Aapeli Vuorinen

Hi, I'm Aapeli! Two defining features of my character are: a deep curiosity for understanding what drives the world forward; and a need to always be solving new, tough problems. I'm particularly interested in using advanced technology and mathematical modelling to come up with creative solutions and to make awesome products. I find that the projects I work on increasingly rely on data, so I've lately been concentrating a lot on machine learning, statistics, and other data related areas. By formal training I'm a mathematician and statistician, but I've always had a passion for software engineering. Feel free to get in touch if you like what you see on this site. I'm always open to exploring new things with other creative, smart people.

Around 2 minutes (405 words). Published 2018-10-23.

GitHub Status Generator

Yesterday morning, at around 10 am Melbourne time, GitHub unexpectedly went down. The whole system didn’t go down; you could still use the “git” part of GitHub (cloning, pulling, pushing), but not the “hub” part of it (commenting, creating things). Unfortunately, it just happened that I was in the middle of a few discussions about issues and pull requests on work we’ve been doing lately; and this meant that I was essentially blocked from doing work anything until GitHub fixed their outage. Whenever you’d go on the web interface and open an issue or comment on a PR, the site would either accept it but then not show it right after, or it would just error out. Luckily no data was lost as far as I’m aware, and any activity turned up after the incident.

Nonetheless, I was bored and distracted and kept on checking GitHub’s status page every half an hour or so to see if there were any updates.

For some reason or another, someone would every hour or every half an hour update the status message with a sentence that said exactly the same thing but was worded slightly differently to make it unique. Messages like these:

We are continuing to repair a data storage system for GitHub.com. You may see inconsistent results during this process.

We continue to repair a data storage system for GitHub.com. You may see inconsistent results during this process.

We continue work to repair a data storage system for GitHub.com. You may see inconsistent results during this process.

Some discussion on Hacker News suggested that this was to allow mirroring to Twitter which allegedly doesn’t allow duplicate Tweets.

Nonetheless, I found this oddly amusing.

So due to some lapse in judgement, I thought it’d be quite funny to make a website that generates a (practically) endless stream of these slightly tweaked messages, and so let me introduce you to the GitHub Status Generator.

It’s not particularly exciting, I just took all the messages they’d posted up to then, sorted them, and divided them into “chunks” of words that kept being permuted, and then simply chose a random chunk for a new message.

I think I missed out on the Americans waking up and GitHub was starting to get back online, but I posted it on Hacker News and got a few upvotes. I’ve also put the code up on GitHub.

Definitely time well procrastinated.