27 Aug 2012 ยท Semaphore News

    Live build log and other UI improvements in Semaphore

    3 min read

    Since we started the Semaphore project, we’ve always strived to come up with a good design. Continuous integration (CI) was not a new concept, but we saw a lot of room for improvement in how it’s done. We hoped that eventually more projects will use CI, which would benefit our entire industry. For example, with the assumption that code is on GitHub, we were able to design a compelling point and click workflow of adding a new project to the system, which has been copied by a few other services (we take imitiation as flattery).

    The interaction doesn’t stop there of course. It’s important to be able to do what you want quickly and intuitively – when you’re waiting for a build, changing its settings or looking up why it failed. Thanks to our awesome users we learned and applied a couple of things that make this easier.

    The dashboard

    Doesn’t look much different, but here’s the catch:

    – The build status label is now clickable.
    – In case you have a build in progress and one or more enqueued ones on top, we show the “building” label for that branch.
    – Clickable areas around these elements have been slightly expanded.

    The branch

    The build table used to be coded in a way that made the entire row clickable. One bad side-effect was that it was not possible to open a build from here on iPad.

    We’ve changed this completely. As you can see, more information is shown about each build. Build number, status label, timestamp are separately clickable, or tappable.

    There’s also a link to project settings at the top. The project settings page will be aware that it should take you back to the branch once you’re done changing your build commands, for instance. We hope that this makes the process of setting up a project, for which we could not guess build commands, easier.

    The build page

    This is a build in progress. We finally have a live build log. It’s not just sexy but useful when you’re simply wondering where your build is at, for whatever reason.

    Apart from that:

    – Same as on the branch page, we’ve included a link to project settings on the top.
    – The branch name is a clickable link.
    – The commit rows are now clickable only around the commit hash.
    – Only the newest three commits are displayed, top to bottom, with an option to show more.
    – The build’s full git revision is shown.
    – If you open a red build, the failed command’s output is scrolled to the bottom by default, so you can see the reason right away.
    – Queued builds can be deleted.

    We hope you’re enjoying these UI changes in Semaphore. We have more news to come soon!

    You can also follow along what we’re up to on Twitter.

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    Writen by:
    Marko Anastasov is a software engineer, author, and co-founder of Semaphore. He worked on building and scaling Semaphore from an idea to a cloud-based platform used by some of the worldโ€™s engineering teams.