So, does GH actions just let me execute code for free on Microsoft's servers...?

When I push an update to my Julia package in GitHub, I have set it up to automatically run a bunch of workflows, such as CompatHelper.jl which checks for updates in my package dependencies, and a Documenter.jl script that builds the documentation and pushes it to GitHub pages. I suppose if I were more clever I could get it to automatically run my test/ library too.

But my question is, all of these processes have to run on a computer somewhere, and that computer isn’t mine, so is Microsoft (which owns GH) just giving me computer power for free? What’s their interest in doing so—is it a loss leader to get me enmeshed in the GH ecosystem in the hopes that I later buy a premium account? Or is Microsoft using my code to do train some fancy ML algorithm?

And are there limits on what kinds of scripts I can run with Github actions? At first I reasoned that GitHub would only allow actions that are on a “whitelist,” but CompatHelper.jl is just a program and it seems like, in principle, I could write (say) a GitHub action that mines a bunch of cryptocurrency and deposits it in my wallet … and have the code executed, at no cost to me, on Microsoft’s servers. How does Microsoft “vet” GH actions against malicious or profit-seeking code?

Maybe Usage limits, billing, and administration - GitHub Docs is if interest to you

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Yes, but also hosting the git repository is a service they’re giving for free.

Not everyone ends up making paid for subscriptions, but yes, they make money that way. Especially organisations that want private repositories, without the hassle of maintaining an instance of a git server themselves.

No need to use the code you run in github actions, they can already read the code hosted in repositories:

Looking at the /etc/hosts in the runners is also fun: they block dozens of cryptomining-related websites. They do take active actions to limit mining, and ban users caught doing so.


Would you happen to know how well does CoPilot work with Julia language?

This might be worth creating a separate topic, because I only see one so far on this forum (by someone who claims it works well with Julia):

I haven’t tried it out myself.

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I tried it out in my neovim and it works nicely for python and bash and so but i didn’t get it to do something useful for Julia. But might be my setup is wrong

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I used julia with copilot for sometime and it worked well most of the time, i was actually impress of how much copilot was smart to help me write code. One problem, however, is that sometimes copilot would think that i was writing python code or even javascript :sweat_smile:, but orther than that it was great.