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Adding more detailed and structured process to contributors' guide.
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rastala authored and mmlspark-bot committed Jul 10, 2017
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## Interested in contributing to MMLSpark? We're excited to work with you.
### You can contribute in many ways
### You can contribute in many ways:
* Use the library and give feedback
* Report a bug
* Request a feature
* Fix a bug
* Add examples and documentation
* Code a new feature
* Review pull requests
* Use the library and give feedback: report bugs, request features.
* Add sample Jupyter notebooks, Python or Scala code examples, documentation
* Fix bugs and issues.
* Add new features, such as data transformations or machine learning algorithms.
* Review pull requests from other contributors.
### How to contribute?
You can give feedback, report bugs and request new features anytime by
opening an issue. Also, you can up-vote and comment on existing issues.
You can give feedback, report bugs and request new features anytime by opening
an issue. Also, you can up-vote or comment on existing issues.
To make a pull request into the repo, such as bug fixes, documentation
or new features, follow these steps:
If you want to add code, examples or documentation to the repository, follow
this process:
* If it's a new feature, open an issue for preliminary discussion with
us, to ensure your contribution is a good fit and doesn't duplicate
#### Propose a contribution
* Preferably, get started by tackling existing issues to get yourself acquainted
with the library source and the process.
* Open an issue, or comment on an existing issue to discuss your contribution
and design, to ensure your contribution is a good fit and doesn't duplicate
on-going work.
* Typically, you'll need to accept Microsoft Contributor Licence
Agreement (CLA).
* Familiarize yourself with coding style and guidelines.
* Fork the repository, code your contribution, and create a pull
* Wait for an MMMLSpark team member to review and accept it. Be patient
as we iron out the process for a new project.
A good way to get started contributing is to look for issues with a "help
wanted" label. These are issues that we do want to fix, but don't have
resources to work on currently.
* Any algorithm you're planning to contribute should be well known and accepted
for production use, and backed by research papers.
* Algorithms should be highly scalable and suitable for very large datasets.
* All contributions need to comply with the MIT License. Contributors external
to Microsoft need to sign CLA.
#### Implement your contribution
* Fork the MMLSpark repository.
* Implement your algorithm in Scala, using our wrapper generation mechanism to
produce PySpark bindings.
* Use SparkML `PipelineStage`s so your algorithm can be used as a part of
* For parameters use `MMLParam`s.
* Implement model saving and loading by extending SparkML `MLReadable`.
* Use good Scala style.
* Binary dependencies should be on Maven Central.
* See this [pull request]( for an
example contribution.
#### Implement tests
* Set up build environment. Use a Linux machine or VM (we use Ubuntu, but other
distros should work too), and install environment using the [`runme`
* Test your code locally.
* Add tests using ScalaTests — unit tests are required.
* A sample notebook is required as an end-to-end test.
#### Implement documentation
* Add a [sample Jupyter notebook](notebooks/samples) that shows the intended use
case of your algorithm, with instructions in step-by-step manner. (The same
notebook could be used for testing the code.)
* Add in-line ScalaDoc comments to your source code, to generate the [API
reference documentation](
#### Open a pull request
* In most cases, you should squash your commits into one.
* Open a pull request, and link it to the discussion issue you created earlier.
* An MMLSpark core team member will trigger a build to test your changes.
* Fix any build failures. (The pull request will have comments from the build
with useful links.)
* Wait for code reviews from core team members and others.
* Fix issues found in code review and re-iterate.
#### Build and check-in
* Wait for a core team member to merge your code in.
* Your feature will be available through a Docker image and script installation
in the next release, which typically happens around once a month. You can try
out your features sooner by using build artifacts for the version that has
your changes merged in (such versions end with a `.devN`).
If in doubt about how to do something, see how it was done in existing code or
pull requests, and don't hesitate to ask.

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