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Label improvements: emoji, descriptions, and more

Organizing issues and pull requests with labels can help you manage the chaos and be more productive. To support your labeling efforts and make labels even more useful, we’ve made a few enhancements.

Using emoji in labels


When words are just not enough, include emoji in your labels to express yourself and the needs of your project through tiny images. :sparkles:


Add descriptions to your labels to provide even more context and help your contributors apply the right ones to their issues or pull requests. Descriptions will appear when you hover your mouse over labels around GitHub.

Now that labels include descriptions, we’ve added search to the “Labels” page of each repository to help you find the one you’re looking for. Filtering labels in the sidebar of your issue or pull request also filters by description.


When editing a label, you’ll now see a preview of how it will appear once you save it. Use this preview to choose the perfect color or see how your emoji look.

API and Enterprise support for these features is coming soon!

Learn more about using and editing labels on GitHub

Africa, Nigeria, and their growing tech communities

Growing tech communities across Africa will continue to push the continent’s digital revolution forward while powering societal and cultural changes, and a key part of moving this digital revolution forward is increased internet and mobile access across the continent.

In the last decade, mobile access, favorable tech policies, and improved infrastructure and education earned Kenya and South Africa reputations as startup havens. Now, we can add Nigeria—the continent’s largest economy—to the list as its young, growing population and entrepreneurial spirit attract tech investments.

We recently partnered with Ingressive—a Lagos-based tech integration firm with reach across Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa’s tech ecosystems—to explore Lagos’s growing tech sector.

Here’s what we learned.

Nigeria’s youth will play a key role in its technology revolution.

Similar to the rest of the continent, Nigeria has a young population and growing workforce to fuel its technological revolution. Half of the country’s 182 million people are under 30 years old—and the youth population is growing fast.

Nigeria’s young people are enterprising, with 82 percent of them viewing entrepreneurship as a good career. In cities like Lagos and Ibadan, their excitement for software development and tech is clear from packed meetups on the ground.

Developers and entrepreneurs in Nigeria and across Africa are creating a range of projects and contributing to others on GitHub. Check out Tanzanian developer Geofrey Ernest’s utron, a lightweight framework for building fast, scalable and robust database-driven web applications, and Nigerian user interface designer and front-end developer Ire Aderinokun who builds and contributes to tools that make web applications accessible and compatible across devices and web browsers.

While young people in Nigeria are eager to join the tech sector, they also need training. To build their skills, they’re seeking support from a growing number of developer community meetups, conferences, and tech hubs. As of 2016, Nigeria was home to 23 tech hubs—and we should expect to see even more in response to growing demand.

Startups are leading Nigeria’s tech sector growth.

Nigerian startups have grown across industries—including financial technology (fintech), job training, agriculture, travel, and ecommerce—and entrepreneurs are creating products and services that address the challenges of their country’s developing infrastructure. For example, although Nigeria still relies heavily on cash, fintech companies are streamlining banking, payments, and money transfers to help more Nigerians bank digitally and take advantage of the country’s advancing banking system.

Startups like Flutterwave, Paystack, and Paga are a few examples of companies leading the way. From 2015 to 2017, African fintech startups, with the inclusion of Flutterwave and Paystack, raised more than $100 million combined. Flutterwave, a startup that has raised $10 million in funding, and Paystack, the first Nigerian startup accepted into Y Combinator, are not the only Nigerian-centric startups getting attention from foreign investors. Andela, a developer training school that trains African developers for engineering jobs across the globe, has raised $81 million to date and $24 million in 2016 alone from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative—the organization’s first-ever investment. This investment interest is spreading across other African tech ecosystems and reached a record high of about $195 million this year.

The growing attention and investment in Nigerian and African startups will continue to support local tech communities, but government policies are needed to continue their growth.

Tech-friendly policies will support growing investments and partnerships.

Through increased investments and partnerships, Nigerian tech communities can transform the country’s economy and impact others far beyond its borders. The Nigerian government’s support and implementation of tech-friendly policies will be critical in making sure the sector keeps growing.

Government officials know they’ll have a key role to play in the success of Nigerian tech. In a recent keynote for Harvard Business School’s “Africa Rising” course (the program’s first of its kind and yet another indicator of growing interest), Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo noted that “Africa Rising” is also about improving standards of governance, among other factors.

The Nigerian government sees technology as crucial to the continent’s future. Pro-innovation lawmakers can help guide key policy issues like broadband access, free expression, privacy, security, and more.

Bringing it all together

While no one country can represent an entire continent, Nigeria indicates that growing tech communities will be supported by continued investment, partnerships, and policies built specifically for tech ecosystems across Africa.

To learn more about how Nigerians and Africans are building tools and using open source technology, check out this Made in Nigeria compilation along with our Made in Africa collection.

Deprecation notice: Removing anonymous gist creation

In 30 days, we’ll be deprecating anonymous gist creation—a decision we made after a lot of deliberation. Anonymous gists are a handy tool for quickly putting a code snippet online, but as the only way to create anonymous content on GitHub, they also see a large volume of spam. In addition, many people already have a combination of tools authenticated with GitHub that allow them to create gists they own.

