Agnostic Github client API -- An EDSL for connecting to REST servers
Clone or download
gene1wood Merge pull request #49 from gene1wood/pagination
Add support for GitHub pagination and ratelimiting
Latest commit bc0f472 Jan 3, 2019

The Agnostic GitHub API

It doesn't know, and you don't care!

agithub is a REST API client with transparent syntax which facilitates rapid prototyping — on any REST API!

Have you enjoyed AGitHub? We're looking for someone to step up as project maintainer. Please see the announcement

Originally tailored to the GitHub REST API, AGitHub has grown up to support many other REST APIs:

  • DigitalOcean
  • Facebook
  • GitHub
  • OpenWeatherMap
  • SalesForce

Additionally, you can add full support for another REST API with very little new code! To see how, check out the GitHub client, which has about 30 lines of code.

This works because AGithub knows everything it needs to about protocol (REST, HTTP, TCP), but assumes nothing about your upstream API.


The most striking quality of AGitHub is how closely its syntax emulates HTTP. In fact, you might find it even more convenient than HTTP, and almost as general (as far as REST APIs go, anyway). The examples below tend to use the GitHub API as a reference point, but it is no less easy to use agithub with, say, the Facebook Graph.


Here's how to do a GET request, with properly-encoded url parameters:


That is equivalent to the following:

GET /issues/?filter=subscribed


Here's how to send a request body along with your request:, tags="social devcon")

This will send the following request, with someObject serialized as the request body:*

POST /video/upload?tags=social+devcon

<serialized request body>

* For now, the request body is limited to JSON data; but we plan to add support for other types as well

Example App

  1. First, instantiate a GitHub object, passing it your username and password or a token if an authenticated session is desired.

    >>> from agithub.GitHub import GitHub
    >>> g = GitHub('user', 'pass')
    >>> from agithub.GitHub import GitHub
    >>> g = GitHub(token='token')
  2. When you make a request, the status and response body are passed back as a tuple.

    >>> status, data = g.issues.get(filter='subscribed', foobar='llama')
    >>> data
    [ list, of, issues ]

    Notice the syntax here: <API-object>.<URL-path>.<request-method>(<GET-parameters>)

  3. If you forget the request method, agithub will complain that you haven't provided enough information to complete the request.

    >>> g.issues
    <class 'agithub.github.IncompleteRequest'>: /issues
  4. Sometimes, it is inconvenient (or impossible) to refer to a URL as a chain of attributes, so indexing syntax is provided as well. It behaves exactly the same.

    >>> g.repos.jpaugh.repla.issues[1].get()
    (200, { 'id': '#blah', ... })
    >>> mylogin, myrepo = 'jpaugh', 'braille-converter'
    >>> g.repos[mylogin][myrepo].milestones.get(state='open', sort='completeness')
    (200, [ list, of, milestones ])
  5. As a weird quirk of the implementation, you may build a partial call to the upstream API, and use it later.

    >>> def following(self, user):
    ...   return self.user.following[user].get
    >>> myCall = following(g, 'octocat')
    >>> if 204 == myCall()[0]:
    ...   print 'You are following octocat'
    You are following octocat

    You may find this useful — or not.

  6. Finally, agithub knows nothing at all about the GitHub API, and it won't second-guess you.

    (404, {'message': 'Not Found'})

    The error message you get is directly from GitHub's API. This gives you all of the information you need to survey the situation.

  7. If you need more information, the response headers of the previous request are available via the getheaders() method.

    >>> g.getheaders()
    [('status', '404 Not Found'),
     ('x-ratelimit-remaining', '54'),
     ('server', '')]

Error handling

Errors are handled in the most transparent way possible: they are passed on to you for further scrutiny. There are two kinds of errors that can crop up:

  1. Networking Exceptions (from the http library). Catch these with try .. catch blocks, as you otherwise would.

  2. GitHub API errors. These means you're doing something wrong with the API, and they are always evident in the response's status. The API considerately returns a helpful error message in the JSON body.


Here's how agithub works, under the hood:

  1. It translates a sequence of attribute look-ups into a URL; The Python method you call at the end of the chain determines the HTTP method to use for the request.

  2. The Python method also receives name=value arguments, which it interprets as follows:


You can include custom headers as a dictionary supplied to the headers= argument. Some headers are provided by default (such as User-Agent). If these occur in the supplied dictionary, the default value will be overridden.

headers = {'Accept': 'application/vnd.github.loki-preview+json'}

If you're using POST, PUT, or PATCH (post(), put(), and patch()), then you should include the body as the body= argument. The body is serialized to JSON before sending it out on the wire.

GET Parameters

Any other arguments to the Python method become GET parameters, and are tacked onto the end of the URL. They are, of course, url-encoded for you.

  1. When the response is received, agithub looks at its content type to determine how to handle it, possibly decoding it from the given char-set to Python's Unicode representation, then converting to an appropriate form, then passed to you along with the response status code. (A JSON object is de-serialized into a Python object.)


agithub has been written in an extensible way. You can easily:

  • Add new HTTP methods by extending the Client class with new Python methods of the same name (and adding them to the http_methods list).

  • Add new default headers to the _default_headers dictionary. Just make sure that the header names are lower case.

  • Add a new media-type (a.k.a. content-type a.k.a mime-type) by inserting a new method into the ResponseBody class, replacing '-' and '/' with '_' in the name. That method will then be responsible for converting the response body to a usable form — and for calling decode_body to do char-set conversion, if required.

And if all else fails, you can strap in, and take 15 minutes to read and become an expert on the code. From there, anything's possible.


Copyright 2012–2016 Jonathan Paugh and contributors See [COPYING][LIC] for license details [LIC]: