Simon Willison’s Weblog

38 items tagged “github”

How to set up world-class continuous deployment using free hosted tools

I’m going to describe a way to put together a world-class continuous deployment infrastructure for your side-project without spending any money.

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What’s the best way to keep track of changes to a project you’re not directly contributing to on github?

This is what GitHub’s “watch” feature is for:

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How did GitHub get its initial contributors?

The founders were active participants in the open source and Ruby on Rails communities. The first users were people they knew in those communities (GitHub accounts were invite only at first).

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How accurate is the GitHub status site?

Very accurate. Every time I’ve noticed a problem with GitHub the status site has either already published it, or publishes within a minute or so of me first noticing.

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What is the ways to view the examples without download the example files in github?

If you can view the file on you can drop the first dot to view it on—a free proxy service.

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How could GitHub improve the password security of its users?

By doing exactly what they’re doing already: adding more sophisticated rate limiting, and preventing users from using common weak passwords.

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How can I invest in pre-IPO companies like Quora, Github, etc?

Get to know the founders and investors and see if you can get involved in a future funding round. If you don’t have at least a few hundred thousand dollars to invest you probably won’t get very far though, an even if you do you’d better have more than just money to bring to the table—these rounds are often over-subscribed which means the company can pick the very best out of a number of investors.

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What are the differences between “forking,” “cloning,” and downloading the project as a zip file on GitHub?

“fork” creates a copy of the project hosted on your own GitHub account. This is an exclusive Build software better, together. (links to: feature and not a Git feature.

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Does GitHub hire developer advocates? If so, how do you go about applying to be one?

If you’re a good candidate for a developer advocate position, you already know how to get in touch with the right people at GitHub!

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Is GitHub a reliable tool if I want to upload all the non-proprietary scientific computing code I have from my hard drive?

Yes. I find GitHub is a particularly good place to host older code that you might not intend to actively maintain, as it makes it extremely easy for other people to pick up where you left off.

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What are prominent examples for remote work besides 37Signals, Github and Automattic?

Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) have a very impressive distributed team culture.

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Is there any way to visually quantify, or show your total github activity (public or private) across all projects?

The new GitHub public profile pages do a pretty great job of this:

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Should I use Dropbox instead of Git for 2 coders? In terms of going really fast and working on things at the same time, I’m thinking it may be uber productive to use Dropbox for it’s instant syncing instead of Git/Github. What are the pros/cons?

Dropbox is definitely the wrong tool for this—you’ll find yourself running in to all sorts of weird problems very quickly if you attempt to use it this way.

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Is GitHub looking to be acquired?

Raising $100 million at a rumoured valuation of $750 million is not the action of a company that wants to be acquired.

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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

What startups host 100% of their private code on GitHub? does.

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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

Ryan Tomayko on Github’s development process. In the comments—a fascinating insight in to how GitHub’s “developers work on whatever is most interesting to them” process manages to achieve really good results. # 22nd February 2010, 9:18 am

Algorithmic recruitment with GitHub. Matt Biddulph crawls GitHub’s social graph using JUNG (the Java Universal Network/Graph Framework), JRuby and Yahoo! BOSS to find good leads on interesting developers in specific geographic locations. # 12th February 2010, 1:17 pm

jQuery.require() implementation. John Resig has added a new jQuery.require() function to a jQuery development branch, for release as part of jQuery 1.4. The commit on GitHub has an extensive discussion attached to it (scroll to the bottom). # 17th December 2009, 11:24 am

Introducing the YUI 3 Gallery. Write a plugin for YUI3, BSD license it and sign a CLA and Yahoo! will push your module out to their CDN and make it loadable using the YUI().use() statement. They’re coordinating the submissions using GitHub. # 4th November 2009, 11:14 pm

Introducing Resque. A new background worker management queue developed at GitHub, using Redis for the persistence layer. The blog post explains both the design and the shortcomings of previous solutions at length. Within 24 hours of the release code an external developer, Adam Cooke, has completely reskinned the UI. # 4th November 2009, 8:20 pm

Why I like Redis

I’ve been getting a lot of useful work done with Redis recently.

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Introducing BERT and BERT-RPC. Justification for inventing a brand new serialisation protocol: Thrift and Protocol Buffers both use IDLs and code generation, XML “is not convertible to a simple unambiguous data structure in any language I’ve ever used” and JSON lacks support for unencoded binary data. The result is BERT—Binary ERlang Term—which extracts a format from Erlang in much the same way that JSON extracted one from JavaScript. # 21st October 2009, 10:11 pm

How We Made GitHub Fast. Detailed overview of the new GitHub architecture. It’s a lot more complicated than I would have expected—lots of moving parts are involved in ensuring they can scale horizontally when they need to. Interesting components include nginx, Unicorn, Rails, DRBD, HAProxy, Redis, Erlang, memcached, SSH, git and a bunch of interesting new open source projects produced by the GitHub team such as BERT/Ernie and ProxyMachine. # 21st October 2009, 9:14 pm

Scriptlets—Quick web scripts (via) From the prolific Jeff Lindsay, a pastebin-style tool for short server-side scripts written in Python, JavaScript or PHP that executes them within a Google App Engine powered sandbox. The Java code that implements the service is available on GitHub. # 13th August 2009, 1:51 pm