Last updated 2021-10-06 09:15:54

I Leant Something New Trying To Build A Github Profile Analytics Tool

So last night an interesting idea popped into my head, a simple solution to help you track who visited your GitHub profile. I began thinking of an approach and finally settled on pixel tracking [→].

which means I will give you an image tag to embed in your GitHub profile README.md ie: .

With this when someone lands on your page and their browser tries to get the image from my server I will collect all their browser info and use it to provide you analytics, so their IP helps me know their location, user agent [→] to get their device details, language, (Ethics aside for now :)) etc.

Also since the width and height of the image are set to 0 they won't even see that it's there, very straightforward.

This morning I decided to test this out on my own profile [↗] and I learned something interesting I never thought of.

server-log [→]

The above is what I got back, github-camo was sent back as the user agent [→]. so I googled it. It turns out to be a proxy server [→] setup by GitHub, https://docs.github.com/en/authentication/keeping-your-account-and-data-secure/about-anonymized-urls.

So basically GitHub requests resources on behalf of the user so I can't get info from the visitor's browser. So even the IP I get back is the one from GitHub's server and not the visitor.

I knew Gmail had this kind of implementation to prevent pixel tracking but I always thought GitHub, Twitter, etc masked URLs using domains like githubusercontent.com just for CDN purposes, I never thought it was more than just that.

I am keeping this in mind for future work I will be doing that involves allowing people to embed or share URLs.

But on the real though, GitHub should give us profile analytics just like they do with repos. :)

Here is another article you might like 😊 "Diary Of Insights: A Documentation Of My Discoveries"