Skip to main content

GitHub is an awesome place to host your open source project code. As you probably know, the MooTools Forge requires your plugins be hosted on GitHub. The only problem with hosting all my MooTools plugins is that I lose traffic when I want people to see my code. Problem solved: use PHP, the GitHub API, and PHP Markdown to display files of my choice on my website.

NOTE: The Github API calls below in David's snippet are outdated, and return 404 in the response. See the Github API documentation for changes in the API .

View full article...


  Requires PHP MarkDown

  The first step is to build a PHP function that will
  connect to GitHub using cURL:

/* gets url */
function get_content_from_github($url, $requestType = 'GET', $data = array(), $header = true)
    $ch = curl_init();

    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $url);
    // curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_USERAGENT, "yiiext.components.github-api (v 0.5dev)");
    // curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, $header); // returns header in output
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_TIMEOUT, 30);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_FOLLOWLOCATION, true);

    switch ($requestType) {


      case 'GET':

        curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HTTPGET, true);


      case 'POST':

        curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POST, true);
        curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $data);


      case 'PUT':

        curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_PUT, true);
        // curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_INFILE, $file=fopen(...));
        // curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_INFILESIZE, strlen($data));


    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_SSL_VERIFYHOST, 0);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_SSL_VERIFYPEER, 0);

    $content = curl_exec($ch);


    return $content;

  Next we need to define a few settings

/* static settings */
$plugin      = 'Overlay';
$cache_path  = $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] . '/plugin-cache/';
$cache_file  = $plugin . '-github.txt';
$github_json = get_repo_json($cache_path . $cache_file, $plugin);

  The next step is to create another PHP function that grabs the repository
  information (JSON-encoded, because I love JSON) -- either fresh from GitHub
  (by first grabbing the most recent commit hash, then grabbing the contents
  of the two files) or our local cached information:

/* gets the contents of a file if it exists, otherwise grabs and caches */
function get_repo_json($file, $plugin)
    $current_time = time();
    $expire_time  = 24 * 60 * 60;
    $file_time    = filemtime($file);

    //decisions, decisions
    if (file_exists($file) && ($current_time - $expire_time < $file_time)) {

        //echo 'returning from cached file';
        return json_decode(file_get_contents($file));

    else {
        $json           = array();
        $json['repo']   = json_decode(get_content_from_github('' . $plugin), true);
        $json['commit'] = json_decode(get_content_from_github('' . $plugin . '/master'), true);
        $json['readme'] = json_decode(get_content_from_github('' . $plugin . '/' . $json['commit']['commits'][0]['parents'][0]['id'] . '/Docs/' . $plugin . '.md'), true);
        $json['js']     = json_decode(get_content_from_github('' . $plugin . '/' . $json['commit']['commits'][0]['parents'][0]['id'] . '/Source/' . $plugin . '.js'), true);

        file_put_contents($file, json_encode($json));

        return $content;

  Once we've acquired the appropriate information, we output the information
  to screen:

/* build json */
if ($github_json) {

    //get markdown
    include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] . '/wp-content/themes/walshbook3/PHP-Markdown-Extra-1.2.4/markdown.php');

    //build content
    $content = '<p>' . $github_json['repo']['repository']['description'] . '</p>';
    $content .= '<h2>MooTools JavaScript Class</h2><pre class="js lit">' . $github_json['js']['blob']['data'] . '</pre><br>';
    $content .= trim(str_replace(array(
    ), '', Markdown($github_json['readme']['blob']['data'])));

  That's all! Now I get the benefit of hosting my code on GitHub but displaying
  it on my own website. I've created a special WordPress template page to do
  so and recommend you do too!