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Thanks for considering to contribute to FluidSynth. Before implementing any huge new feature, consider bringing up your ideas on our mailing list:

Contributing can be done by

Patches should be created with git format-patch, so in every case you should be familiar with the basics of git. Make sure you develop against the master branch, i.e. not against any FluidSynth release.

Some things that will increase the chance that your pull request or patch is accepted:

  • Give a reasoning / motivation for any changes or proposals you make.
  • Follow our style guide.
  • Keep your commits "atomic".
  • Write meaningful commit messages.

Style Guide

Find FluidSynth's style guide below. Syntax related issues, like missing braces, can be taken care of by calling make format (provided that cmake has found astyle on your system).


  • Every function should have a short comment explaining it's purpose
  • Every public API function must be documented with purpose, params and return value
  • Prefer signed integer types to unsigned ones
  • Use spaces rather than tabs
  • Avoid macros

Naming Conventions

  • Words separated by underscores
  • Macros always UPPER_CASE
  • Function and Variable names always lower_case, (e.g. fluid_componentname_purpose())


  • Every block after an if, else, while or for should be enclosed in braces
  • Allman-Style braces everywhere

Documentation Style Guide

We use Doxygen for public API functions, usage examples and other information.

Order of Elements

Please ensure that the order of elements in the documentation block is consistent with the existing documentation. Most importantly, each function starts with a single sentence brief description, followed by any @param and @return tags. @deprecated and @since should always come last.


 * Brief description of the function (only a single sentence).
 * @param ...
 * @param ...
 * @return ...
 * Detailed description of the function. This can be multiple paragraphs,
 * include code examples etc. It can also include @note, @warning or
 * other special tags not mentioned below.
 * @deprecated This is deprecated because ...
 * @since 1.2.3

Mark Lifecycle Functions

All functions are sorted alphabetically in the generated API documentation. To ensure that the new_* and delete_* functions appear first, please make sure to surround those lifecycle functions with @startlifecycle{} and @endlifecycle tags.


/** @startlifecycle{Some Name} */
/** @endlifecycle */

Referencing Setting Items

If you want to mention a setting item (for example audio.periods), please use the custom @setting{name} tag. The argument name should be the setting name with all . replaced by _.


 * This is a comment that references \setting{audio_periods}. You
 * can also link to a group of settings with \setting{audio} or
 * \setting{synth}.