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Gitlab Description Templates

October 10, 2019

We use templates to help write descriptive tickets or MRs on various projects at work. 1 Then I started working on a new project and when I reached for them, I found the templates hadn’t been set up.

I didn’t realize just how much I liked them until I found myself in a position where they weren’t available. I took their absence as an opportunity. I set out to set up some basic ones and get the process started for the team.

To do that, however, I needed to learn a few things. It turns out that there are multiple types of templates (issues and merge requests) and that they can have some levels of automation built into them (through quick actions 1 on Gitlab).

The actual creation of the process is very straightforward:

  1. Create a directory in your project .gitlab/issue_templates/ or .gitlab/merge_request_templates depending on the template type you’re interested in.
  2. Create a Markdown (.md) file with the template. Name it how you’d like the template to appear in the UI.
  3. Push the changes to the repo and merge them into Master.

Once that’s done, you should have templates available.

Parting Thoughts

First, While we use Gitlab at work, it turns out that Github has nearly identical capabilities.34 .

Secondly, I loved the motivation for the feature. According to Gitlab:

We all know that a properly submitted issue is more likely to be addressed in a timely manner by the developers of a project. Description templates allow you to define context-specific templates for issue and merge request description fields for your project, as well as help filter out a lot of unnecessary noise from issues.

So true. Now, go forth and create better tickets powered by templates.

Footnotes


Stephen Weiss

Thanks for reading! My name's Stephen Weiss. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn.
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