Weekly Telescope Podcast

In this blog post, I will provide you with some updates on what happened in Telescope in the last couple of weeks.

Throughout the last 14 days or so we have continued the work on the microservices and UI 2.0, which was quite exciting to see. Besides, I have finally managed to find a good-looking and properly working changelog generator for our releases. Tested in our latest 1.8 release, it categorizes merged pull requests based on the labels specified in the configuration file. The produced result looks quite appealing:

Release 1.8 Changelog

Another thing that I was able to configure and land a PR for extending Dependabot coverage on almost every other package file in the project. It is extremely convenient and allows us to check for outdated dependencies in any package file from one spot — https://github.com/Seneca-CDOT/telescope/network/updates. Since we now have 9 files monitored, we applied a scarce update schedule to prevent having 9 PRs open all at once. I have been constantly keeping an eye on Dependabot behaviour and am relieved to say it seems to be doing its work well. One observation I can’t emphasize more is the frequency of dependency updates in our root package.json file. We are getting 6–10 updates for the file each week and so far I had to manually re-trigger checks for this package file to keep up with the pace. I really think we should make these checks daily specifically for this file. Taking into account that our team has been extremely efficient with reviewing dependency update PRs, such a shift should not bring much trouble. On the positive side, if we manage (which we constantly have in the last few weeks) to review at least one dependency update PR each day, Dependabot will likely open another one on the following morning. If not, it will just stay blocked and won’t trigger any CI runs. Apart from that, I have noticed that it is extremely convenient to use the Dependency graph page on GitHub to double check that all of your dependencies of up-to-date prior to the release. Instead of using npm outdated and creating PRs yourself, all you need to do here is just to click on the button. Works very well while the rest of the team debugs Chris’s docker creations!

Besides dependencies, I have also had a chance to update our release workflow once again to incorporate the new end-to-end tests. In the process, we have also identified and fixed a bug with some missing dependencies when our CI runs on forked repositories. Using playwright-github-action really made it easy to make sure all required dependencies are installed on the cloud server running our tests.

Lastly, I have also started looking into our SEO situation. I have conducted a few test searches on Google (e.g. try searching for ‘seneca open source’ or even ‘seneca telescope’) and found out that it is currently quite hard to find Telescope without directly searching for it. I am looking forward to improving our meta tags to try to bring Telescope above in the search results.

Summary

To summarize, here is the PRs that I worked on last week:

And the following is a list of PRs that I have reviewed:

Enthusiastic Junior Software Developer striving for discoveries & curious about technology

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