April is the best month for spring cleaning. While we are not washing Windows on Eficode ROOT (we mostly run Linux anyway) there are other housekeeping chores we must attend to. Because of this, the April release is not quite as hefty as some that have preceded it, but fear not, May is going to be true mayhem—a proper features galore.

GitHub Enterprise Server gets an upgrade to the latest and greatest release 3.12, in April.

Queue up for smooth PR merging

A merge queue can improve Developer Experience, especially on branches that receive a high number of pull requests and, thus, a high number of merge activities on a daily basis. You can benefit from merge queues even if you don’t particularly like being in a queue.

What does a merge queue do, then? Effectively, it implements automation for meeting the "require branches to be up to date before merging" branch protection. It makes sure your PR is up-to-date and meets this criteria, with no interaction required from you. Place your PR in the queue, and GitHub will automatically merge it when it passes all required checks. Check out the documentation and start queueing today!

Organization-wide CI/CD rules for Actions

First introduced in GitHub Enterprise Server 3.11 and available on Eficode ROOT since February, rulesets are a feature that allows enforcing specific rules for interacting with repositories and branches.

This release of GitHub Enterprise Server expands rulesets with the possibility of setting up organization-wide requirements for CI/CD workflows passing before a PR can be merged. 

Create a workflow that you want to apply on all repositories in the organization, then simply add a rule to the ruleset specifying the source repository (in which your workflow resides) and the workflow to be enforced. Simple, yet effective.

However, there are some caveats. A required workflow can block people from creating a new repository, as the workflow can’t run against a repository that’s being initialized, but there are ways to work around this limitation.

Improved accessibility

The web interface for GitHub Enterprise Server has received a bit of a facelift to provide a more intuitive, responsive, and accessible navigation experience.

There’s a new site-wide menu that contains links to your frequently visited areas of GitHub, like issues, pull requests, repositories, and teams. You can, for example, filter the list of repositories right inside the menu to find exactly the one you are looking for.

GitHub Enterprise Server 3.12.1The new navigation menu shown in GitHub Enterprise Server 3.12.1.

The buttons in the upper right corner also provide one-click access to the important bits: Issues, pull requests, and notifications. The code search and keyboard navigation have also been improved to provide a more consistent and accessible navigation experience.

GitHub Enterprise Server 3.12.1 user interface

Upper right corner of the GitHub Enterprise Server 3.12.1 user interface.

The comment field in issues, discussions, and pull requests has also been revised to provide better support for different screen sizes as well as better integration with assistive technologies such as screen readers.

Check out: Exploring GitHub with the redesigned navigation for more background on the redesign and its goals.

Dependabot enhancements

In order to aid in debugging issues with Dependabot runs, you now have the possibility of looking at its logs for runs associated with version, security, and rebase updates.

You also have the option of automating your response to Dependabot alerts by setting up custom auto-triage rules on either repository or organization level. Auto-triage rules control whether an alert is automatically ignored, snoozed or if it triggers a PR for a security update. 

The auto-triage rules feature is in public beta right now and as such, subject to change in upcoming GitHub Enterprise Server releases.

And much more

There’s also an array of updates for the Advanced Security pack, enhancements to projects, and more. Check out the GitHub Enterprise Server 3.12 release notes for a complete overview of this new GHES.

Enforcement, governance, and additional auditing. All this, and more, with GitLab 16.10!

Enforced SemVer for CI/CD components published to catalog

CI/CD components and the CI/CD catalog—both currently in their GA beta phase—are a feature that allows building, sharing, and distributing reusable CI/CD pipeline configuration units. You can use CI/CD components to include a small shared component in your large pipeline or even compose a complete pipeline configuration using only shared components.

And being in beta, the features are still actively developed and thus subject to change.

GitLab 16.10 changes the versioning rules for components published to the CI/CD catalog. All published components now have to use a 3-digit semantic versioning model, embracing the idea of a standardized approach by using the commonly accepted best practices.

Keeping AI at arm’s length

GitLab made its artificial intelligence companion (GitLab Duo) generally available back in January. Everyone knows AI will turn our lives around and make everything infinitely better, but it turns out that there already are some clouds on the horizon—situations where you might want to keep AI in check.

Perhaps sometime in the not-so-distant future, we’ll look back at the year 2024 with a kind of “good old days” fondness. Back when the idea of “AI governance” could be innocently used to mean turning off AI-based code suggestions in your software development tool, which is exactly what the good old GitLab 16.10 allows you to do. You can turn off the Duo stuff for your project, your group or even the whole instance if you so wish. What a fine day today is. The choice is still yours.

Wiki templates

Do you have colleagues who seem to be formatting GitLab Wiki pages all wrong when yours ooze the sort of class and elegance only achieved by those with the highest sense of style? Or maybe it would simply be nice to have consistently structured pages in your knowledge base to make it more reader-friendly?

With the introduction of “templates” for the GitLab wiki, you can now create, wait for it… templates for your wiki pages! With templates, you can make your layouts coherent, pages beautiful, and Wiki more efficient.

Custom payloads for webhooks

Previously, the receiving end had to speak GitLab in order to understand the webhook JSON messages it sent. And if it didn’t, well, you were out of luck, mate.

Starting with GitLab 16.10, you can create custom payload templates for your webhooks. This will allow you to modify the JSON body content of a webhook to the sort of dialect that the receiver understands. Check out Webhook docs for the technical specifications of this one.

Expanded checks in merge widget

The merge widget in GitLab UI has received a welcomed enhancement to the way it shows merge blockers. Previously you would only see one blocker at a time, requiring seemingly unnecessary iterations when you would have to resolve problems one at a time. Now the merge blockers (should there be any) are shown all at once.

Conclusive evidence from audit log additions

GitLab 16.10 continues the ongoing tradition of improving audit log coverage and usability with pretty much every new GitLab version.

“Miscreants in GitLab” could be an episode title of some sort of techno-whodunit, but perhaps it wouldn’t make for a very good drama, though, as in GitLab 16.10, its audit log is expanded to uncover additional, potentially mischievous activities through role assignments. 

Whenever role assignments are changed for a user, regardless of whether it’s a default role or a custom one, there’s going to be forensic evidence, err, I mean audit trail, for each and every one.

Sir David Suchet playing a retired extraordinary sysadmin who investigates cyber crimes as his pastime, would be a sight to see, though!

Also, starting with this release, audit events will include a scope attribute which helps to understand where an event originated from. The attribute will indicate if the event is associated with the entire instance, group, project, or user.

And then some

As you can probably guess by now, it doesn’t end there with this release of GitLab. Check out the full release announcement for GitLab 16.10 to learn all the improvements and changes.

Jenkins also receives the usual monthly treatment.

Monthly updates

Jenkins Core gets its update to the latest 2.440.x LTS patch version, with a usual round of enhancements and fixes to its plugin department. There’s nothing drastic nor that noteworthy this time around.

As always, the content of the release tends to differ from Jenkins to Jenkins due to its inherently snowflake-ish nature. Your friendly Eficode ROOT support team can provide you with the specifics, should you be interested.

Confluence bug log gets airing.

Issues resolution 

Version 8.5.7 focuses on fixing various issues identified by users. You can again make use of the utility “save for later” without encountering a system error. The custom field HTML code rendering Macro is back on its feet.

Advanced Roadmaps are back, and 401 unauthorized errors won’t be found on your road anymore. Automatic erasing of the content with bullets or task lists when saving the template found its resolution in this release. I've only listed a few of the biggest bugs. Besides them, others have been resolved. For more, check out the full Confluence release note.

Published: Apr 3, 2024

Eficode ROOTrelease notes