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This repository acts as the 'database' for the URL shortening service described in the article.


The GitHub repository in question serves a pivotal role in the infrastructure of a URL shortening service, as detailed in a specific article. This service employs an unconventional yet clever method by utilizing GitHub Issues as a makeshift database to house the shortened URLs. In essence, each time a URL is shortened through this service, an issue is created within the repository to store the shortened version along with its corresponding original URL.

To facilitate the redirection from the shortened URL to the original URL, the service leverages a custom or an existing project known as the gh-pages-url-shortener, or potentially a variant thereof, which queries the repository’s issues to retrieve the original URLs. This is made possible through a clever setup involving the modification of a 404.html file. Typically, a 404.html file is used on websites to display a “Not Found” error message when a user navigates to a broken or nonexistent link. However, in this innovative setup, the 404.html file is repurposed to act as a redirector. It is specifically engineered to point to the repository’s issues whenever a shortened URL is accessed, thereby utilizing the GitHub Issues as a dynamic storage mechanism.

This approach underscores a novel utilization of GitHub, extending its application beyond the conventional boundaries of version control and code storage to include functionalities akin to database services. By leveraging GitHub’s infrastructure, the URL shortening service operates without the need for a dedicated server to store the shortened URLs, thereby offering a simple, cost-effective, and serverless solution. This method not only exemplifies the versatility of GitHub as a platform but also showcases the potential for creative problem-solving in software development by repurposing existing tools and services to meet specific needs.

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