GitLab rev zeroes in on speed, search, and GitHub

On the occasion of its 50th release, GitLab challenges GitHub with performance monitoring and faster search

GitLab rev zeroes in on speed, search, and GitHub
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GitLab, a code-hosting alternative to GitHub, is adding performance monitoring and "super-powered" search to the 50th release of the platform. Version 8.4, unveiled late last week, also makes it easier to work with large files or large volumes of artifacts.

Performance monitoring gathers data on the time it took to complete a transaction, time spent running SQL queries, time spent executing Ruby methods, and system statistics like process memory usage. "We've said in multiple places that improving performance of is a big priority for us. To give us more insights into this, we've built performance monitoring into GitLab," said Job van der Voort, GitLab vice president of product, in a blog post. "GitLab can now send performance data to an InfluxDB database, which in turn can be connected to graphing software such as Grafana."

GitLab Enterprise Edition also gains Elasticsearch, which enables faster searches. "If you have a lot of data, searching through everything in GitLab can require a lot of number crunching, which can take a while," van der Voort said. "Search is the last thing you want to wait for, which is why GitLab can now leverage Elasticsearch to speed up those searches."

GitLab 8.4's Artifacts Browser works directly in GitLab's interface and enabled users to download individual files. "GitLab does not extract the entire compressed file when viewing and when downloading, it'll only extract the requested file," van der Voort said. "This can save you a lot of storage space and makes it much easier to work with large files or large volumes of artifacts, as you don't need to download everything to get a single file."

The Fuzzy File Finder in GitLab 8.4 enables quick navigation to a file by name in the current repository without having to use a mouse. Continuous integration features in the API, meanwhile, support listing, canceling, or retrying a build as well as managing project triggers and build variables.

With Version 8.4's design changes, groups look cleaner and issues are easier to view, particularly in a smaller window, and diffs in GitLab now feature a highlighted syntax. Users also can more easily unsubscribe from threads, while Central Authentication Service (CAS) support allows users to use a single sign-on server to log into GitLab.

GitLab improved its GitHub importer, enabling users to import GitHub repositories, wikis, issues, and pull requests. GitHub has been the subject of developer complaints lately, with users posting a repository on GitHub itself venting about the lack of a proper voting system for issues and other beefs. Atlassian, which recently upgraded its own Bitbucket code management platform for Git, also is vying for GitHub users.

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