GitHub, a subsidiary of Microsoft, is an American web-based hosting service for version control using Git. It is mostly used for computer code. It offers all of the distributed version control and source code management (SCM) functionality of Git as well as adding its own features.

It provides access control and several collaboration features such as bug tracking, feature requests, task management, and wikis for every project.[3]

GitHub offers plans for enterprise, team, pro and free accounts[4] which are commonly used to host open-source software projects.[5] As of January 2019, GitHub offers unlimited private repositories to all plans, including free accounts.[6]

As of May 2019, GitHub reports having over 37 million users[7] and 57 million repositories[8] (including 28 million public repositories[9]), making it the largest host of source code in the world.[10]

GitHub, Inc.
GitHub logo 2013 padded
Type of businessSubsidiary
Type of site
Collaborative version control
Available inEnglish
FoundedFebruary 8, 2008 (as Logical Awesome LLC)
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, U.S.
Area servedWorldwide
CEONat Friedman
Key peopleP. J. Hyett (COO)
ParentMicrosoft (2018–present)
Alexa rankPositive decrease 55 (February 2019)[2]
RegistrationOptional (required for creating and joining projects)
Users37 million (May 2019)
LaunchedApril 10, 2008
Current statusActive
Written inRuby


GitHub at AWS Summit

GitHub was developed by Chris Wanstrath, P. J. Hyett, Tom Preston-Werner and Scott Chacon using Ruby on Rails, and started in February 2008. The company, GitHub, Inc., has existed since 2007 and is located in San Francisco.[11]

Mapping collaborative software on GitHub
The shading of the map illustrates the number of users as a proportion of each country's Internet population. The circular charts surrounding the two hemispheres depict the total number of GitHub users (left) and commits (right) per country.

On February 24, 2009, GitHub team members announced, in a talk at Yahoo! headquarters, that within the first year of being online, GitHub had accumulated over 46,000 public repositories, 17,000 of which were formed in the previous month alone. At that time, about 6,200 repositories had been forked at least once and 4,600 had been merged.

On July 5, 2009, GitHub announced that the site was now harnessed by over 100,000 users. On July 27, 2009, in another talk delivered at Yahoo!, Preston-Werner announced that GitHub had grown to host 90,000 unique public repositories, 12,000 having been forked at least once, for a total of 135,000 repositories.[12]

On July 25, 2010, GitHub announced that it was hosting 1 million repositories.[13] On April 20, 2011, GitHub announced that it was hosting 2 million repositories.[14]

On June 2, 2011, ReadWriteWeb reported that GitHub had surpassed SourceForge and Google Code in total number of commits for the period of January to May 2011.[15]

On July 9, 2012, Peter Levine, general partner at GitHub investor Andreessen Horowitz, stated that GitHub had been growing revenue at 300% annually since 2008 "profitably nearly the entire way".[16]

On January 16, 2013, GitHub announced it had passed the 3 million users mark and was then hosting more than 5 million repositories.[17] On December 23, 2013, GitHub announced it had reached 10 million repositories.[18]

In June 2015, GitHub opened an office in Japan that is its first office outside of the U.S.[19]

On July 29, 2015, GitHub announced it had raised $250 million in funding in a round led by Sequoia Capital. The round valued the company at approximately $2 billion.[20]

In 2016, GitHub was ranked No. 14 on the Forbes Cloud 100 list.[21]

On February 28, 2018, GitHub fell victim to the second largest distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack in history, with incoming traffic reaching a peak of about 1.35 terabits per second.[22]

On June 4, 2018, Microsoft announced it had reached an agreement to acquire GitHub for US$7.5 billion.[23] The purchase closed on October 26, 2018.[24]

On June 19, 2018, GitHub expanded its GitHub Education by offering free education bundles to all schools.[25][26]

Acquisition by Microsoft

On June 4, 2018, Microsoft announced its intent to acquire GitHub for US$7.5 billion, and the deal closed on Oct. 26, 2018.[27] GitHub will continue to operate independently as a community, platform and business. Under Microsoft, the service will be led by Xamarin's Nat Friedman, reporting to Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft Cloud and AI. Current CEO Chris Wanstrath will be retained as a "technical fellow", also reporting to Guthrie. Microsoft had become a significant user of GitHub, using it to host open source projects and development tools such as Chakra Core, PowerShell, and Visual Studio Code, and has backed other open source projects such as Linux, and developed Git Virtual File System—a Git extension for managing large-scale repositories (and itself has been adopted by GitHub).[23][28][29]

