GitHub Copilot X: The Future of AI-Powered Software Development

GitHub Copilot X is an advanced version of GitHub’s AI pair programmer, designed to integrate into every part of a developer’s workflow. The platform is a vision for the future of AI-powered software development, featuring chat and terminal interfaces, support for pull requests, and early adoption of OpenAI’s GPT-4.

Key Features

1. Context-Aware Conversations

GitHub Copilot X is equipped with the ability to offer context-aware conversations. This feature empowers developers to ask the AI to elucidate a piece of code or rectify an error. Moreover, it can generate unit tests, thereby enabling developers to concentrate on building their projects.

2. Personalized Documentation

GitHub Copilot X provides personalized answers that are firmly grounded in maintainer-written documentation. This feature significantly reduces the time developers spend searching for information. The process is straightforward: load content, pose a question, and receive the answer.

3. Pull Requests

GitHub Copilot X meticulously tracks a developer’s work, suggests descriptions for pull requests, and aids reviewers in understanding changes through a code walkthrough. Additionally, it offers AI-generated PR descriptions and can identify missing unit tests and generate new test cases after every build.

4. Command Line Interface (CLI) Assistance

GitHub Copilot X can offer assistance directly in the terminal. If a developer forgets how to delete a tag or requires help with multi-step shell commands and scripting, they can ask GitHub Copilot for assistance.

Availability and Pricing

Currently, GitHub Copilot X serves as a representation of GitHub’s vision for the future rather than an available product offering. The company is actively engaged in designing, testing, and building features that align with the GitHub Copilot X vision. The pricing and availability of these features are yet to be determined.

Access Prerequisites

Access to the technical preview features of GitHub Copilot X is not guaranteed by an active or trial subscription to GitHub Copilot for Individuals or GitHub Copilot for Business. Interested users can join the waitlist to preview the features they are interested in. Once access is granted, users should bear in mind that the feature is considered a beta or technical preview, implying it may still have some kinks to be ironed out.

Responsible Use of AI

GitHub is committed to the responsible use of AI. The company applies sentiment analysis to suggestions to prevent the inclusion of slang, slurs, and hate speech in GitHub Copilot responses. It also evaluates the quality of every suggestion and nudges developers toward better quality code. User data is safeguarded with measures such as data encryption both in transit and at rest.

Impact on Developers

Research indicates that GitHub Copilot aids developers in coding faster, staying in the flow longer, and feeling more fulfilled with their work. According to the data provided, 74% of users can focus on more satisfying work, 88% feel more productive, and 96% are faster with repetitive tasks.

The advent of GitHub Copilot X, with its advanced AI capabilities, has sparked discussions about the future role of developers and programmers. This tool can automate repetitive tasks, provide insights, and assist in debugging code, potentially reducing the demand for junior programmers who often handle such tasks.

However, it’s crucial to note that while GitHub Copilot X and similar tools are designed to augment the work of developers, they are not intended to replace them entirely. Despite the automation of certain tasks, these tools currently cannot replicate the unique human abilities such as creativity, problem-solving skills, and strategic thinking that are integral to software development.

The goal of GitHub Copilot X is to make coding more efficient and accessible, thereby enabling developers to focus on higher-level tasks and innovative solutions. In this light, rather than replacing developers, GitHub Copilot X is set to become a valuable tool in their arsenal, enhancing productivity and the quality of work. It may also shift the focus of programming roles, emphasizing more on strategic and creative aspects of software development.

Future Vision

The “X” in GitHub Copilot X represents a placeholder for where GitHub intends Copilot to become available and what it expects it to be capable of doing. It signifies the product’s extension from one experience, code completion, to multiple experiences across the developer’s workflow. The “X” also indicates the magnitude of impact GitHub intends to have on developer achievement. It’s a statement of intent and a commitment to developers as the industry enters the age of AI.

