acee62a0c635be0f1ff894eec88a1af0a2e80278 — sqwishy 7 months ago e541e99
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Why is it four clicks to view GitHub workflow logs?

:summary: :O blogger reacts to the number of clicks *exploding head emoji*
:date: tue feb 21 2023

For about three weeks I've been trying to write a blog post about caching for
GitHub runners using :abbr:`LVM (Logical Volume Manager)` snapshots.  Of the time
spent so far, maybe 3% has been having fun and actually doing things
with LVM.  The rest has just been making angry faces at GitHub actions and GitHub

.. aside::

    I don't like this kind of content. The kind I'm writing now in this post. It's
    miserable. I'm trying to peel off the angry GitHub rant from the other
    post I'm writing and *containerize* it here -- where nobody will find it and
    where it can't hurt anyone -- and where it won't detract from the
    spirit of the post that I want to write that tells a story about using
    LVM and Linux to do a cool weird thing and how computers *can be fun sometimes*.

    The downside is that this isn't a nice post with a happy side. Like my
    `phone rant </2020/09/phone-rant>`_ with the predictive text or swapping in
    a new pattern for underneath your phone case to show off to your friends
    tomorrow at school.

When a GitHub workflow runs, usually when you push commits with git, it runs
some programs on a computer and it will either do the things or fail. Also,
GitHub has logs about the things it tried to do.

This is how to view those logs. Starting from the index of workflow runs (the actions tab in the project).

.. picture:: 1l.png
    :alt: First, click the workflow run.

    .. source::
        :srcset: 1d.png
        :media: (prefers-color-scheme: dark)

.. picture:: 2l.png
    :alt: Second, click the job in the workflow.

    .. source::
        :srcset: 2d.png
        :media: (prefers-color-scheme: dark)

.. picture:: 3l.png
    :alt: Third, click the cog in the corner to reveal a dropdown.

    .. source::
        :srcset: 3d.png
        :media: (prefers-color-scheme: dark)

.. picture:: 4l.png
    :alt: Finally, click "View raw logs" in the dropdown.

    .. source::
        :srcset: 4d.png
        :media: (prefers-color-scheme: dark)

.. aside::

    *Bonus Meme:* I was taking screenshots in light mode and it
    looked like this panel was still in dark mode. I thought it was setting the
    theme with JavaScript or something and was stateful so I tried refreshing a
    bunch. But I think it's just like this. I think this is the light mode.

    .. image:: github-light-mode.png
       :target: github-light-mode.png

It seems like there could be a shortcut for this. Nearly always, I'm wanting to
view the logs for the last job that failed.

On occasion, I want logs for the most recent workflow run even if it
succeeded. These workflows have a single job so picking the job is easy when
there's just one option. Even then, showing the logs for all the jobs wouldn't
be terrible.

The screenshots don't really do it justice, but if you aren't as familiar with
GitHub actions is as someone who authors workflows (a fucking nerd), it's not
impossible to get lost and click the ellipsis button in the top right at either
step two or three. It's got the same general *top right of the whatever
area* for your spatial memory to sort out.

Maybe they'll figure out AI so I can just ask it to click the things
to show me logs.


At some point I got baited into trying to fetch the logs
with GitHub's REST API. You have to add an access token so that `curl`, or
whatever program you're using to make requests, can authenticate. GitHub scolds
you if you try to add a token with no expiry, so I figured "Okay, I'll stop
trying to fight you, GitHub. I'll do what you say and try to keep an open mind.
After all, I can't stop progress or whatever this shit is."

I made the token set to expire in seven days and immediately got four emails
telling me about the thing I just did. Two telling me that I had added the
token and two that it was expiring in seven days.  By the end of the week there
were two more emails telling me again that it was going to expire and then
two more once they had expired.

It felt like one of those windows installers that tries to also install a
browser toolbar or something. And it says "don't uncheck this to skip leaving
this offer for a 14-day demo of Norton AntiVirus uninstalled from your
computer". You might have agreed to it doing the thing that it does, but it's
not what you wanted and it really feels like it tricked you into giving it
permission to be annoying at you.


Also, this is what you see when you expand one of those steps in the workflow
job summary thing. When I first saw it, I thought it meant the step failed and
nothing was written to standard error. But they *all* say that all the time
even if the whole thing succeeded. I don't know why. I guess it's just one of
nature's secrets.

.. image:: github-step-error.png