There have been concerns from developers Kyle Simpson, Javascript trainer and author, and Rafael Laguna, CEO at Open-Xchange over Microsoft's purchase, citing uneasiness over Microsoft's handling of previous acquisitions, such as Nokia's mobile business or Skype.[30][31]

Some saw this as a culmination of Microsoft's recent changes in business strategy under CEO Satya Nadella, which has seen a larger focus on the sale of cloud computing services as its main line of business, alongside development of and contributions to open source software (such as Linux), as opposed to the Microsoft Windows operating system.[32][28][29] Harvard Business Review argued that Microsoft was intending to acquire GitHub to get access to its userbase, so it can be used as a loss leader to encourage use of its other development products and services.[33]

Concerns over the sale bolstered interest in competitors: Bitbucket (owned by Atlassian), GitLab (a commercial open source product that also runs a hosted service version) and SourceForge (owned by BIZX, LLC) reported that they had seen spikes in new users intending to migrate projects from GitHub to their respective services.[34][35][36][37]

Company affairs

Organizational structure

GitHub, Inc. was originally a flat organization with no middle managers; in other words, "everyone is a manager" (self-management).[38] Employees could choose to work on projects that interested them (open allocation), but salaries were set by the chief executive.[39]

In 2014, GitHub, Inc. introduced a layer of middle management.[40]

Finance was a start-up business, which in its first years provided enough revenue to be funded solely by its three founders and start taking on employees.[41] In July 2012, four years after the company was founded, Andreessen Horowitz invested $100 million in venture capital.[3] In July 2015 GitHub raised another $250 million of venture capital in a series B round. Investors were Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive Capital and other venture capital funds.[42] As of August 2016, GitHub was making $140 million in Annual Recurring Revenue.[43]


GitHub's mascot is an anthropomorphized "octocat" with five octopus-like arms.[44][45] The character was created by graphic designer Simon Oxley as clip art to sell on iStock,[46] a website that enables designers to market royalty-free digital images.

GitHub became interested in Oxley's work after Twitter selected a bird that he designed for their own logo.[47] The illustration GitHub chose was a character that Oxley had named Octopuss.[46] Since GitHub wanted Octopuss for their logo (a use that the iStock license disallows), they negotiated with Oxley to buy exclusive rights to the image.[46]

GitHub renamed Octopuss to Octocat,[46] and trademarked the character along with the new name.[44] Later, GitHub hired illustrator Cameron McEfee to adapt Octocat for different purposes on the website and promotional materials; McEfee and various GitHub users have since created hundreds of variations of the character, which are available on The Octodex.[48][49]

Harassment allegations

In March 2014, GitHub programmer Julie Ann Horvath alleged that founder and CEO Tom Preston-Werner and his wife Theresa engaged in a pattern of harassment against her that led to her leaving the company.[50] In April 2014, GitHub released a statement denying Horvath's allegations.[51][52] However, following an internal investigation, GitHub confirmed the claims. GitHub's CEO Chris Wanstrath wrote on the company blog, "The investigation found Tom Preston-Werner in his capacity as GitHub's CEO acted inappropriately, including confrontational conduct, disregard of workplace complaints, insensitivity to the impact of his spouse's presence in the workplace, and failure to enforce an agreement that his spouse should not work in the office."[53] Preston-Werner then resigned from the company. In 2017 more allegations were made of discriminatory and unsupportive behavior at GitHub by a developer who had been recruited following a commitment by GitHub to improve its diversity and inclusivity.[54]



Development of the GitHub platform began on October 19, 2007.[55][56][57] The site was launched in April 2008 by Tom Preston-Werner, Chris Wanstrath, P. J. Hyett and Scott Chacon after it had been made available for a few months prior as a beta release.[58]

Projects on GitHub can be accessed and manipulated using the standard Git command-line interface and all of the standard Git commands work with it. GitHub also allows registered and non-registered users to browse public repositories on the site. Multiple desktop clients and Git plugins have also been created by GitHub and other third parties that integrate with the platform.