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OpenBazaar Set for a Comeback

After being shut down over two years ago due to financial issues and poor user growth, OpenBazaar, a decentralized marketplace, appears set for a comeback. Recent updates on social media and GitHub indicate that progress is being made on building a new version of the marketplace, which was shut down in 2020.

According to a GitHub repository, there has been progress as recent as April 12 on building a new version of the marketplace. Former project lead at OpenBazaar and CEO of OB1, Brian Hoffman, tweeted on April 9 of the progress made on a “new” version of the marketplace, stating that it is “getting more interesting by the day.”

Hoffman has also hinted at the marketplace’s return, citing “freedom of exploration” as a key factor in its revival. In a reply to a tweet asking how the marketplace would be different this time, Hoffman inferred that outside influence had contributed to its initial downfall.

The first hints that OpenBazaar would be launching a comeback came in a tweet from Hoffman on March 28, where he linked OpenBazaar’s GitHub page that showed he had been working on a new version of the marketplace using the programming language Rust. Just hours later, OpenBazaar’s official account also posted a tweet saying that “it is now time to grow again from the ashes,” and that “work has begun.”

Adding to the evidence that the marketplace appears likely to relaunch, the OpenBazaar website currently bears the message “OpenBazaar 3.0 – Coming Soon.”

Hailed as a decentralized eBay alternative, OpenBazaar was first launched back in 2014. It allowed users to interact directly with each other to make transactions using Bitcoin (BTC). The marketplace initially had the name “DarkMarket,” but changed it to OpenBazaar following community input in an attempt to improve its public image.

After the exchange had shut down in 2020, Hoffman tweeted that a future iteration of OpenBazaar would require more independence from OB1, but provided no more information about how this might work.

In summary, OpenBazaar, a decentralized marketplace, is set for a comeback after it was shut down in 2020. Recent updates on social media and GitHub indicate progress on building a new version of the marketplace using the programming language Rust. Brian Hoffman, the former project lead at OpenBazaar, has hinted at the marketplace’s return, citing “freedom of exploration” as a key factor in its revival. The marketplace initially had the name “DarkMarket,” but changed it to OpenBazaar following community input in an attempt to improve its public image. The return of OpenBazaar would be a welcome development for those looking for a decentralized eBay alternative.

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Cardano became the most developed crypto on Github in 2021 — Santiment

According to data compiled by CryptoRank and Santiment, Cardano (ADA) was the most developed crypto on Github in 2021, with over 140,000 events. 

Rounding out the top three were Kusama (KSM) and Polkadot (DOT) at second and third places, respectively, with roughly the same number of events over the year. Cardano beat Ethereum’s development activity by a wide margin, with the latter coming in fourth place. Santiment defines a Github event as either creating an issue, creating a pull request, commenting on an issue or pull request, and forking/starring/watching a code repository, among others. 

In a live Youtube session last week, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson revealed that there are approximately 127 projects under development on the Cardano blockchain. In addition, Hoskinson expects the number of ADA users to grow ten-fold from the existing 2 million, thanks to the growing popularity of non-fungible tokens.

Cardano’s technological advancement is also gaining traction post-Alonzo. One of the blockchain’s notable works in progress is the layer-two Hydra upgrade, which channels transactions off-chain to staking pools without partitioning the ledger itself. Theoretically, it could enable advanced linear scaling of the network with hundreds of “hydra nodes” each processing hundreds of transactions.

Related: VCs don’t understand that Cardano has a community: Charles Hoskinson

Another notable mention is a novel fintech funding mechanism, known as the initial stake pool offering (ISPO), that’s unique to the Cardano blockchain. In this setup, blockchain enthusiasts delegate their cryptos in a protocol and receive tokens of the new project they fund as rewards. In contrast, the ADA staking rewards go to the developers. Funds do not leave the delegator’s wallet, making the process rather secure. One such project, Genius Yield, saw its ISPO pools surpass $118 million within 24 hours.