GitHub Launches ‘Actions’
Software development platform, GitHub, recently announced the upcoming launch of its new feature ‘Actions’. Our CTO, Jamie, discusses the news in the latest episode of Industry Spotlight…
See below for the full transcription.
Jamie: First thing I want to talk about is GitHub launching their ‘Actions’. So it’s a new feature for GitHub but it’s a bit out of the realms of what they usually do; it’s a source code hosting service basically, obviously using Git. They’ve just had a massive developer conference and they announced loads of cool stuff, one of them being ‘Actions’.
So generally, this is their first sort of dip into the continuous integration world of software dev. So Bitbucket have got a similar offer that’s been going for probably about a year or something now called ‘Pipelines’. It’s along the same tracks as that really. It’s just a way of creating your build process in code. You can even do it visually in GitHub Actions, which is pretty cool, so you can get, like, a little flow diagram essentially and drag and drop new bits into it.
So these build pipelines and build files have been around for decades really but they’re slowly creeping into source code management systems, which is good because really they do need versioning. So it’s a step in the right direction. A lot of companies have already got a build process, obviously, that integrates into GitHub. So it’ll be interesting to see how many people actually bother moving it into the new system because at the moment this thing’s like Codeship and other services which fill that hole. So I’m not sure how it’s going to affect those guys’ bottom line. Might be getting shoved out the market a bit here.
They haven’t really talked much about pricing. I mean, from what I understand, they haven’t really said anything about it. So I think it might be free but that sounds a bit weird. I don’t think it’s going to be free. But it’s only in beta at the moment so they might not have fleshed pricing out. So that’s one thing that’s stopping us from using BitBucket Pipeline is they charge you per minute for your build process. If you do a lot of builds in a month, then it costs a lot of money. I think you get so many minutes free per month but people like to bundle and you’ve done like an NPM install before haven’t you? Where it grabs all your node modules and sometimes if you’re in a big old project, there’s like gigabytes. If you build that into your build process and obviously it’s going to take ages isn’t it, downloading all that stuff. And you get charged by the minute, so it’s like it doesn’t really wash if you’ve got a build process.
So it’ll be interesting to see what GitHub do with the pricing. I know Bitbucket and GitHub’s like to price things differently to fill different niches; we talked about that before in a video. So that’s interesting. Really cool. So this might sort of start to push old school players like Jenkins and Codeship out of the market really because they’re replacing that functionality.