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GitHub Desktop 3.0 Improves Collaboration and Development Workflow

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The latest release of GitHub official GUI client app for macOS and Windows, GitHub Desktop 3.0, brings new features that, while not striking on the surface, may improve collaboration and development workflow, including new notifications and improved checks UI.

GitHub recently added support to re-run failed jobs in a GitHub Action without having to re-run the whole Action. This possibility can save a lot of time with complex workflows that take a long time to execute through, says GitHub.

Our users build complex workflows that often rely on multiple jobs and dependencies. Features like job matrices can trigger multiple variant jobs with just a few lines of YAML. However, these workflows can take a while to run, so when a small part fails, it is frustrating to have to wait to run it again.

GitHub Desktop 3.0 improves on the initial implementation of this feature by making it possible to re-run a single check, instead of running all failed jobs. This feature is available under the drop-down menu associate to a PR. Checks can be re-run only when the spawning Action has completed its execution, so the re-run button is disabled while an Action is still in progress.

To improve developer workflow with checks, GitHub Desktop 3.0 also introduces a new notification when a check fails. This is useful, according to GitHub, to speed up the pull request review process while reducing the risk that your teammates start reviewing it before it is final.

Not addressing the issue promptly could result in your teammates reviewing code different than what you intended to merge, or needing to ask them for an additional approval once the checks pass again.

The new notification will lead you to a dialog with more detail about the failed checks and provides a button to re-run those checks if you suspect the problem could be not related to code. Otherwise, you can switch to the PR branch with a click and start working on the fix.

To improve team collaboration, GitHub Desktop includes new notifications for a number of key events, such as a teammate requesting a change or adding a comment. Additionally, you will be notified when a PR has been approved.

As a last remark about notifications, GitHub Desktop 3.0 introduces a new setting to only enable high-signal pull request notifications. When this is enabled, GitHub Desktop does not send a notification for every single event happening in repositories you collaborate but only for significant, PR-related events.

Finally, GitHub Desktop 3.0 also deals with an annoying warning about the default merge policy to use when pulling from a repo by defaulting to merging (as opposed to rebasing).

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