Current anonymous gists will always remain accessible, and it’s easy to create a GitHub account to make the most of a new gist. To learn more about creating gists, check out the documentation.

We’ll deprecate anonymous gists using the following timeline:

  • March 19, 2018 19:00 UTC (11:00 am PST): Disable anonymous gist creation via the web and API.

GitHub joins amicus brief to protect sanctuary cities

Yesterday we filed an amicus brief alongside a group of other technology companies supporting San Francisco’s and Santa Clara County’s efforts to permanently block Executive Order 13768, which seeks to deprive sanctuary cities of federal funding. Sanctuary cities are jurisdictions that restrict local cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.

Why this matters

Nearly all U.S. technology hubs are in sanctuary cities. Sanctuary ordinances help local officials provide a safe environment for all residents, uphold human rights, and are one of a set of inclusive institutions that unlock increased wages across all income levels for both immigrants and non-immigrants in response to increased diversity.

Our amicus brief contributes three basic arguments from a technology and emerging company perspective:

  1. The order will encourage behavior that’s antithetical to the values of innovative companies and their communities
  2. The order threatens nearly every major U.S. innovation hub’s ability to provide basic services
  3. The order makes U.S. cities less safe

In other words, the order threatens many things that make Silicon Valley and other U.S. technology hubs attractive to the world’s best innovators and entrepreneurs, and undermines our ability to remain globally competitive.

The order is also bad for software developers worldwide, resulting in a net reduction of opportunity to collaborate and create great software—core parts of GitHub’s mission. We support inclusive communities on our platform, but developers live in communities on the ground. We think it’s critical to foster collaboration, empathy, and innovation among all people, regardless of where they may be. Technology’s challenges are increasingly global and interconnected, and so our solutions must be as well.

How to get involved

Join us by supporting organizations that are fighting for inclusive communities like the ACLU.

To learn about human rights and their connection to developer opportunities, take a look at our our brief and the studies linked above—and keep building inclusive communities, both online and wherever you live.

Release Radar · January 2018

GitHub Release Radar · January 2018

From tougher security to more beautiful source code images, our first Release Radar of 2018 has something for everyone. Check out the latest tools that have been delighting and delivering since January.

osquery 3.0: SQL-powered operating system instrumentation, monitoring, and analytics

Osquery is a friendly, scalable way to query almost any infrastructure like a database, and monitor low-level operating system analytics, intrusion detection, compliance, and more.

We use osquery at GitHub with our custom macOS intrusion detection system to look for malicious activity on our team’s laptops while respecting their privacy. Security firms, small startups, and large enterprises like Palantir also use it to avoid security vulnerabilities.

Let’s say an attacker leaves a malicious process on a machine but deletes the binary. Osquery helps you run a query like SELECT name, path, pid FROM processes WHERE on_disk = 0; to catch it.

osquery 3.0 Screenshot

Did you know: The Osquery Team just relaunched their site, and it’s all open source!

Godot 3.0: a game engine that’s ready for the big leagues

Godot is a free, multi-platform 2D and 3D open source game engine with a huge set of tools, so you can focus on building your game without reinventing the wheel. With a flexible scene system, powerful visual editor, friendly content creation pipeline, and an amazing community, this is a must-try for game developers.

Godot 3.0 is a huge release, so be sure you check out all the new features and changes in the 3.0 announcement.

Godot 3.0 Screenshot

Did you know: The overall winner of this year’s Game Off, a game called Daemon vs. Demon, was built with Godot.

Carbon 2.0: share beautiful images of your source code

Whether you’re tweeting or presenting snippets, Carbon and the Dawn Labs Team are giving you everything you need to make your code images more beautiful—a la Leo Lamprecht’s tweets.

Screenshot generated by Carbon 2.0

Did you know: The output of the Python code above might not be what you expect. The boolean value for the datetime.time object was considered to be False in Python 3.5 and lower if it represented midnight in UTC. The output here is actually ('Time at noon is', datetime.time(12, 0)). See more Python snippets with surprising results

Detectron: a new object detection research tool

Facebook Artificial Intelligence Researchers (FAIR) open sourced Detectron, a system for state-of-the-art object detection research written in Python using Caffe 2.

In addition to enabling research projects, we’re sure it has many practical applications—like detecting that your boss is sneaking up on your desk. Learn more about Facebook open sourcing Detectron


Face Alignment 1.0: detect facial landmarks

Wouldn’t it be neat if you could detect faces in both 2D and 3D? Face Recognition built with Python and PyTorch does just that.

Detect 3D facial landmarks in pictures

Spaceship 3.0: a Zsh prompt for astronauts

Spaceship touts itself as a minimalis, customizable Zsh prompt combining everything you need to be productive, without unnecessary complications just like a real spaceship. Read more about it in the 3.0 announcement post.

Screenshot of Spaceship Prompt

That’s just a handful of releases you shipped last month—keep them coming! If you’ve got a release that should be on our radar, send us a note.


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