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Yesterday, GitHub announced in a blog post that they are deprecating the Network Graph from the repository’s Insights panel and that visits to this page will be redirected to the forks page instead. Following this announcement, they removed the network graph. On the same day, however, they deleted the blog post and also added back the network graph.

The network graph is one of the useful features for developers on GitHub. It is used to display the branch history of the entire repository network, including branches of the root repository and branches of forks that contain commits unique to the network.

Users of GitHub were alarmed on seeing the blog post about the removal of network graph without any prior notification or provision of a suitable replacement. For many users, this meant a significant burden of additional work.

Following the backlash and requests to bring back the Graph Network, on the same day, the Community Manager of GitHub posted on its community forum, that they will be reverting this change, based on the users’ feedback. Later on, the blog post announcing the deprecation was removed and the network graph was back on its website.

This has brought a huge sigh of relief amongst GitHub’s users. The feature is famous for checking the state of a repository and the relationship between active branches.

GitHub has not yet officially commented on why they removed the network graph in the first place. A Reddit user has put up an interesting shortlist of suspicions:

  1. The cost-benefit analysis from “The Top” determined that the compute time for generating the graph was too expensive, and so they “moved” the feature to a more premium account.
  2. “Moved” could also mean unceremoniously kill off the feature because some manager thought it wasn’t shiny enough.
  3. Microsoft buying GitHub made (and will continue to make) GitHub worse, and this is just a harbinger of things to come.

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