The GitHub team recently put up an interesting blog post covering a new feature called “Protected Branches”. The goal is to save stress by protecting certain branches from being overwritten by contributors.
This ability should be setup by an administrator on the repo, but obviously it’s not a necessity all the time. From GitHub’s blog:
Repository administrators [will have] the ability to disable force pushes to specific branches. When it’s enabled for your repositories you’ll be able to go to the Branches tab in repository settings and protect branches.
According to GitHub, this new feature will connect into the Status API if you also wish to force status checks. It’s merely another optional feature to triple-check the security of your repo.
Most small-time developers may not find this exceptionally useful, especially for a very small project. But when you’re juggling dozens of contributors the work can get confusing very fast.
There isn’t much information regarding a release date, but protected branches have already been listed in the GitHub Help section – so I’d say we should expect this feature at some point in the near future.