Announcing gh_announce - A Python bot that posts a tweet each time you make a release on github!


I happen to maintain a lot of python projects on github such as distroverify and vtscan. And each time I make a tagged release on Github, I have to make a status tweet like this to let people know:

distroverify tweet

So today I thought why not automate this process by writing a python bot that:

  1. Runs as a background cron on my computer.
  2. Keeps checking my github release tags.
  3. Post a new tweet in the above format for me whenever there is a new release.

The result of this endeavor is gh_announce. I used the popular tweepy library for the twitter api and my own written package cfgsaver to handle the configuration data such as my github username, twitter api credentials, etc.

Once that is done, its only a matter of cruising through the github user events api and check whether a new tagged release has come:

def check_activity():
    url = "https://api.github.com/users/%s/events" % config['github_username']
    resp = requests.get(url)
    acts = json.loads(resp.text)
    if len(acts) == 0:
        print("Zero events found, is this the correct github repo I'm looking at?")
        print("Run the program again with --config parameter to set the correct values")
        return
    for i in range(len(acts)):
        act = acts[i]
        if act['type'] == 'CreateEvent': #latest tag
            payload = act['payload']
            if payload['ref_type'] != 'tag':
                continue
            repo = act['repo']
            repo_url = "https://github.com/" + repo['name']
            tag_name = payload['ref']

            dt = parse_date(act['created_at'])
            delta = datetime.now() - dt
            days = delta.days
            hrs = delta.seconds // 3600
            mins = (delta.seconds // 60) % 60

            if delta.days >= 2: #this push is more than two days old, so just ignore
                continue

            tweet = False
            #check local config data to know whether we've already tweeted for this release
            if not 'pushes' in config:
                pushes = [act['id']]
                tweet = True
            else:
                pushes = config['pushes']
                if act['id'] in pushes:
                    pass #do nothing
                else:
                    tweet = True
                    pushes.append(act['id'])
            if tweet:
                try:
                    tw_announce(tag_name, repo['name'], repo_url)
                except Exception as ex:
                    print("Error occurred: ", str(ex))
            config['pushes'] = pushes
            cfgsaver.save(pkg_name, config)

As you can see, I've ignored the pushes which are more than two days old as they may already have been tweeted or discussed, and can be ignored on the first run. For making the actual tweet, I use the tweepy library's OAuthHandler for authentication, then call the api.update_status() method to make the actual tweet.

def tw_announce(tag_name, repo_name, repo_url):
    ss = "I have" if (config['Full_Name'] == None or config['Full_Name'] == "") else config["Full_Name"] + " has"
    ss += " just released version %s of %s on Github. Check it out! %s" % (tag_name, repo_name.split("/")[1], repo_url)
    #print("TWEETING: " + ss)

    if config['twitter_consumer_api_key'] == "":
        print("twitter api credentials missing")
        return
    auth = tweepy.OAuthHandler(config['twitter_consumer_api_key'], 
        config['twitter_consumer_secret'],
        )
    auth.set_access_token(config['twitter_access_token'], config['twitter_access_token_secret'])
    api = tweepy.API(auth)
    api.update_status(ss)
    print("successfully updated status for repo: %s, tag: %s" % (repo_name, tag_name))

You need to register your own app on https://developer.twitter.com/apps and get these four credentials if you intend to use the tweepy library for posting tweets on your behalf:

'twitter_consumer_api_key',
'twitter_consumer_secret',
'twitter_access_token',
'twitter_access_token_secret',

The app prompts for doing this on the first run of course. The wording of the tweet is kept in a manner that takes care of whether the Full_Name configuration setting is entered. If its there, the status starts with "Full_Name has just released version tag on Github...", otherwise as "I have just released version on Github...". So, you can leave Full_Name setting blank depending on how you want the status structure to be.

Because I love the open source community so much, I want to just give this away to you! gh_announce is open source and MIT licensed, you can install it by simply running:

pip install gh_announce

Please let me know if you like this tool, it'll encourage me to keep writing more such tools in future!


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