GitHub actions improvements

GitHub actions is really new kid on the block and even if I still prefer Azure DevOps pipelines, because they are really more production ready, GitHub actions is rapidly evolving.


Figure 1 : GitHub actions now has a dedicated editor for actions to quickly include actions

As you can see in Figure 1 , when you edit workflow file in GitHub online editor you can simply browse all available actions. Choosing a specific action reveal the snippet of text you should enter to use that action without the need to search around.


Figure 2: Detail of the action with a nice button to copy action text in the clipboard.

This feature suggests that it is better to use GitHub online editor to create and edit your workflow files , even if they are simply text files that can be edited from your favorite code editor.

If you need to author a GitHub action file, always prefer online editor than a simple offline editor.

If you edit your workflow directly in GitHub you have also syntax checking to avoid errors, as you can see in Figure 3. image

Figure 3: Syntax checking during editing online

Syntax checking is not only available to check some classic YAML errors, like in Figure 3 where the editor spotted a basic error in indentation, but it can also check semantic errors based on action schema, so you can guide the user during editing.


Figure 4: Syntax highlighting during editing that can suggests syntax to author action

You have also diff online, so you can check what you really changed during editing session.


Figure 5: Diff on actions to verify what you changed in action file during editing session.

As you can see online editor is quite powerful and allows you to quick edit action definition directly on web editor.

Gian Maria.