It would be possible to start using Headless Chrome for smoke tests instead of PhantomJS.
The bare-bones implementation would be to run:
% CHROME_PATH=/opt/google/chrome-beta/google-chrome-beta % $CHROME_PATH --headless --disable-gpu --dump-dom https://meta.discourse.org
(pointing to the localhost:xxxx url) and check that the topic list shows up.
This command takes several (~8?) seconds on my machine on the first run, then is very fast (~1sec) afterwards.
More complicated integration tests - such as typing a topic and posting it - could be done with the debugger port.
Making this change will probably speed up the CI workflow due to the more optimized JS implementation.