A Step By Step Guide To Using the Github API: A blog about the basics of using the Github API.
Github allows you to pull data from their site, and the GitHub API makes it relatively simple to do so. The GitHub API is a RESTful interface that lets you access data on thousands of repositories by making HTTP requests to specific URLs.
The simplest way to think of the difference between Git and GitHub is this:
Git is a version control tool.
GitHub (and other hosting sites) are where you store your git repositories. In other words, they are a place to “share” your code.
The process of getting data from the GitHub API is fairly straightforward:
Make a request for information from a specific url (API endpoint).
Receive the response from that request.
Parse through the response to find the information you want.
In this blog post I will create a small application that retrieves information about repositories for a specific user, and then store that information in our own repository.
In my last blog post I made the point that there is no one size fits all approach to using the Github API. In order to make the most of it you need to first understand your own workflow and how you can best utilize it.
In this blog post I will walk you through a few simple examples of how you can use the Github API in your application and show you how you can get started with it.
Getting Started With Github API:
To get started, we need to create a new repository.
Go to github.com, click on Create New Repository, and enter in the following details:
Repository Name: “python-github”
Description: “A Step By Step Guide To Using the Github API”
Public: Yes (If you want to make this private you can do so by clicking on Settings)
You will then be taken to a page that looks like this:
In this blog post we’ll describe how to use the Github API, and build a tool which will enable us to search for a specific repositiory, and extract the names of its contributors. This tutorial is aimed at people with a basic understanding of programming, but no previous knowledge of python.
We’ll be using the requests library, so let’s start by installing it:
pip install requests
You can then import it into your code like this:
First, you will need to create an account on Github, and sign up for their API. When you have done this they will give you an “OAuth Token” which is used to identify you as a valid user of their API. We’re going to use something called “Basic Authentication” to supply our token with each request we make. To do this, we first need to set our username and token as strings:
username = ‘YourUsername’
token = ‘YourToken’
Now we can create a dictionary containing these values:
auth = (username, token)
This is what we pass into our requests as “auth” when making each request. If everything works correctly, Github should
The Github API is one of those things that you want to explore and tinker with, just so you can get a feel for how it works.
The most direct path to building a project using the Github API is through the Github developer site. Here you will learn how to create your personal access token which allows you to interact with the API on behalf of yourself.
Once you have your personal access token on hand, it’s time to jump into some code!
You will start off by learning about how to make GET requests, which allows you to get information from the Github API. You will then learn about POST requests which allows you to post information, such as creating new repositories.
Finally, you will learn about DELETE requests which allows you to delete information, such as deleting repositories.
Github is one of the most popular platforms for hosting your code. I have a number of public and private repositories, and I use it as a place to store code for all of my tutorials. I’m a fan of the Github API because it’s well organized and allows me to automate some boring tasks, like closing stale issues. If you have a task that needs to be done on a regular basis, check out the Github API first to see if you can make it happen with less effort. In this post, I’ll share with you how I got started using the Github API.
The first thing you need to use the Github API is an access token. You can create a personal access token on your account settings page by clicking “New Token” in your Developer Settings menu:
The easiest way to use the Github API is through curl, which is a library that makes it easy to send HTTP requests from the command line or even in scripts. You can explore the Github API by typing these commands directly into your terminal:
curl -u ‘username’ https://api.github.com/user
One of the things I realized early on with my business is that I would need to support the product long after it was done. This meant getting some sort of backend for people to download updates, and for me to push out updates.
Github has this great API that you can use for just about anything. You can do some pretty cool stuff with it too, like fetch your repository information, or even update files.
The problem is that their documentation isn’t quite there yet, and getting started with their API can be a bit confusing at first. After a few hours of playing around I finally figured out what to do and thought I would share my findings here in case anyone else found themselves lost as well.
The GitHub API is an HTTP-based RESTful API. It supports a variety of features including:
• getting information about a repository,
• creating pull requests and issues,
• performing CRUD operations on files in a repository,
• and more.
In order to make calls to the GitHub API, you also need to authenticate. There are several different authentication methods that can be used with the GitHub API. In this article I will discuss how to authenticate using Personal Access Tokens. I will also go over how to configure the Python Github library so that it uses your access token for authentication.