Data, Maps, Usability, and Performance

Exploring GitHub Repositories

Last updated on January 5, 2013 in Development

Exploring GitHub

GitHub is awesome. It’s a great place to store your projects and it’s an excellent revision system. You can setup a page on GitHub, use GitHub as a CDN, and use their Gists for quick snippets of code. But, I personally use GitHub the most for exploring and finding great projects, libraries, plugins, frameworks, and more. You can start with their explore page but today I want to share some advanced search features which really help in finding interesting projects on GitHub.

GitHub search is based on Solr and I recommend reading their blog entry on search syntax improvements. Using that Solr-style syntax, we can yield some interesting search results from GitHub:

Most Forked GitHub Repos

Repositories with over 2000 forks
  1. Twitter Bootstrap (11,224 forks | 42,479 stars)
  2. Spoon-Knife (11,116 forks | 10,379 stars)
  3. Homebrew (5,166 forks | 11,011 stars)
  4. Rails (4,564 forks | 16,975 stars)
  5. HTML5 Boilerplate (3,423 forks | 17,262 stars)
  6. oh-my-zsh (3,105 forks | 8,088 stars)
  7. Node (3,041 forks | 19,420 stars)
  8. HW3 Rottenpotatoes (2,887 forks | 3,994 stars)
  9. jQuery (2,824 forks | 18,129 stars)
  10. Phonegap-Start (2,413 forks | 2,352 stars )
  11. Impress.js (2,262 forks | 13,018 stars)
  12. Backbone (2,042 forks | 11,908 stars)

I got similar results when I did a search for repos with over 10K followers and repos with over 10K stars except D3 and Chosen also showed up in the results.

Most Popular GitHub Users

Users with over 4000 followers
  1. Tom Preston-Werner (8,971 followers | 55 repositories)
  2. Chris Wanstrath (8,625 followers | 101 repositories)
  3. Linus Torvalds (7,802 followers | 2 repositories)
  4. Scott Chacon (5,898 followers | 150 repositories)
  5. Paul Irish (5,870 followers | 78 repositories)
  6. John Resig (4,915 followers | 20 repositories)
  7. PJ Hyett (4,780 followers | 15 repositories)
  8. Ryan Bates (4,133 followers | 51 repositories)

There are about 50K repos added every week which is pretty impressive. I am also impressed by some of the wiki pages on GitHub which often have great information. Here are some of my favorites:

Client Side Storage Libraries – libraries that allow you to persist data across browser sessions.
Source Maps – languages, tools and other info on source maps.
Game Engines – HTML5 based game engines and frameworks.


I have also recently stumbled across Weekly hubReports which show the most starred and most forked github repos by week or month and by language. Also, this GitHub and BitBucket HTML Preview is extremely useful in doing a quick preview of GitHub HTML code where a demo is not available.


GitList – an elegant and modern git repository viewer.

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