YAML B There: GitHub Actions gets re-worked workflow editor


GitHub continues to improve on the DevOps-style Actions workflow tool it unveiled last year, with the latest update coming in the shape of an enhanced editor. This provides inline auto-complete and other features to make it easier to create and edit a GitHub Actions workflow.

Detailed in a posting on the GitHub blog, the new editor includes features that developers should find familiar from many other code editing tools, such as automatic indentation when you start a new line, as well as auto-complete.

The latter suggests keys or values depending on the current position of the cursor, and displays brief contextual documentation so you can discover and understand all the available options without losing the focus. Auto-complete can be triggered with Ctrl+Space almost anywhere, and works even inside expressions.

To minimise mistakes, the editor will also highlight structural errors in user files, unexpected values, or even conflicting values, such as an invalid shell value for the chosen operating system, according to GitHub.

One nice touch is that the editor will help users edit scheduled jobs by providing a pop-up natural language description of cron expressions typed into a file, so users can see at a glance when it is scheduled to run.

GitHub Actions was launched in 2018 as the platform’s take on workflow configuration for building and connecting containers as part of a development pipeline. GitHub released the programming language specification and parser for Actions as open source in February of this year.