The site provides social networking-like functions such as feeds, followers, wikis (using wiki software called Gollum) and a social network graph to display how developers work on their versions ("forks") of a repository and what fork (and branch within that fork) is newest.

A user must create an account in order to contribute content to the site, but public repositories can be browsed and downloaded by anyone. With a registered user account, users are able to have discussions, manage repositories, submit contributions to others' repositories, and review changes to code.

The fundamental software that underpins GitHub is Git itself, written by Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux. The additional software that provides the GitHub user interface was written using Ruby on Rails and Erlang by GitHub, Inc. developers Wanstrath,[59] Hyett, and Preston-Werner.


GitHub is mostly used for code.

In addition to source code, GitHub supports the following formats and features:

  • Documentation, including automatically rendered README files in a variety of Markdown-like file formats (see README files on GitHub)
  • Issue tracking (including feature requests) with labels, milestones, assignees and a search engine
  • Wikis
  • Pull requests with code review and comments
  • Commits history
  • Graphs: pulse, contributors, commits, code frequency, punch card, network, members
  • Integrations Directory[60]
  • Unified and split diffs
  • Email notifications
  • Option to subscribe someone to notifications by @ mentioning them.[61]
  • Emojis[62]
  • GitHub Pages: small websites can be hosted from public repositories on GitHub. The URL format is[63]
  • Nested task-lists within files
  • Visualization of geospatial data
  • 3D render files that can be previewed using a new integrated STL file viewer that displays the files on a "3D canvas".[64] The viewer is powered by WebGL and Three.js.
  • Photoshop's native PSD format can be previewed and compared to previous versions of the same file.
  • PDF document viewer
  • Security Alerts of known Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures in different packages

Licensing of repositories

GitHub's Terms of Service do not require public software projects hosted on GitHub to meet the Open Source Definition. For that reason, it is essential for users and developers intending to use a piece of software found on GitHub to read the software license in the repository (usually found in a top-level file called "LICENSE", "LICENSE.txt", or similar) to determine if it meets their needs. The Terms of Service state, "By setting your repositories to be viewed publicly, you agree to allow others to view and fork your repositories."[65]

GitHub Enterprise

GitHub Enterprise is similar to GitHub's public service but is designed for use by large-scale enterprise software development teams where the enterprise wishes to host their repositories behind a corporate firewall.[66]


GitHub also operates other services: a pastebin-style site called Gist[58] that is for hosting code snippets (GitHub proper is for hosting larger projects).

Tom Preston-Werner presented the then-new Gist feature at a punk rock Ruby conference in 2008.[67] Gist builds on the traditional simple concept of a pastebin by adding version control for code snippets, easy forking, and SSL encryption for private pastes. Because each "gist" has its own Git repository, multiple code snippets can be contained in a single paste and they can be pushed and pulled using Git. Further, forked code can be pushed back to the original author in the form of a patch, so gists (pastes) can become more like mini-projects.

Education program

GitHub launched a new program called the GitHub Student Developer Pack to give students free access to popular development tools and services. GitHub partnered with Bitnami, Crowdflower, DigitalOcean, DNSimple, HackHands, Namecheap, Orchestrate, Screenhero, SendGrid, Stripe, Travis CI and Unreal Engine to launch the program.[68]

In 2016 GitHub announced the launch of the GitHub Campus Experts program[69] to train and encourage students to grow technology communities at their universities. The Campus Experts program is open to university students of 18 years and older across the world.[70] GitHub Campus Experts are one of the primary ways that GitHub funds student oriented events and communities, Campus Experts are given access to training, funding, and additional resources to run events and grow their communities. To become a Campus Expert applicants must complete an online training course consisting of multiple modules designed to grow community leadership skills.

