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Krisztián Gödrei Update step-development-guideline.md (#658) 2b2f36f Mar 13, 2019
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Step Development Guideline

Step dependencies

In the context of Steps, dependency means an executable or a library needed to be executed or utilized by the step.

A step dependency is installed by the Bitrise CLI if it is not available in the PATH environment variable. Unused dependencies increase the build time unnecessarily.

Since steps can be performed in any environment where the Bitrise CLI can run, list every used dependency, even if you know that they are pre-installed on the Bitrise stacks.

Step dependencies should not include toolkit dependencies, as the Bitrise CLI will take care of installing those automatically.

For example:

A step written in Go should not list Go as a dependency if the step uses the Go Bitrise CLI toolkit

Bitrise CLI can install step dependencies available in the Homebrew package manager:

deps:
  brew:
  - name: cmake

apt-get dependencies available in sources listed in sources.list file on the host machine:

deps:
  apt_get:
  - name: cmake

Steps can define dependencies which need to be available on the host machine but cannot be installed in an easy way (like using a single brew or apt-get command):

deps:
  check_only:
  - name: xcode

Currently, the only supported check_only dependency is xcode.

Other dependencies need to be installed and checked while the step is running or using other steps.

Never depend on Environment Variables in your Step

You should expose every outside variable as an input of your step, and just set the default value to the Environment Variable you want to use in the step.yml.

An example:

The Xcode Archive step generates a $BITRISE_IPA_PATH output environment variable. You should not use this environment variable in your Step's code directly, instead you should declare an input for your Step in step.yml and just set the default value to $BITRISE_IPA_PATH. Example:

- ipa_path: "$BITRISE_IPA_PATH"
  opts:
      title: "IPA path"

After this, in your Step's code you can expect that the $ipa_path Environment Variable will contain the value of the IPA path.

By declaring every option as an input you make it easier to test your Step, and you also let the user of your Step to easily declare these inputs, instead of searching in the code for the required Environment Variable.

Secret environment variables in Steps

You can mark Step inputs as Sensitive to make sure their values do not get exposed. Sensitive inputs only accept Secrets - secret environment variables - as values. This ensures they are not visible in build logs.

To mark a Step input as sensitive, use the is_sensitive property. It has two values: true and false.

Please note that if you mark an input as sensitive, the is_expand property of the input also must be true!

inputs:
  - certificate_urls: $BITRISE_CERTIFICATE_URL
    opts:
      title: "Certificate URL"
      is_sensitive: true

Do not use submodules, or require any other resource downloaded on-demand

As a Step runs frequently in a CI / automation environment you should try to make your Step as stable as possible. This includes the resources / tools used by your Step as well, not just the core code.

If your Step depends on another tool, which have to be downloaded on-demand, during the execution of your Step, there's a chance that even your Step was retrieved correctly but the resource it tries to download just fails because of a network, authorization or other error.

You should try to include everything what's required for your Step into the Step's repository. In case of submodules, you should rather include the content of the other repository, instead of actually using it as a submodule.

The only exception is the dependencies you can fetch from an OS dependency manager, on Debian systems you can use apt-get and on OS X you can use brew. You can declare these dependencies in your step.yml, with the deps property, and bitrise will manage to call the dependency manager to install the dependency, and will fail before the Step execution in case it can't retrieve the dependency.

Step id naming convention

Use hyphen (-) separated words for you step id, like: set-ios-bundle-identifier, xcode-archive-mac, ...

Input naming convention

Use lower case snake case style input IDs, e.g. input_path.

Inputs which can accept a list of values

You should postfix the input ID with _list (e.g. input_path_list), and expect the values to be provided as a pipe character separated list (e.g. first value|second value). This is not a hard requirement, but a strong suggestion. This means that you should prefer this solution unless you really need to use another character for separating values. Based on our experience the pipe character (|) works really well as a universal separator character, as it's quite rare in input values (compared to ,, ;, = or other more common separator characters).

As a best practice you should filter out empty items, so that first value||second value or even

first value|       |second value

is treated the same way as first value|second value. Again, not a hard requirement, but based on our experience this is the most reliable long term solution.

Output naming convention

Use all-upper-case snake case style output IDs, e.g. OUTPUT_PATH.

List of values in outputs

You should postfix the output ID with _LIST (e.g. OUTPUT_PATH_LIST), and provide the values as a pipe separated list (e.g. first value|second value). This is not a hard requirement, but a strong suggestion. This means that you should prefer this solution unless you really need to use another character for separating values. Based on our experience the pipe character (|) works really well as a universal separator character, as it's quite rare in output values (compared to ,, ;, = or other more common separator characters).

Version naming convention

You should use semantic versioning (MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH) for your step. For example: 1.2.3.

Step Grouping convention

You can use project_type_tags and type_tags to group/categorise your steps.

project_type_tags are used to control if the step is available/useful for the given project type.

Available project_type_tags:

  • ios
  • macos
  • android
  • xamarin
  • react-native
  • cordova
  • ionic
  • flutter
  • web

If step is available for all project types, do not specify project_type_tags, otherwise specify every project types, with which the step can work.

type_tags are used to categorise the steps based on it's functionality.

Available type_tags:

  • access-control
  • artifact-info
  • installer
  • deploy
  • utility
  • dependency
  • code-sign
  • build
  • test
  • notification

Every step should have at least one type_tag, if you feel you would need a new one, or update an existing's name, please create a github issue, with your suggestion.

Step icon convention

The step's icon should match with the following criterias:

  • NOT transparent background color
  • size: 256 * 256 px
  • margin: 60 px
  • format: SVG

Submit your step's icon by:

  • adding the svg file into your steplib fork repo at: STEPLIB_FORK_ROOT/steps/YOUR_STEP_ID/assets/icon.svg
  • createing a new pull request to the steplib repo
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