Serge van den Oever's weblog

Serving static files from GitHub

April 04, 2019 • ☕️ 2 min read
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Sometimes there is the need to fetch the raw contents of a file from a GitHub repository. I have this case for a Markdown documentation file that I want to show in a web page. The url of this document is https://github.com/macaw-interactive/react-jss-typescript-starter/blob/develop/README.md. When you request this url you get the contents of the GitHub page. There is also a “raw” version of this page where you navigate to when you select the “Raw” tab on the page. This leads you to the url https://raw.githubusercontent.com/macaw-interactive/react-jss-typescript-starter/develop/README.md.

When this raw document is requested from GitHub it returns the required content, but it has two drawbacks:

  1. A cached copy is returned, this cached copy is often older than the current version
  2. It returns the document with the incorrect content type: text/plain; charset=utf-8 while it should be text/markdown; charset=utf-8

Both issues are very annoying when you are developing, and the second issue can be blocking for your purpose.

In the past I used the services of https://rawgit.com/ to overcome these issues, but they decided to stop their services as stated on their website: RawGit has reached the end of its useful life.

On the website they propose some other services. I decided to check out jsDeliver. They even provide a service to convert RawGit links to jsDeliver links.

With the jsDeliver service the required url looks like https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/gh/macaw-interactive/react-jss-typescript-starter@develop/README.md, and it provides the correct content type!

But… it is cached on the CDN. What if the contents has changed? jsDelivr to the rescue: change the cdn to purge in the url and the next request you get a fresh copy. Easy way to automate that in your package.json scripts:

"purge:readme": "npx req https://purge.jsdelivr.net/gh/macaw-interactive/react-jss-typescript-starter@develop/README.md"

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Serge van den Oever's weblog

Serge van den Oever

Personal blog by Serge van den Oever - als je maar lol hebt...
Twitter: @svdoever
LinkedIn: Serge van den Oever - articles on LinkedIn

Technology Consultant @ Macaw
Competence Team Lead Custom Application Development @ Macaw
2022 Technology Sitecore Most Valuable Professional
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If you like my writing
Buy me a coffee when you like my writing!