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Build Commands Editor 2.0

Here at Rendered Text, we’re always thinking about ease of use. And with continuous integration, that ease — or pain — shows itself at the very beginning: the moment you start setting up your project. While Semaphore tries to infer or recommend you the right build commands, many projects need to customize their build commands sooner or later.

The build commands editor has remained mostly unchanged since we’ve launched parallel CI execution back in 2012, which let you speed up your test suite by splitting it in parallel build threads.

The editor definitely has some limitations. For example, adding a new command to a project that is utilizing multiple parallel threads, aside from keyboard input, has required about five mouse clicks.

We’ve been thinking deeply about how we can make this process faster and easier. So today we’re happy to announce availability of a completely new version of CI build commands editor on Semaphore.

Watch a quick screencast below for a taste.

As you can see, we’ve unbundled what was previously one list of commands into distinct sections:

  • Any commands that you would want to run in each parallel thread go into the (optional) Setup thread.
  • You can add a new parallel thread by actually clicking to add a new parallel thread, instead of adding a command and “scheduling” it into a desired thread number.
  • Same goes for commands you would like to run after each thread — the Post-thread commands, as we call them.

Threads are clearly separated, and you can even give them a name which would later be used on the build page. As a reminder, parallel threads on Semaphore run in different and completely isolated environments. Of course, if your project doesn’t require more than a single thread, none of this is required and the screen remains simple.

There are more handy details that are enabled by this new design:

  • You can drag and drop commands between threads.
  • Want to quickly edit a single command? Just click on it, edit and press Return.
  • If you are editing all thread commands at once, press Command-Return if you are on a Mac to save them quickly.

We hope that you’ll enjoy using the new build commands editor the next time your add or customize a continuous integration project on Semaphore. If you have any feedback or notice any bugs, please let us know.

Happy building!

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