orbnet: GitHub star network

Build Status
go.dev reference
License: Apache-2.0

orbnet is a collection of command line utilities that let you export your starred GitHub repositories as a network and serve it via a simple API.

There are a few command line utilties available in this repo:

  • dumper: dumps your GitHub stars as JSON blobs
  • grapher: reads the dumped GitHub star JSON blobs and builds a simple Weighted Directed Graph
  • apisrv: serves the graph over JSON API

Get started

The easiest way to get started is to build the binaries using the project Makefile:

make cmd

cmd target fetches all dependencies, builds all three binaries and places them into _build directory:

$ ls -1 ./_build


Once the binaries have been built you can explore the available command line options using the familiar -help switch. The below will demonstrate the basic usage of all project utilities.


Before you proceed furhter you must obtain a GitHub API token. Once you’ve got the token you can export it via an environment variable called GITHUB_TOKEN which is then automatically read by the project utilities.

Optionally, I’d recommend installing GraphViz toolkit that helps exploring the results visually.

dumper: dump GitHub stars data

As described earlier, dumper “scrapes” GitHub API stars data and dumps them into JSON blobs. The data are dumped into standard output by default, but you can also store them in a directory of your choice by passing the path to the output directory via -outdir command line switch.

# dump data into standard output
./dumper -user milosgajdos

NOTE: foo must exist before you run the command below!

# dump data into directory foo
./dumper -user milosgajdos -paging 100 -outdir foo/

grapher: build a graph of GitHub stars

grapher builds the graph from the dumped data. You can “feed” grapher either by passing the path to the directory that contains the JSON blobs via -indir command line option. Alternatively, you can also pipe the data to the grapher utility as by default it reads the data from standard input.

Building an in-memory graph is kinda fun, but there is no point of it if you can’t visualise the results. grapher provides -marshal and -format command line switches which let you export (marshal) the graph into various data formats:

  • Graphviz (see here)
  • SigmaJS (see here)
  • CytoscapeJS (see here)
  • networkx (see here)
  • gexf (see here)
  • jsonapi serializes the graph into orbnet API model

# load graph data from dumps directory and output it in GEXF format
./grapher -marshal -indir foo/ -format gexf > repos.gexf

# pipe data from dumper to grapher and dump the graph into GEXF file
./dumper -user milosgajdos | ./grapher -marshal -format gexf > repos.gexf

NOTE: if your graph is large, sfdp command might take a while to complete

# build the graph, dumpt it in dot format and export it to SVG
./dumper -user milosgajdos -paging 100 | ./grapher -marshal -format dot | sfdp -Tsvg > repos.svg

Alternatively you can run dot with overlay options that should build a better overlay of data:

./grapher -marshal -indir foo/ -format dot | sfdp -x -Goverlap=scale -Tpng > repos.png

NOTE grapher builds a Weighted Directed Graph that contains four types of nodes:

  • owner: the repo owner
  • repo: the name of the repo
  • topic: the repo topic
  • lang: the dominant programming language as returned by GitHub API

apisrv: serve the GitHub stars graph over a JSON API

apisrv lets you serve the dumped graph over a JSON API. It even provides swagger docs on /docs/ endpoint.
You can load the dumped graph via -dsn _path_to_graph.json cli switch.


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