Until now we were using Jenkins to run our build on any feature branch based on the Jenkins CI service. We are currently experimenting with pipelines based on gitlab-ci.yml. As a starting point I would like to limit this only for specific branches that created by few developers as a beta test.
I was trying to avoid merge of .gitlab-ci.yml from feature branches to release branches based on .gitattributes and merge strategies (see here), but this force me to have .gitlab-ci.yml in the release branch. As result gitlab force me to have some valid yml content (I hoped I could at least keep it empty) otherwise I will get invalid yml failure.
Any suggestion on keeping the .gitlab-ci.yml only on feature branch and avoiding manual steps to avoid the merge of .gitlab-ci.yml file until we will adopt it for all branches?