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GitHub Actions

GitHub actions are workflows that are (remotely) run by GitHub if a certain event happens. Actions are defined in YML files in the .github/workflows folder. The YML files define

  • by what event an action is triggered
  • what the action should do

The syntax of the YML files is documented on the GitHub actions documentation page.

It can be defined in the settings of the repository what happens if an action fails, e.g. an email is sent to the maintainer, or a PR is blocked from being merged, etc.


This action checks if the title of the PR complies with a certain regex.


This action is triggered when a Release-Please-PR (see below) is merged. Basically, this action calls poetry build and poetry publish.


When a PR is merged to main, this action creates a Release-Please-PR. This is a PR that increments the version number of DSP-TOOLS, and adds a synopsis of the PRs merged since the last release to the changelog. When this PR is merged, the publish-to-pypi.yml action is triggered.


In the settings of the DSP-TOOLS repository, these tests are configured to be mandatory to pass before a PR can be merged. Basically, this action checks that

  • the docs can be built without errors or warnings
  • there are no dead links in the docs
  • the unit tests run without errors
  • the end-to-end tests run without errors

Checking dead links is a non-trivial task. There are several tools for it, but the only one which works for our purpose is markdown-link-validator.

There are some caveats, though:

Firstly, markdown-link-validator doesn't recognize internal links to files in the docs/assets folder. These must be added as ignore patterns, cf. the flag -i \.assets\/.+ in the code snippet below.

Secondly, external links to private pages raise an error, even though they are correct. An example is the link to above. To make markdown-link-validator work, the following flag is necessary: -i .+github\.com\/dasch\-swiss\/dsp-tools\/settings

So finally, this is the call to markdown-link-validator:

markdown-link-validator ./docs -i \.assets\/.+ -i .+github\.com\/dasch\-swiss\/dsp-tools\/settings

As the documentation grows, and new titles are added, it might be necessary to adapt this call!

Last update: September 12, 2023