Retrieving Active GitHub Forks

The problem with GitHub repositories is that, whenever there exists forks for a given repository, it is not immediately obvious which forks are active, containing newer commits, and which forks are just-for-fun forks, which should have been Starred rather than Forked.

Of course, you can always navigate to that forked repository, and check for “commits ahead” and “commits behind”, but that’s really painful.

Apparently there are others that think such a feature would be useful

but the functionality is still not built-in. Both tickets link to helper applications or scripts that might perform the task, though.

So I came across Active GitHub Forks which lists Stars, Forks and Last Push date for each forked repository of a given base repository. (Their are also other solutions such as this Active GitHub Forks page)

So I forked this repository, had a little look on the GitHub API, I learned that you can query the forks of a given repository, sorted by stars or newest or oldest, but the list of forked repositories does not contain the relevant attributes.

Instead, you have to query each of the forked repositories separately to retrieve their attributes “total_commits”, “ahead_by”, “behind_by”. And each separate query weighs on GitHub’s rate limit. (No wonder then that some of the tools screenscrape rather than query the API)

Visit my solution of Active GitHub Forks and query the forked repositories individually.

Active GitHub Forks screenshot

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