Weak notes

by Benny

Mat Benfield

← back 365 words

saving json file using github actions and curl

Previously I had been using a python script and import the requests package to access a public json file and saving it to my repo, however there is a simpler way using curl built right in to the github action.

I have found this to be more reliable overall - the previous method would some times leave malformed json and break future activities.

As you can see below, this can be triggered manually in the actions tab on github workflow_dispatch does that, plus also its scheduled as a cron task every 15 minutes.

The job runs on ubuntu, uses curl and saves it out to the output_file.json

name: Scheduled Build
    - cron:  '*/15 * * * *'

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    - name: Check out repo
      uses: actions/[email protected]
        fetch-depth: 0
    - name: Download Feed
      run: |-
        curl "[url]" | jq . > output_file.json
    - name: Commit and push changes
      run: |-
        git diff
        git config user.name "Automated"
        git config user.email "[email protected]"
        git diff --quiet || (git add -A && git commit -m "Updated with latest")
        git push

At the moment, on public repos, there appears to be no cost involved in doing this, but do be mindful of GitHub’s costs and respect the source’s API restrictions - for example the environment agency’s open beta API suggests requests at every 15 minutes would suffice as that is how frequent the underlying data is update, running this every minute would just be wasteful and offer little value.

The last part of the yaml file does a git diff and sets some user config (this basically can be anything) and then does a commit.

This is ideal for those that want to do some git-scraping and monitor and track public APIs for changes.