-owner

# You can also use email addresses if you prefer. They'll be used to look up
# users just like we do for commit author emails.

GitHub's also asking for community input on an updated terms of service, discussed here, the most important of which cover private repositories and licences. ®

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