Starting Loop: Terminology

What is a Branch?  What is a Fork? What the Heck is GitHub?

There is a lot of new terminology introduced when you come into the DIY community. This page is an attempt to simplify some of the concepts.

The long technical answer to these question is in the LoopDocs Development Page.   It is a good read with a fresh box of wine in front of the fireplace when the snow outside is all the way to the top of the windows.

The abridged answer is RIGHT HERE in this document!


The open-source community is a bunch of open-hearted software developers who make some of their code publicly available on the website

That’s all you need to know.  You will be given the addresses you need to know to access the code.  You just follow directions and click on links.


The released code is on a “branch” called main. This is the branch (version) most user will select. You will be given explicit instructions, step-by-step, on how to do this.

As the developer works on updates, that is always done in a different “branch”, typcially called dev.

The dev branch is for experienced Loopers who want to test the next version of Loop and provide feedback to the developers.  It is not a good idea for someone just starting out on Loop to use the dev branch,  and we don’t recommend that children use a dev branch since they unlikely able to distinguish a software bug from expected behavior.  You’ve been warned.


With open-source software, anyone can decide to make a complete copy (fork) of the code and put it on their own GitHub site. If you decide to use the Browser Build method, this is the way you will begin. But don’t worry about that now. You will be given explicit instructions, step-by-step, on how to do this.


If you decide to use the Mac Build method, you will download a copy (clone) of the code onto your personal computer.  When you follow the Build-Select script directions, the script will do all the work for you.


Loop isn’t just one set of code from one repository.  It actually uses code from multiple repositories organized into a repository known as a Workspace.


    We promised you don’t need to be a computer programmer to Loop.  You do not need to understand all this terminology.  But you may see some of these terms; if you do, just keep on going.  There will be pictures and numbered steps, and mentors willing to assist.

    When you are ready to build, this page in LoopDocs helps you choose your build method and provides links to step you through the process:

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