A new GitHub profile README

Posted on 2023-07-03 08:15 +0100 in Coding • 2 min read

My new GitHub banner

Ever since GitHub introduced the profile README1 I've had a massively low-effort one in place. I made the repo, quickly wrote the file, and then sort of forgot about it. Well, I didn't so much forget as just keep looking at it and thinking "I should do something better with that one day".

Thing is, while there are lots of fancy approaches out there, and lots of neat generator tools and the like... they just weren't for me.

Then yesterday, over my second morning coffee, after getting my blog environment up and going again, I had an idea. It could be cool to use Textual's screenshot facility to make something terminal-themed! I mean, while it's not all I am these days, so much of what I'm doing right now is aimed at the terminal.

So... what to do? Then I thought it could be cool to knock up some sort of login screen type thing; with a banner. One visit to an online large terminal text generator site later, I had some banner text. All that was left was to write a simple Textual application to create the "screen".

The main layout is simple enough:

def compose(self) -> ComposeResult:
    yield Label(NAME, classes="banner")
    yield Label(PRATTLE)
    yield Label("github.com/davep login: [reverse] [/]")

where NAME contains the banner and PRATTLE contains the "login message". With some Textual CSS sprinkled over it to give the exact layout and colour I wanted, all that was left was to make the snapshot. This was easy enough too.

While the whole thing isn't fully documented just yet, Textual does have a great tool for automatically running an application and interacting with it; that meant I could easily write a function to load up my app and save the screenshot:

async def make_banner() -> None:
    async with GitHubBannerApp().run_test() as pilot:

Of course, that needs running async, but that's simple enough:

if __name__ == "__main__":

Throw in a Makefile so I don't forget what I'm supposed to run:

.PHONY: all
    pipenv run python make_banner.py

and that's it! Job done!

From here onward I guess I could have some real fun with this. It would be simple enough I guess to modify the code so that it changes what's displayed over time; perhaps show a "last login" value that relates to recently activity or something; any number of things; and then run it in a cron job and update the repository.

For now though... I'll stick with keeping things nice and simple.

  1. It was actually kind of annoying when they introduced it because the repo it uses is named after your user name. I already had a davep repo: it was a private repo where I was slowly working on a (now abandoned, I'll start it again some day I'm sure) ground-up rewrite of my davep.org website.