Thoughts on GitHub Actions?

Ben Halpern on October 16, 2018

GitHub just launched “Actions” ... [Read Full]
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I feel like, if anything was going to make us believe that Microsoft had good intentions with purchasing Github, it would be implementing a proper CI/devops system directly into the core product.


After years of pain with VSTF CI, I doubt MSFT had anything to do with this! :D


The newer cloud version is much less painful to implement.


Wouldn't that remove there benefit of having there enterprise suite of apps(Team Foundation Services, etc).. to me this seems like a step in the right direction.. I'd love to see a built in CI system, but Jenkins can do that job pretty smoothly once set up.. and potentially this is there step into creating a DevOps system built into the work flow of actions? just my thoughts


I think building in CI capabilities was something Gitlab got very, very right. GitHub relied on its marketplace to provide many of the services that Gitlab has built-in. I think they might be seeing users making the switch to GitLab, and reacting to that.

The visual way of setting up actions does look more intuitive than setting up GitLab Ci, though.


That's right, however GitLab is painfully unstable / less reliable compared to GitHub, IMHO.


There are discussions here on implementing a visual editor for the With GitHub Actions, this will probably get prioritized.


Environmental variables for GH Pages is huge for my students -- I have a similar set up with Netlify right now that I'm super happy with for personal use, but they usually use pages and this will help a lot.


Just to mention an aspect I feel nobody else mentioned yet: GitHub totally takes over features, which used to be set up using the GitHub Marketplace – I do not want to know how people at Travis & Co. are feeling right now.
How many of the Apps in the GitHub Marketplace have been rendered useless this way?


That's always a risk when you build your own product on top of somebody else's platform.


Think about vendors everytime AWS releases a new service :D


I have high hopes. I've fought with Jenkins, Travis CI, Circle CI, etc... throughout my career, I'm just kinda tired. Each thing has its own good stuff and bad stuff. I seriously just wanna run containers after hooks are fired. CircleCI and Azure DevOps come closest (sorry for the shameless Azure plug).

Circle is cool b/c it supports any GH org you own, but it uses remote docker daemons that come with some weird limitations, and that config file - all that YAML!

DevOps is cool because you can run docker compose things. And out of the box, each only run for commits and tags (iirc)

Not really sure if GH actions are good for CI - I'll probably keep existing stuff around (even if it's hacky) because why switch if I already did the work. But all the other stuff you could do! OMG all the other stuff.

Here's some top of my head (some stolen from here):

  • Maybe when a repo is created, an action can automatically create a placeholder website for the project somewhere (S3, Netlify, whatever else...)
  • Maybe when a GH release is made, an action can build a changelog for it
  • ... and tweet it out?
  • ... or write a quick blog post for it

There's probably tons more too. Anyway, I like the flexibility that you can respond to any GH action, and that it's gonna be automatically on for any repo, and that you can do stuff in any language as long as you can do it in a Docker image


It seems like a Zapier way of doing DevOps on Github. But I'm happy with all new features they can add so as to not having a need to use any other of its competitors.


Reminds me of Dialogflow + Google Functions but for pure CI entertainment.


I'm happy about it but a few people mentioned that they're now competing with their own marketplace. It's always a tricky balance to not compete with your partners. In this case I think they did the right thing because the CI/CD workflow ecosystem has been very stagnant. I hope this leads to more innovative thinking in that space.


It looks pretty cool; I will love to use actions rather than writing my own integrations base on webhooks.

It remains me to Shopify Flow.


Perfect timing I'm developing a blog post on top of that.


Having everything on same platform feel good. No more travis ci :)


Looks pretty good to me, nice to see new features coming out!


I am super optimistic about them. One step closer towards making GitHub more better without having to install a couple different automation tools. I think it's a welcomed change.

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