GitHub Marketplace service

GitHub also provides some software as a service integrations for adding extra features to projects. Those services include:

  • Project management for software teams. Automatically see pull requests, automated builds, reviews, and deployments across all of your repositories in GitHub.
  • Rollbar: Integrate with GitHub to provide real time debugging tools and full-stack exception reporting. It is compatible with all well used code languages, such as JavaScript, Python, .NET, Ruby, PHP, Node.js, Android, iOS, Go, Java, and C#.
  • Codebeat: For automated code analysis specialized in web and mobile developers. The supported languages for this software are: Elixir, Go, Java, Swift, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, Kotlin, Objective-C, and TypeScript.
  • Travis CI: To provide confidence for your apps while doing test and ship. Also gives full control over the build environment, to adapt it to the code. Supported languages: Go, Java, JavaScript, Objective-C, Python, PHP, Ruby, and Swift.
  • GitLocalize: Developed for teams that are translating their content from one point to another. GitLocalize automatically syncs with your repository so you can keep your workflow on GitHub. It also keeps you updated on what needs to be translated.

GitHub Community Forum


GitHub maintains a community forum where users can ask questions publicly or answer questions of other users.

GitHub Sponsors


GitHub Sponsors allows users to make monthly money donations to projects hosted on GitHub. The public beta was announced on May 23, 2019 and currently the project accepts wait list registrations. The Verge said that GitHub Sponsors "works exactly like Patreon" because "developers can offer various funding tiers that come with different perks, and they’ll receive recurring payments from supporters who want to access them and encourage their work" except with "zero fees to use the program". Furthermore, GitHub offer incentives for early adopters during the first year: it pledges to cover payment processing costs, and match sponsorship payments up to $5,000 per developer. Furthermore, users still can use other similar services like Patreon and Open Collective and link to their own websites.[71][72]

Developed projects

  • Atom, a free and open-source text and source code editor
  • Electron, an open-source framework to use javascript-based websites as desktop applications.


On December 3, 2014, GitHub was blacklisted in Russia because GitHub initially refused to take down user-posted suicide manuals.[73] After a day, Russia withdrew its block.[74]

On December 31, 2014, GitHub was blocked in India (along with 31 other websites) over pro-ISIS content posted by users.[75] On January 10, 2015, GitHub was unblocked.

On March 26, 2015, GitHub fell victim to a massive DDoS attack that lasted for more than 118 hours.[76] The attack, which appeared to originate from China, primarily targeted GitHub-hosted user content describing methods of circumventing Internet censorship.[77][78][79]

On October 8, 2016, GitHub access was blocked by the Turkish government to prevent email leakage of a hacked account belonging to the country's Energy Minister.[80]

Prominent users

Some prominent open source organizations and projects use GitHub as a primary place for collaboration, including:

See also


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  4. ^ "Why GitHub's pricing model stinks (for us)". LosTechies. November 7, 2012. Archived from the original on June 29, 2015. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
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External links

996 working hour system

The 996 working hour system (Chinese: 996工作制; pinyin: Jiǔjiǔliù gōngzuò zhì) is a de facto work schedule commonly practiced in the People's Republic of China. It derives its name from its requirement that employees work from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, 6 days per week. A number of Chinese internet companies have adopted this system as their official work schedule. Critics argue that the 996 working hour system is a flagrant violation of Chinese law.In March 2019 an "anti-996" protest was launched via GitHub.


AngularJS is a JavaScript-based open-source front-end web framework mainly maintained by Google and by a community of individuals and corporations to address many of the challenges encountered in developing single-page applications. It aims to simplify both the development and the testing of such applications by providing a framework for client-side model–view–controller (MVC) and model–view–viewmodel (MVVM) architectures, along with components commonly used in rich Internet applications. (This flexibility has led to the acronym MVW, which stands for "model-view-whatever" and may also encompass model–view–presenter and model–view–adapter.) In 2014, the original AngularJS team began working on the Angular web framework.

The AngularJS framework works by first reading the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) page, which has additional custom HTML attributes embedded into it. Angular interprets those attributes as directives to bind input or output parts of the page to a model that is represented by standard JavaScript variables. The values of those JavaScript variables can be manually set within the code, or retrieved from static or dynamic JSON resources.

According to JavaScript analytics service Libscore, AngularJS is used on the websites of Wolfram Alpha, NBC, Walgreens, Intel, Sprint, ABC News, and about 12,000 other sites out of 1 million tested in October 2016. AngularJS is currently in the top 100 of the most starred projects on GitHub.AngularJS is the frontend part of the MEAN stack, consisting of MongoDB database, Express.js web application server framework, Angular.js itself, and Node.js server runtime environment.

