CI/CD YAML reference style guide

The CI/CD YAML reference uses a standard style to make it easier to use and update.

The reference information should be kept as simple as possible, and expanded details and examples documented in a separate page.

YAML reference structure

Every YAML keyword must have its own section in the reference. The sections should be nested so that the keywords follow a logical tree structure. For example:

### `artifacts`
#### `artifacts:name`
#### `artifacts:paths`
#### `artifacts:reports`
##### `artifacts:reports:dast`
##### `artifacts:reports:sast`

YAML reference style

Each keyword entry in the reference should use the following style:

### `keyword-name`

> Version information

Keyword description and main details.

**Keyword type**:

**Possible inputs**:

**Example of `keyword-name`**:

(optional) In this example...

(optional) **Additional details**:

- List of extra details.

(optional) **Related topics**:

- List of links to topics related to the keyword.
  • ### `keyword-name`: The keyword name must always be in backticks. If it is a subkey of another keyword, write out all the keywords, with each separated by :, for example: artifacts:reports:dast.

  • > Version information: The version history details. If the keyword is feature flagged, see the feature flag documentation guide as well.

  • Keyword description and main details.: A simple description of the keyword, and how to use it. Additional use cases and benefits should be added to a page outside the reference document. Link to that document in this section.

  • **Keyword type**:: Most keywords are defined at the job level, like script, or at the pipeline level, like stages. Add the appropriate line:

    • **Keyword type**: Job keyword. You can use it only as part of a job.
    • **Keyword type**: Pipeline keyword. You cannot use it as part of a job.

    If a keyword can be used at both the job and pipeline level, like variables, explain it in detail instead of using the pre-written lines above.

  • **Possible inputs**:: Explain in detail which inputs the keyword can accept. You can add the details in a sentence, paragraph, or list.

  • **Example of `keyword-name`**:: An example configuration that uses the keyword. Do not add extra keywords that are not required to understand the behavior.

  • (optional) In this example...: If the example needs extra details, add the clarification text below the example.

  • (optional) **Additional details**: If there are any caveats or extra details you want to document along with the keyword, add each one as a list item here.

  • (optional) **Related topics**: If there are any other keywords or pages that relate to this keyword, add these links as list items here.

YAML reference style example

See the only:changes / except:changes documentation for an example of the YAML reference style. The following example is a shortened version of that documentation’s Markdown:

#### `only:changes` / `except:changes`

> [Introduced]( in GitLab 11.4.

Use the `changes` keyword with `only` to run a job, or with `except` to skip a job,
when a Git push event modifies a file.

Use `changes` in pipelines with the following refs:

- `branches`
- `external_pull_requests`
- `merge_requests` (see additional details about [using `only:changes` with pipelines for merge requests](../jobs/

**Keyword type**: Job keyword. You can use it only as part of a job.

**Possible inputs**: An array including any number of:

- Paths to files.
- Wildcard paths for single directories, for example `path/to/directory/*`, or a directory
  and all its subdirectories, for example `path/to/directory/**/*`.

**Example of `only:changes`**:

docker build:
  script: docker build -t my-image:$CI_COMMIT_REF_SLUG .
      - branches
      - Dockerfile
      - docker/scripts/*
      - dockerfiles/**/*

In this example, `docker build` only runs in branch pipelines, and only if at least one of
these files changed:

- `Dockerfile`.
- Any file in `docker/scripts`
- Any file in `dockerfiles/` or any of its subdirectories.

**Additional details**:

- If you use refs other than `branches`, `external_pull_requests`, or `merge_requests`,
  `changes` can't determine if a given file is new or old and always returns `true`.
- If you use `only: changes` with other refs, jobs ignore the changes and always run.
- If you use `except: changes` with other refs, jobs ignore the changes and never run.

**Related topics**:

- [`only: changes` and `except: changes` examples](../jobs/
- If you use `changes` with [only allow merge requests to be merged if the pipeline succeeds](../../user/project/merge_requests/,
  you should [also use `only:merge_requests`](../jobs/
- Use `changes` with [scheduled pipelines](../jobs/