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Build Loop dev with Browser


This page is only relevant when building the dev branch with a browser.

For Mac, please see: Build Loop dev with Mac

No matter the method used to build Loop-dev, you are testing development code. Please read this link now before continuing.

Build Development Version

For Experienced Builders

Building the development (dev branch) is not typically used for your first attempt at building the Loop app.

The instructions on this page assume you are familiar with building the Loop app using a browser as detailed on Configure to use Browser

  • You should be following along with zulipchat when using the dev branch
  • Summary build updates can be found under the One-Time Changes section

You can build any desired branch (available at LoopKit/LoopWorkspace) using the GitHub Browser build method. This section is suitable if you have already built either dev or main branch using the GitHub First-Time instructions.

The graphics on this page show the dev branch. If you want a different branch, just substitute that branch name for dev.

Overview of what you will do

  1. Your LoopWorkspace fork must have the branch you want
    • You will either add it or make sure it is up to date
    • You cannot just rename your existing branch to dev - you must get the dev branch from LoopKit
  2. When you select the action 4. Build Loop and then click on the Run Workflow dropdown, you must select dev there before clicking the green Run workflow button - see Build Branch

Check Current Branch

Your LoopWorkspace fork is at where you substitute your actual GitHub username. You need to be logged into GitHub. Review the graphic below as you go through the steps.

  1. Click on the branch icon to display the branches as shown in the lower half of the graphic below:
    • If the branch you want is not listed, then continue with Step 2
    • Otherwise, skip ahead to Update Branch
  2. Click on the New branch button and follow the Add Branch steps

steps to add a branch

Add Branch

Each step in the list below matches with the number in the graphic. In the top half of the graphic, the left side shows the initial display and the right side shows the display after making the indicated selections:

  1. Click on the drop down menu labeled 1 in the graphic and choose LoopKit/LoopWorkspace as show in the top right graphic
  2. Click on the drop down menu labeled 2 in the graphic and choose dev
  3. Click on the Branch name box labeled 3 in the graphic and type dev
    • The branch name in your fork should always match the branch name you are adding; check that you type it correctly
  4. Review the dialog items to make sure everything is correct and then tap on Create branch

steps to add a branch continued

Update Branch

If you normally build released code, but decided to build the dev branch because you want the features and bug fixes found there, please do not update the fork for the dev branch without first finding out what has changed since your last build.

Tap the Code button (upper left) and ensure this branch in your fork is up to date.

  • Select the desired branch in the dropdown menu (this graphic shows dev branch)
  • If the message indicates this branch is "behind", tap on the sync fork button and then the Update branch button

message displayed when your fork of LoopWorkspace is behind LoopKit version

One-Time Changes

Look in this section for one-time changes for building dev with a browser that require special, one-time actions.

With the release of version 3.4, no one-time changes are required. This assumes you built main after the release of 3.4.

Build Branch

We recommend most users leave their default branch as main.

If you have one branch as default, for example main, and choose to build a different branch, there is an extra step when you Build Loop. In addition to the normal steps 1, 2 and 3 in the graphic below, you must also do the (optional) step. Select the dev branch in the branch dropdown menu before continuing to step 4 and tapping on the green Run workflow button.

build loop using github actions

Refresh, Do Not Repeat

Hit Refresh

After you tap the green Run workflow button, GitHub can be slow to update.

  • Refresh the browser if you are unsure if the action started
  • Do not start a new action until the first one completes

Automatic Creation of alive branch

The alive branch is created automatically when you run the Build Loop action using the dev branch (version 3.3 or later). It is used as part of the automatic build process that will be released with the next version.

I got an error regarding the alive branch (click to open/close)
  • Sometimes you get an error about the alive branch
  • If you do get an error, delete the alive branch and run the Build Loop action again
    • Use this GitHub link or ask for help when deleting a branch

Automatic Update & Build

The automatic update and build features of the development branch are only available if you set the dev branch as your default branch. Be sure to read the Automatic Update & Build if you did this.

Change Default Branch

We recommend most users leave their default branch as main.

There can be several reasons why you would change your default branch.

  • It can be convenient to have the branch you build most be configured as the default branch
  • The branch you want to build has a different workflow than your default branch (not typical)
    • In this case, you must modify the default branch
    • Check the zulipchat conversation about the branch you are testing to see if it is necessary to make it default

These are the steps to modify the default branch.

For this example, we show how to change from a default branch of main to a default branch of dev. Note - only the owner of the repository can take this action and they must be logged in. Otherwise the Settings tab does not appear.

For the numbered steps below, refer to the graphic found under each group of steps.

  1. Click on the Settings Icon near the top right of your LoopWorkspace

    • You may need to scroll down to see the Default Branch as shown in the graphic
    • Do not tap on the Branches tab to the left under Code and Automation, that is not the correct menu

    show default branch

  2. To the right of the default branch name there is a pencil and a left-right arrow icon

    • Tap on the left-right arrow icon to bring up the Switch default branch to another branch dialog
  3. Click on the dropdown next to the current default branch, in this example, main
  4. Select the desired default branch, in this example, dev
  5. Click on the Update button

    modify default branch

  6. You will be presented with an are-you-sure question.

    • Click on the red I understand, update the default branch. button

    confirm default branch

Your default branch has been changed.

Automatic Update & Build

The automatic update and build features are available for both the released (main) and development (dev) branch.

Be sure to read this page: Automatic Update & Build.