Frontend Development Guidelines

Notice: We are currently in the process of re-writing our development guide to make it easier to find information. The new guide is still WIP but viewable in development/new_fe_guide

This document describes various guidelines to ensure consistency and quality across GitLab's frontend team.


GitLab is built on top of Ruby on Rails using Haml and also a JavaScript based Frontend with Vue.js. Be wary of the limitations that come with using Hamlit. We also use SCSS and plain JavaScript with modern ECMAScript standards supported through Babel and ES module support through webpack.

Javascript development

Vue.js is used for particularly advanced, dynamic elements and based on previous iterations jQuery is used in lot of places through the application's JavaScript.

We also use Axios to handle all of our network requests.

We also utilize webpack to handle the bundling, minification, and compression of our assets.

Working with our frontend assets requires Node (v6.0 or greater) and Yarn (v1.2 or greater). You can find information on how to install these on our installation guide.

Browser Support

For our currently-supported browsers, see our requirements.

Development Process

How we plan and execute the work on the frontend.


How we go about making fundamental design decisions in GitLab's frontend team or make changes to our frontend development guidelines.


How we write frontend tests, run the GitLab test suite, and debug test related issues.

Design Patterns

Common JavaScript design patterns in GitLab's codebase.

Vue.js Best Practices

Vue specific design patterns and practices.


Vuex specific design patterns and practices.


Axios specific practices and gotchas.


How to use GraphQL

Icons and Illustrations

How we use SVG for our Icons and Illustrations.


How we use UI components.

Style Guides

JavaScript Style Guide

We use eslint to enforce our JavaScript style guides. Our guide is based on the excellent Airbnb style guide with a few small changes.

SCSS Style Guide

Our SCSS conventions which are enforced through scss-lint.


Best practices for monitoring and maximizing frontend performance.


Frontend security practices.


Our accessibility standards and resources.

Internationalization (i18n) and Translations

Frontend internationalization support is described in this document. The externalization part of the guide explains the helpers/methods available.


Our internal DropLab dropdown library.