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Using git sparse-checkout for faster documentation builds

Leveraging git sparse-checkout in GitHub Actions enabled us to speed up documentation builds in our repository, cutting checkout times from 20 to 30 seconds to just 2 seconds.

Developing an efficient approach to build documentation in CI workflows is essential, especially when working in large repositories with thousands of commits, like ours. Of course, we want to build documentation quickly and efficiently, ensuring fast and productive workflows. When using both the wonderful git-committers and git-revision-date-localized plugins to display document contributors and dates at the bottom of each page, we are required to set fetch-depth: 0, which resulted in checkout times of 20 to 30 seconds on our repository. By leveraging git sparse-checkout within GitHub Actions, check out time was brought down to 2 seconds.