Simon Willison’s Weblog

Blogmarks tagged github

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Doing Stupid Stuff with GitHub Actions (via) I love the idea here of running a scheduled action once a year that deliberately fails, causing GitHub to send you a “Happy New Year” failure email! # 25th July 2020, 9:19 pm

zhiiiyang/zhiiiyang profile README (via) This is a brilliant hack: a GitHub profile README that uses an action to retrieve the author’s latest tweet (using R), render it as a PNG screenshot in headless Chrome via rstudio/webshot2 and embed that image in their profile. # 11th July 2020, 5:47 pm

github-to-sqlite 2.2 highlights thread. I released github-to-sqlite 2.2 today with a new “stargazers” command for importing users who have starred one or more specific repositories. This Twitter thread lists highlights of recent releases and links to a live Datasette demo that shows what the tool can do. # 2nd May 2020, 10:16 pm

Your own hosted blog, the easy, free, open way (even if you’re not a computer expert) (via) Jeremy Howard and the fast.ai team have released fast_template—a GitHub repository designed to be used as a template to create new repositories with a complete Jekyll blog configured for use with GitHub pages. GitHub’s official document recommends you install Ruby on your machine to do this, but Jeremy points out that with the right repository setup you can run a blog entirely by editing files through the GitHub web interface. # 17th January 2020, 1:12 am

How we use “ship small” to rapidly build new features at GitHub (via) Useful insight into how GitHub develop new features. They make aggressive use of feature flags, shipping a rough skeleton of a new feature to production as early as possible and actively soliciting feedback from other employees as they iterate on the feature. They static JSON mocks of APIs to unblock their frontend engineers and iterate on the necessary data structures while the real backend is bring implemented. # 2nd January 2020, 4:30 am

GitHub Actions ci.yml for deno. Spotted this today: it’s one of the cleanest examples I’ve seen of a complex CI configuration for GitHub Actions, testing, linting, benchmarking and building Ryan Dahl’s deno JavaScript runtime. # 18th December 2019, 8:49 am

pinboard-to-sqlite (via) Jacob Kaplan-Moss just released the second Dogsheep tool that wasn’t written by me (after goodreads-to-sqlite by Tobias Kunze)—this one imports your Pinterest bookmarks. The repo includes a really clean minimal example of how to use GitHub actions to run tests and release packages to PyPI. # 7th November 2019, 8:46 pm

Cloud Run Button: Click-to-deploy your git repos to Google Cloud (via) Google Cloud Run now has its own version of the Heroku deploy button: you can add a button to a GitHub repository which, when clicked, will provide an interface for deploying your repo to the user’s own Google Cloud account using Cloud Run. # 4th November 2019, 4:57 am

datasette-auth-github (via) My first big ASGI plugin for Datasette: datasette-auth-github adds the ability to require users to authenticate against the GitHub OAuth API. You can whitelist specific users, or you can restrict access to members of specific GitHub organizations or teams. While it’s structured as a Datasette plugin it also includes ASGI middleware which can be applied to any ASGI application. # 8th July 2019, 4:28 am

Building a stateless API proxy (via) This is a really clever idea. The GitHub API is infuriatingly coarsely grained with its permissions: you often end up having to create a token with way more permissions than you actually need for your project. Thea Flowers proposes running your own proxy in front of their API that adds more finely grained permissions, based on custom encrypted proxy API tokens that use JWT to encode the original API key along with the permissions you want to grant to that particular token (as a list of regular expressions matching paths on the underlying API). # 30th May 2019, 4:28 am

Using dependabot to bump Django on my blog from 2.2 to 2.2.1 (via) GitHub recently acquired dependabot and made it free, and I decided to try it out on my blog. It’s a really neat piece of automation: it scans your requirements.txt (plus a number of other packaging definitions across several different languages), checks for updates to your dependencies and opens pull requests against any that it finds. Combine it with a CI service such as Circle CI and your tests will run automatically against the pull request, letting you know if it’s safe to merge. dependabot constantly rebases other changes against the pull request to try and ensure it will merge as cleanly as possible. # 27th May 2019, 1:24 am

October 21 post-incident analysis (via) Legitimately fascinating post-mortem by GitHub. They run database masters in multiple data centers with raft for leader election... but when they had an unexpected network split between east and west coast they ended up with several seconds of write that had not been correctly replicated. Cleaning up the resulting mess took the best part of 24 hours! Distributed systems are hard. # 31st October 2018, 8:50 pm

github-debug.com (via) This is a neat trick: GitHub have a dedicated site for their support engineers to send you to if you can’t connect to them. The site tests download speeds from their various domains and then lets you click a button to have GitHub run a traceroute/ping from their servers to your detected IP address and output the results (use devtools to spy on their API method for doing this). Then you can paste the results into a message to their support team. Turns out fastly-debug.com and dropbox-debug.com implement a similar pattern for those services as well. # 10th October 2018, 7:32 pm

