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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.

Search: better, faster, smaller

This is the story of how we managed to completely rebuild client-side search, delivering a significantly better user experience while making it faster and smaller at the same time.

The search of Material for MkDocs is by far one of its best and most-loved assets: multilingual, offline-capable, and most importantly: all client-side. It provides a solution to empower the users of your documentation to find what they're searching for instantly without the headache of managing additional servers. However, even though several iterations have been made, there's still some room for improvement, which is why we rebuilt the search plugin and integration from the ground up. This article shines some light on the internals of the new search, why it's much more powerful than the previous version, and what's about to come.