Of course, people are wondering if this means that they're trying to compete with NPM and other public registries like RubyGems.
Github has stated that they're not trying to do that, but the purpose is basically threefold:
1) You can now easily generate packages from your Github repo (admittedly this was already the case, but it's a bit simpler now) and then post them to something like NPM.
2) Organizations can now create simple private package registries for internal code. This means that you can easily take code from a private Github repo (or another source if you want) and add it to a private registry on Github, and your organization can install packages from there for internal application usage. This lets you do things like publish all of your custom UI widgets to Github privately, and other teams in your org can use them in their apps, and everything stays private.
3) Organizations can now publish things like pre-release versions of packages before publishing them to public package managers like NPM.
It seems at the current time that these features on Github will be mostly used by larger organizations or special use cases, but it'll be interesting to see where this leads.
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