MySQL High Availability at GitHub. Cutting edge high availability case-study: GitHub are now using Consul, raft, their own custom load balancer and their own custom orchestrator replication management toolkit to achieve cross-datacenter failover for their MySQL master/replica clusters. # 20th June 2018, 11:05 pm

GitHub for Nonprofits (via) TIL GitHub provide legally recognized nonprofits with free organization accounts with unlimited users and unlimited private repos—and they’ve registered 30,000 nonprofit accounts through the program as of May 2017. # 10th April 2018, 9:55 pm

github-trending-repos (via) This is a really clever hack: Vitaliy Potapov built a system for subscribing to a weekly digest of trending GitHub repos in your favourite languages entirely on top of the existing GitHub issues notification system. Find the issue for your particular language and hit “subscribe” and you’ll get an email (or push notification depending on how you get your issue notifications) once a week with the latest trends. The implementation is a 220 line Node.js script which runs on a daily and weekly schedule using Circle CI, so Vitaliy doesn’t even have to host or pay for any of the underlying infrastructure. It’s brilliant. # 23rd February 2018, 5:36 pm

GitHub: Weak cryptographic standards removal notice. GitHub deprecated TLSv1 and TLSv1.1 yesterday. I like how they handled the deprecation: they disabled the protocols for one hour on February 8th in order to (hopefully) warm people by triggering errors in automated processes, then disabled them completely a couple of weeks later. # 23rd February 2018, 3:41 pm

owlsnearme source code on GitHub. Here’s the source code for our new owlsnearme.com project. It’s a single-page React application that pulls all of its data from the iNaturalist API. We built it this weekend with the SuperbOwl kick-off as a hard deadline so it’s not the most beautiful React code, but it’s a nice demonstration of how React (and create-react-app in particular) can be used for rapid development. # 4th February 2018, 10:33 pm

A Complete CMS with No Server and 18 Lines of Code | Netlify. Slightly hyperbolic title, but there’s something really interesting going on here. Netlify is a CDN/hosting provider optimized for static site builders—it can hook up to a GitHub repository and build and deploy your site on every commit. Netlify CMS is their open-source CMS tool which works in a fascinating way: it’s a single page React app which stores structured content (as Markdown files with embedded key/value pairs) directly to your GitHub repository. Fire up Chrome DevTools and you can watch it using the GitHub API to construct new commits every time you hit “save”. # 26th November 2017, 5:53 pm

TLDR pages. This is an absurdly good idea: a community maintained set of alternative man pages for common commands with a focus on usage examples, plus a “tldr netstat” command to see them. The man pages themselves are maintained on GitHub. # 24th November 2017, 5:38 am

Introducing security alerts on GitHub. This is huge: GitHub’s dependency graph feature now shows any dependencies that have a known security vulnerability, based on CVE IDs—and you can sign up for notifications of new vulnerabilities as well. Only supports Ruby and JavaScript today, but Python support is coming in 2018. # 16th November 2017, 7:48 pm

Datasettes · simonw/datasette. I’m collecting examples of datasette-powered APIs on the project wiki. # 14th November 2017, 7:39 am

simonw/csvs-to-sqlite. I built a simple tool for bulk converting multiple CSV files into a SQLite database. # 13th November 2017, 6:49 am

Pull request #4120 · python/cpython. I just had my first ever change merged into Python! It was a one sentence documentation improvement (on how to cancel SQLite operations) but it was fascinating seeing how Python’s GitHub flow is set up—clever use of labels, plus a bot that automatically checks that you have signed a copy of their CLA. # 7th November 2017, 2:06 pm

Product design at GitHub. At GitHub, every employee is a product designer. # 2nd April 2011, 7:51 am

URL Design. Thoughtful tips on modern URL design, from GitHub designer Kyle Neath. GitHub has the best designed URLs of any application I can think of. # 31st December 2010, 10:03 am

10K Apart Contest: Cheating by Compressing Your JavaScript and CSS to PNG Images. Fascinating hack: transform your JS and CSS in to coloured pixels, save the result as a PNG to benefit from PNG’s built in compression algorithms, then read the data back out of the PNG and convert it back to text using JavaScript and canvas—all to reduce the on-disk filesize when entering the 10K app competition. Alex’s GithubFinder entry is worth checking out too. # 23rd August 2010, 9:45 am

How we deploy new features. GitHub are experimenting with using Redis for configuration management. I’ve been thinking about this recently too—managing feature flags feels like an ideal use-case for Redis, since it lets you read multiple values on every page access without adding a bunch of extra read traffic on your regular database. # 8th July 2010, 10:04 am

Zero-downtime Redis upgrade discussion. GitHub have a short window of scheduled downtime in order to upgrade their Redis server. I asked in their comments if they’d considered trying to run the upgrade with no downtime at all using Redis replication, and Ryan Tomayko has posted some interesting replies. # 28th May 2010, 2:50 pm

GitHub: Announcing SVN Support. The best kind of April Fool’s joke: one that works. It’s read-only, but that’s good enough to support referencing GitHub repositories from SVN externals. # 1st April 2010, 11:33 am