3.1.3 • Public • Published


A simple node module to fetch GitHub notifications.

Made to be used by gitnews-cli and gitnews-menubar.

Since this module uses a custom token, it can report on private repositories as well as public ones.


Using npm:

npm i --save gitnews

Using yarn:

yarn add gitnews


You must first create a GitHub token so the module has access to your notifications. To create the token, visit the Tokens page and generate a new token for the app. You can call it "gitnews" and it needs at least notifications scope and the repo scope.

Then import the getNotifications named function and pass it the token.

const { getNotifications } = require( 'gitnews' );
getNotifications( token )
	.then( notes => notes.filter( note => note.unread ) )
	.then( notes => showNotification ) );

function showNotification( note ) {
	console.log( note.repositoryFullName + ': ' + note.title + ' -- ' + note.subjectUrl );

The function will return a Promise. When the Promise resolves, it will pass the callback an array of notification objects. Each notification object has the properties listed below:

  • updatedAt: The time (in ISO 8601 format) of the notification.
  • unread: True if the notification has not been seen.
  • repositoryName: The Repository name (eg: gitnews).
  • repositoryFullName: The full Repository name (eg: sirbrillig/gitnews).
  • title: The title of the notification.
  • type: The type of the notification.
  • id: A unique ID for this notification (at its most recently updated timestamp).
  • private: True if the notification repo is private.
  • commentUrl: The URL of the notification's most recent comment.
  • subjectUrl: The URL of the notification's issue or PR.
  • commentAvatar: The URL of the image for the notification's most recent commenter.
  • repositoryOwnerAvatar: The URL of the image for the Repository's owner.

If you need additional data, the actual GitHub API responses are stored under the api property.

Advanced Usage

The getNotifications function is actually created by a factory function called createNoteGetter which is also exported by the module. createNoteGetter accepts an object with the following optional properties:

  • log: Defines a logging function which will be called with status messages as the fetching process proceeds. This defaults to a noop.
  • fetch: Defines the fetch function to use when making API requests. This defaults to node-fetch. This is mostly useful for testing.

For example:

const { createNoteGetter } = require( 'gitnews' );
const getNotifications = createNoteGetter( { log: message => console.log( message ) } );
getNotifications( token );

Marking Notifications Read

The main purpose of this module is to retreieve notification URLs. Once a notification URL is visited, it typically marks the notification as read. In some cases (eg: security warnings), that does not happen. In these cases, it might be useful to manually mark a notification as read. This module exports the markNotificationRead function which can be used to do this.

The markNotificationRead function requires two arguments:

  • The token.
  • The notification object that resulted from calling getNotifications.

The following example marks all notifications as read.

const { getNotifications, markNotificationRead } = require( 'gitnews' );
getNotifications( token )
	.then( notes => notes.filter( note => note.unread ) )
	.then( notes => note => markNotificationRead( token, note ) ) );

Just like getNotifications, markNotificationRead is created by a factory function called createNoteMarkRead. This can be used to override the log and fetch functions.

const { createNoteMarkRead } = require( 'gitnews' );
const markNotificationRead = createNoteMarkRead( { log: message => console.log( message ) } );
markNotificationRead( token, note );



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