Development / DevOps

This Week in Programming: GitHub Discussions Goes Live

21 Aug 2021 6:00am, by

GitHub this week said it was finally moving GitHub Discussions out of beta and making it generally available. The feature, which was first introduced into public beta in December 2020 and made available to private repositories last March, makes it easier to, well, have discussions (as you might have imagined from the name).

I must say, as someone who has grown up discussing things on the internet, even before the internet was really a thing, I have a soft spot for this sort of thing, and I’m honestly a bit surprised it took this long for GitHub to get there. After all, developers developing tools to make their own lives easier is often one of the first use cases for technology, right?

Perhaps it’s just a function of old school folks sticking with their old school ways, but given the ubiquity of GitHub for hosting open source projects, adding the ability for these communities to have discussions with many of the modern conveniences we’ve come to expect just seems like common sense.

As GitHub writes in its announcement, “Creating open source software today is so much more than the source code. It’s about managing the influx of great ideas, developing the next generation of maintainers, helping new developers learn and grow, and establishing the culture and personality of your community.”

After nearly a year in beta, GitHub Discussions is now available, and it seems that those who have gotten to use it during that time period are fully in favor of the new features.

The GA of GitHub Discussions arrives with a few new features — the ability to label your discussions, integrate using the Discussions GraphQL API and Webhooks, and use Discussions on mobile — and more are on the way, such as taking polls and monitoring your community with “a dashboard full of actionable data.”

This Week in Programming

  • Go 1.17 Brings Compiler Improvements & More: Go 1.17 was released this week, bringing with it “additional improvements to the compiler, namely a new way of passing function arguments and results,” which is said to have shown “about a 5% performance improvement in Go programs and reduction in binary sizes of around 2% for amd64 platforms.” While the now-beta fuzz testing features did not land in 1.17, as had been initially suggested, the latest version of Google’s open source language also adds support for the 64-bit ARM architecture on Windows, and introduces pruned module graphs, which the team says “should help avoid the need to download or read go.mod files for otherwise irrelevant dependencies.” The release also makes “three small changes to the language” and, as usual, a number of other improvements and bug fixes, which can be found in the full release notes.
  • Go Begins Its Web Consolidation: While we’re talking about Go, the project has said they will begin tidying up the Go web experience in the coming months. Currently, Go occupies a number of URLs, from the go.dev site launched in 2019 as a hub for new Go developers to the companion pkg.go.dev site made to host information about Go packages and modules to the assortment of sites at the golang.org domain. The upcoming tidying will consist of a consolidation of these various websites into one location, at go.dev, rather than the various URLs they currently sit at. As they note, the way it is now is “all a bit fragmented and confusing,” and so they will “be merging the golang.org sites into a single coherent web presence,” while taking measures to ensure that “all existing URLs will redirect to their new homes: no links will be broken.”

  • CNCF Internship, Anyone? If a three-month-long, paid internship with a Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) project sounds like your cup of tea, then you best get on it, because you have just a little time left. The  CNCF LFX projects are open for Fall 2021 and applications are due by Aug. 22. The participating lineup of CNCF projects runs the gamut, from Kubernetes itself to Vitess to OpenEBS or Meshery, and there are 30 project ideas available for mentees to work on. If you’re interested, apply directly on the LFX platform by Aug. 22, and you’ll hear back about the application by the end of the month.
  • GitHub Kills the Password for Git Operations: The change has been long coming, and this week it finally arrived — when performing Git operations on your GitHub, you will need to secure your GitHub account with two-factor authentication. As a matter of fact, if you haven’t noticed yet, we’re already a week into the change, with the sunset date having taken place already on Aug. 13. Since then, GitHub has required “the use of strong authentication factors, such as a personal access token, SSH keys (for developers), or an OAuth or GitHub App installation token (for integrators) for all authenticated Git operations on GitHub.com.” For details on how to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for your GitHub account, head on over to the blog post. Oh, and while we’re talking about Git, GitHub also has a blog post on the highlights from Git 2.33, which was just recently released, and includes geometric repacking, a new strategy for merge, and many other features.

  • GitLab Intros a “Data-Driven, Anti-Abuse Engine”: GitLab this week introduced Spamcheck, an anti-spam engine that it says is already enabled for all projects on GitLab.com and will be made available to the self-hosted version with the release of GitLab 14.2 on Aug. 22. Spamcheck will run alongside Akismet on the GitLab platform, helping to deter spam and abuse, and the blog post introducing the new service goes into GitLab’s approach to its development, with another promised blog post on the way that will examine the specific tech stack involved. Stay tuned.

The New Stack is a wholly owned subsidiary of Insight Partners. TNS owner Insight Partners is an investor in the following companies: MADE, Bit.

Feature Photo by Coline Haslé on Unsplash.

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