Community AMA featuring GitHub Actions 2PM PST

Interesting question.

We currently do not have a fallback model for the runners as the labels are different and typically for self hosted runners there is some other special requirement. However, we are working on a bunch of features to make the GitHub hosted runners more flexible and powerful.

On the job scheduling, I can take that feedback to the team and talk through how we might do that. One of the things we try to optimize for today is making sure you don’t have the opposite problem where a fast job can’t start because you have a workflow with a very long job that has other jobs downstream.

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The image contains some pre-populated versions of various tools in the cache so that is going to be on the C drive. The action simply works by either locating the version in the tool cache or downloading and placing a new one. For a persistent self-hosted runner this works great but for the hosted runners and we didn’t want to special case the code in the action.

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I know you guys have gotten a lot of feedback on the lack of templating in GA. Composite actions helps a bit but GA is still in desperate need of some sort of templating. I also know it is on the roadmap. Can you give any more details on the status of templating and when we can realistically expect this feature to be released?

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Thanks. So I should be safe to write an action that installs to RUNNER_WORKSPACE? I didn’t find any documentation for that particular variable, so I wasn’t sure if it is guaranteed to remain and if there is a chance of it getting cleared in future steps.

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This one has been painful for sure. I am hoping that we get to it in the first half of this year.

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The RUNNER_WORKSPACE should be stable between steps in a job.

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For workflows that are kicked off via cron, there is no guarantee that the run will be kicked off at the scheduled time or maybe even at all. This is not ideal but I can understand how it can happen. What I don’t understand though is that there is no indication that if a scheduled run is skipped, there is no log or error message indicating this. Can this be changed to give some indication that a run was skipped?

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@chrispat, Is there is one thing (or more) :grin: that you’d think the community can do to help us improve GitHub Actions?

We are working to improve the handling of scheduled runs right now. There are a bunch of challenges in that space, in particular we have a lot of people who want to run fairly heavy weight workflows at the top of every hour. It should be documented that there we spread things out to + or - 15 minutes of the schedule.

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We are always looking for more guides in our documentation. There are so many different languages and tool chains out there and we are just not experts in all of them. If you would like to contribute head over to GitHub - github/docs: The open-source repo for docs.github.com.

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@chrispat - What’s your favorite GitHub Action?

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For workflows that are manually kicked off, there is no way to suppress the prompt to select the branch that the workflow run will use. This can have catastrophic results if you don’t account for this in some other way in your workflow. Any plans to change this? It would be great to be able to suppress this option altogether. It would also be great to be able to pre-populate the branch prompt with a specific branch other than master/main.

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I love them all equally like children.

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I can see the scenario for that. I actually had the ability to specify a branch limiter in my original design but people found it confusing that we read that list from what was in the default branch only so we took it out.

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Thanks for commenting on all my questions @chrispat! All in all, we are pretty happy with Github Actions even though it is still a young product. I was able to successfully migrate all of our builds pipelines off of Jenkins and things have been working much better for us with Github Actions. Keep up the good work!

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image
Comming to the end of our time with Chris, post your favorite Marketplace action on the event post for a chance to have a robotic visitor…

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If you have more questions about GitHub Actions, please open a new topic under the Latest GitHub Actions topics - GitHub Support Community.

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favorite Marketplace action

GitHub Script remains to be one of my favorites for prototyping calls to the GitHub API. :zap:

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And that is a wrap for our first-ever GitHub Actions community AMA!
Thanks again to Chris and team! And of course, more important a massive thank YOU to our community for participating!

See you at the next one: Community AMA featuring Mike McQuaid 2021-02-26 2PM UTC

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