Atom (text editor)

Atom is a free and open-source text and source code editor for macOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows with support for plug-ins written in Node.js, and embedded Git Control, developed by GitHub. Atom is a desktop application built using web technologies. Most of the extending packages have free software licenses and are community-built and maintained. Atom is based on Electron (formerly known as Atom Shell), a framework that enables cross-platform desktop applications using Chromium and Node.js. It is written in CoffeeScript and Less. It was able to be used as an integrated development environment (IDE), until that feature was 'retired' in December 2018. Atom was released from beta, as version 1.0, on 25 June 2015. Its developers call it a "hackable text editor for the 21st Century".

Comparison of source-code-hosting facilities

A source-code repository is a file archive and web hosting facility where a large amount of source code, for software or for web pages, is kept, either publicly or privately. They are often used by open-source software projects and other multi-developer projects to handle various versions. They help developers submit patches of code in an organized fashion. Often these web sites support version control, bug tracking, release management, mailing lists, and wiki-based documentation...

People who write software retain their copyright when their software is posted to any code hosting facilities, including the "non-gnu" section of GNU Savannah—with the exception of contributors to Free Software Foundation (FSF)-copyrighted programs at GNU Savannah.

Google Authenticator

Google Authenticator is a software-based authenticator that implements two-step verification services using the Time-based One-time Password Algorithm (TOTP; specified in RFC 6238) and HMAC-based One-time Password algorithm (HOTP; specified in RFC 4226), for authenticating users of mobile applications by Google.When logging into a site supporting Authenticator (including Google services) or using Authenticator-supporting third-party applications such as password managers or file hosting services, Authenticator generates a six- to eight-digit one-time password which users must enter in addition to their usual login details.

Previous versions of the software were open-source but subsequent releases are proprietary.

Google Fuchsia

Fuchsia is a capability-based operating system currently being developed by Google. It first became known to the public when the project appeared on GitHub in August 2016 without any official announcement. In contrast to prior Google-developed operating systems such as Chrome OS and Android, which are based on the Linux kernel, Fuchsia is based on a new microkernel called Zircon.

The GitHub project suggests Fuchsia can run on many platforms, from embedded systems to smartphones, tablets, and personal computers. In May 2017, Fuchsia was updated with a user interface, along with a developer writing that the project was not a "dumping ground of a dead thing", prompting media speculation about Google's intentions with the operating system, including the possibility of it replacing Android.


HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) is an open-source virtual machine based on just-in-time (JIT) compilation that serves as an execution engine for Hack programming language and used to support PHP execution before release of HHVM version 4. By using the principle of JIT compilation, Hack code is first transformed into intermediate HipHop bytecode (HHBC), which is then dynamically translated into x86-64 machine code, optimized, and natively executed. This contrasts with PHP's usual interpreted execution, in which the Zend Engine transforms PHP source code into opcodes that serve as a form of bytecode, and executes the opcodes directly on the Zend Engine's virtual CPU.HHVM is developed by Facebook, with the project's source code hosted on GitHub; it is licensed under the terms of the PHP License and Zend License.


HTML Tidy is a console application for correcting invalid hypertext markup language (HTML), detecting potential web accessibility errors, and for improving the layout and indent style of the resulting markup. It is also a cross-platform library for computer applications that provides HTML Tidy's features.

Homebrew (package management software)

Homebrew is a free and open-source software package management system that simplifies the installation of software on Apple's macOS operating system and Linux. The name means building software on your Mac depending on taste. Originally written by Max Howell, the package manager has gained popularity in the Ruby on Rails community and earned praise for its extensibility. Homebrew has been recommended for its ease of use as well as its integration into the command line. Homebrew is a non-profit project member of the Software Freedom Conservancy, and is run entirely by unpaid volunteers.Homebrew has made extensive use of GitHub to expand the support of several packages through user contributions. In 2010, Homebrew was the third-most-forked repository on GitHub. In 2012, Homebrew had the largest number of new contributors on GitHub. In 2013, Homebrew had both the largest number of contributors and issues closed of any project on GitHub.Homebrew has spawned several sub-projects such as Linuxbrew, a Linux port now officially merged into Homebrew; Homebrew Cask, which builds upon Homebrew and focuses on the installation of GUI applications; and "taps" dedicated to specific areas or programming languages like PHP.

