Christoph Christoph - 23 days ago 11
Python Question

How do I receive Github Webhooks in Python

Github offers to send Post-receive hooks to an URL of your choice when there's activity on your repo.
I want to write a small Python command-line/background (i.e. no GUI or webapp) application running on my computer (later on a NAS), which continually listens for those incoming POST requests, and once a POST is received from Github, it processes the JSON information contained within. Processing the json as soon as I have it is no problem.
The POST can come from a small number of IPs given by github; I plan/hope to specify a port on my computer where it should get sent.

The problem is, I don't know enough about web technologies to deal with the vast number of options you find when searching.. do I use Django, Requests, sockets,Flask, microframeworks...? I don't know what most of the terms involved mean, and most sound like they offer too much/are too big to solve my problem - I'm simply overwhelmed and don't know where to start.

Most tutorials about POST/GET I could find seem to be concerned with either sending or directly requesting data from a website, but not with continually listening for it.

I feel the problem is not really a difficult one, and will boil down to a couple of lines, once I know where to go/how to do it. Can anybody offer pointers/tutorials/examples/sample code?

Answer

Here's a basic web.py example for receiving data via POST and doing something with it (in this case, just printing it to stdout):

import web

urls = ('/.*', 'hooks')

app = web.application(urls, globals())

class hooks:
    def POST(self):
        data = web.data()
        print
        print 'DATA RECEIVED:'
        print data
        print
        return 'OK'

if __name__ == '__main__':
    app.run()

I POSTed some data to it using hurl.it (after forwarding 8080 on my router), and saw the following output:

$ python hooks.py 
http://0.0.0.0:8080/

DATA RECEIVED: 
test=thisisatest&test2=25

50.19.170.198:33407 - - [27/Jan/2013 10:18:37] "HTTP/1.1 POST /hooks" - 200 OK

You should be able to swap out the print statements for your JSON processing.

To specify the port number, call the script with an extra argument:

$ python hooks.py 1234