Application control panel
We let you control various parts of Auto DevOps via variables, and soon a new section of the project settings, but this should evolve to an Application Control Panel. Technically, you can have the Auto DevOps template disabled, but still use the control panel with your customized CI/CD pipeline (derived from the Auto DevOps template). Since the conventions are documented, you can even make a CI/CD pipeline from scratch that is compatible with these settings. If we had plugins, I imagine third-parties would want to extend the settings as well.
We should split the Auto DevOps configuration into two sets of settings. One to enable/disable Auto DevOps (literally just whether to use the template if no
.gitlab-ci.yml exists), and another to configure your application. As we move towards application platform (Paas) functionality, these things become distinct. For now, it's a very blurry line as the only configuration we're talking about directly affects how the Auto DevOps template works. But in the future, some of those configurations could affect the underlying Helm chart, for example. Or other things entirely.
Also, as implied by the two screenshots in #38542 (comment 42317581), there may be more than one section-worth of settings. e.g. putting scaling settings in-context, so you can scale from the environment deploy board. The MVC probably collapses all that into a single settings section, but I expect this to evolve.