List of cryptocurrencies

The number of cryptocurrencies available over the internet as of 19 August 2018 is over 1600 and growing. A new cryptocurrency can be created at any time. By market capitalization, Bitcoin is currently (December 15, 2018) the largest blockchain network, followed by Ripple, Ethereum and Tether.As of 15 December 2018,

total cryptocurrencies market capitalization is $100bn and larger than GDP of 127 countries.

List of open-source health software

The following is a list of software packages and applications licensed under an open-source license or in the public domain for use in the health care industry.

List of unit testing frameworks

This page is a list of tables of code-driven unit testing frameworks for various programming languages. Some but not all of these are based on xUnit.


Markdown is a lightweight markup language with plain text formatting syntax. Its design allows it to be converted to many output formats, but the original tool by the same name only supports HTML. Markdown is often used to format readme files, for writing messages in online discussion forums, and to create rich text using a plain text editor.

Since the initial description of Markdown contained ambiguities and unanswered questions, the implementations that appeared over the years have subtle differences and many come with syntax extensions.

Pop PHP Framework

The Pop PHP Framework a free and open source PHP Web framework that was created by Nick Sagona. It is distributed under the BSD License and hosted on GitHub. The framework is intended to be utilized for rapid application development, with an emphasis on web applications.

React (JavaScript library)

React (also known as React.js or ReactJS) is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It is maintained by Facebook and a community of individual developers and companies.React can be used as a base in the development of single-page or mobile applications, as it's optimal only for its intended use of being the quickest method to fetch rapidly changing data that needs to be recorded. However, fetching data is only the beginning of what happens on a web page, which is why complex React applications usually require the use of additional libraries for state management, routing, and interaction with an API.

Tox (protocol)

Tox is a peer-to-peer instant-messaging and video-calling protocol that offers end-to-end encryption. The stated goal of the project is to provide secure yet easily accessible communication for everyone. A reference implementation of the protocol is published as free and open-source software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 3 or later.


The Unlicense is a public domain equivalent license with a focus on an anti-copyright message. It was first published on January 1 (Public Domain Day), 2010. The Unlicense offers a public domain waiver text with a fall-back public-domain-like license, inspired by permissive licenses but without an attribution clause. In 2015, GitHub reported that approximately 102,000 of their 5.1 million licensed projects (2% of licensed projects on use the Unlicense.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is a source-code editor developed by Microsoft for Windows, Linux and macOS. It includes support for debugging, embedded Git control and GitHub, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, and code refactoring. It is highly customizable, allowing users to change the theme, keyboard shortcuts, preferences, and install extensions that add additional functionality. The source code is free and open source and released under the permissive MIT License. The compiled binaries are freeware and free for private or commercial use.Visual Studio Code is based on Electron, a framework which is used to deploy Node.js applications for the desktop running on the Blink layout engine. Although it uses the Electron framework, the software does not use Atom and instead employs the same editor component (codenamed "Monaco") used in Azure DevOps (formerly called Visual Studio Online and Visual Studio Team Services).In the Stack Overflow 2019 Developer Survey, Visual Studio Code was ranked the most popular developer environment tool, with 50.7% of 87,317 respondents claiming to use it.


WebAssembly (often shortened to Wasm) is a set of standards that define a portable (modular) binary format and a corresponding assembly-like programming language for executable program and environment-specific program interfaces into which it may be embedded and interact with. It was initially developed to improve the performance of JavaScript applications and to be used inside Web browsers, but it isn't constrained to them and can be embedded anywhere else.Wasm does not replace JavaScript. It utilizes Emscripten compiler to compile C++ (and other input languages) source code into binary file which runs in the same sandbox as regular script code, though as of 2019 it doesn't have full DOM access yet. Emscripten provides bindings for several commonly used environment interfaces like WebGL.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) maintains the standard with contributions from Mozilla, Microsoft, Google, and Apple.


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