Continuous Integration

The project uses Github Actions (GA), the workflow configuration lives in .github/workflows/ci.yml. Because of the limitation of GA (no YAML anchors/aliases support, no possibility to re-use actions in composite actions), in order to reduce duplications, that file is currently generated:

  • .github/workflows/ci/workflow_template.yml is the Jinja template.

  • .github/workflows/ci/workflow_context.yml contains the tests/build jobs definitions.

  • .github/workflows/ci/ is used to generate the workflow configuration: just execute ./.github/workflows/ci/ to update the workflow configuration after updating one of the files above (the script will check whether the output is valid YAML, and that anchors/aliases are not used).

  • .github/workflows/ci/ contains the bash functions used by some of the steps (e.g. setting up the Python environment, running the tests, etc…). Note: this file reuse some of the helpers provided by plover_build_utils/

The current workflow consists of:

  • 1 pre-processing job: “Analyze”, all other jobs depend on it

  • 3 “platform tests” jobs: Linux, macOS, and Windows

  • 3 “platform build” jobs, again: Linux, macOS and Windows, dependent on their respective “platform tests” job (so if the Test (macOS) job fails, the Build (macOS) job is skipped).

  • 1 “packaging” job that run a number of packaging related checks

  • 3 “Python tests” jobs: for checking support for older/newer versions of Python (other than the version currently used for the distributions)

  • 1 final, optional, “release” job

Analyze job

This job has 2 roles:

  • determine if a release will be made (will the final “Release” job be skipped?)

  • analyze the source tree to determine if some of the jobs can be skipped

Release conditions

Two (exclusive) conditions can result in a release:

  • a tag build, and the tag name is not continuous

  • a branch build on secrets.CONTINUOUS_RELEASE_BRANCH

Skipping Test/Build jobs

First, jobs are never skipped when a release is done.

Otherwise, a special job specific cache is used to determine if a job can be skipped.

Each job will update that cache as part of their run.

The cache is keyed with:

  • the epoch defined in workflow_context

  • the name of the job

  • a hash of the relevant part of the source tree

On cache hit, the job is skipped.

Creating the tree hash

Let’s take the example of the “Linux Build” job, the steps used for creating the skip cache key are:

  • a list of exclusion patterns is built, in this case from skiplist_default.txt, skiplist_job_build.txt, and skiplist_os_linux.txt

  • that list of exclusion patterns is used to create the list of files used by the job: git ls-files [...] ':!:doc/*' [...] ':!:reqs/test.txt' [...]

  • part of the HEAD tree object listing is hashed: git ls-tree @ [...] linux/appimage/ [...] | sha1sum

Note: the extra git ls-files step is needed because exclusion patterns are not supported by git ls-tree.

Tests / Build jobs

On Linux / Windows, the standard GA action actions/setup-python is used to setup Python: so, for example, configuring a job to use 3.7 will automatically setup up the most recent 3.7.x version available on the runner.

On macOS, to support older releases, Python will be setup from an official installer (see osx/ for the exact version being used). The version declared in workflow_context.yml must match, or an error will be raised during the job execution (if for example the job is declared to use 3.7, but the dependency in osx/ uses 3.6.8).

Caching is used to speed up the jobs. The cache is keyed with:

  • the epoch defined workflow_context: increasing it can be used to force clear all the caches for all the jobs

  • the name of the job

  • the full Python version setup for the job (so including the patch number)

  • a hash of part of the requirements (reqs/constraints.txt + the relevant reqs files for the job in question), and additional files declaring extra dependencies for some jobs (e.g. osx/ on macOS)

If the key changes, the cache is cleared/reset, and the Python environment will be recreated, wheel and extra dependencies re-downloaded, etc…

Packaging job

This job will run a number of packaging-related checks. See packaging_checks in for the details.

The resulting source distribution and wheel will also be added to the artifacts when a release is being created.

Release job

The final job, only run on release (tagged or continuous), and if all the other jobs completed successfully.

PyPI release

On tagged release, the source distribution and wheel are published to PyPI.

For this to work, a valid PyPI token must be configured: the PYPI_TOKEN secret of the release environment will be used. Additionally, the optional PYPI_URL secret can be set to use another PyPI compatible index (e.g. Test PyPI).

GitHub release

On tagged release, a new release draft is created on GitHub.

On continuous release, the continuous release and corresponding tag are created / updated, but only if the existing release version is not newer, in order to:

  • prevent an old workflow re-run from overwriting the latest continuous release

  • reduce the likelihood that a flurry of merges to the continuous branch will result in the continuous release not pointing to the most recent valid commit (because multiple workflows were created in parallel).

All the artifacts will be included as assets.

The release notes are automatically generated from the last release section in (tagged release) or the existing news.d entries (continuous release), and the template in .github/


  • The artifact upload action always wraps artifacts in a zip, even if they are a single file such as an exe or a dmg.

  • Artifacts can only be downloaded when logged-in.

  • Artifacts are only accessible once all the jobs of a workflow have completed.