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Contributing to CouchDB

Please take a moment to review this document in order to make the contribution process easy and effective for everyone involved.

Following these guidelines helps to communicate that you respect the time of the developers managing and developing this open source project. In return, they should reciprocate that respect in addressing your issue, assessing changes, and helping you finalize your pull requests.

Contributions to CouchDB are governed by our Code of Conduct and a set of Project Bylaws. Come join us!

Using the issue tracker

First things first: Do NOT report security vulnerabilities in public issues! Please disclose responsibly by letting the Apache CouchDB Security team know upfront. We will assess the issue as soon as possible on a best-effort basis and will give you an estimate for when we have a fix and release available for an eventual public disclosure.

The GitHub issue tracker is the preferred channel for bug reports, features requests and submitting pull requests, but please respect the following restrictions:

  • Please do not use the issue tracker for personal support requests. Use CouchDB Chat instead. Alternately, help us to help more people by using our publicly archived user or developer mailing lists.

  • Please do not derail or troll issues. Keep the discussion on topic and respect the opinions of others.

Bug reports

A bug is a demonstrable problem that is caused by the code in our repositories. Good bug reports are extremely helpful - thank you!

Guidelines for bug reports:

  1. Use the GitHub issue search — check if the issue has already been reported.

  2. Check if the issue has been fixed — try to reproduce it using the latest master or next branch in the repository.

  3. Isolate the problem — ideally create a reduced test case.

A good bug report shouldn't leave others needing to chase you up for more information. Please try to be as detailed as possible in your report. What is your environment? What steps will reproduce the issue? What OS experiences the problem? What would you expect to be the outcome? All these details will help people to fix any potential bugs. Our issue template will help you include all of the relevant detail.

Example:

Short and descriptive example bug report title

A summary of the issue and the browser/OS environment in which it occurs. If suitable, include the steps required to reproduce the bug.

  1. This is the first step
  2. This is the second step
  3. Further steps, etc.

<url> - a link to the reduced test case

Any other information you want to share that is relevant to the issue being reported. This might include the lines of code that you have identified as causing the bug, and potential solutions (and your opinions on their merits).

Feature requests

Feature requests are welcome. But take a moment to find out whether your idea fits with the scope and aims of the project. It's up to you to make a strong case to convince the project's developers of the merits of this feature. Please provide as much detail and context as possible.

Pull requests

Good pull requests - patches, improvements, new features - are a fantastic help. They should remain focused in scope and avoid containing unrelated commits.

Please ask first before embarking on any significant pull request (e.g. implementing features, refactoring code), otherwise you risk spending a lot of time working on something that the project's developers might not want to merge into the project. You can talk with the community on our developer mailing list. We're always open to suggestions and will get back to you as soon as we can!

For new Contributors

If you never created a pull request before, welcome 🎉 😄 Here is a great tutorial on how to send one :)

  1. Fork the project, clone your fork, and configure the remotes:

    # Clone your fork of the repo into the current directory
    git clone https://github.com/<your-username>/<repo-name>
    # Navigate to the newly cloned directory
    cd <repo-name>
    # Assign the original repo to a remote called "upstream"
    git remote add upstream https://github.com/apache/<repo-name>
  2. If you cloned a while ago, get the latest changes from upstream:

    git checkout master
    git pull upstream master
  3. Create a new topic branch (off the main project development branch) to contain your feature, change, or fix:

    git checkout -b <topic-branch-name>
  4. Make sure to update, or add to the tests when appropriate. Patches and features will not be accepted without tests. Run make check to check that all tests pass after you've made changes. Look for a Testing section in the project’s README for more information.

  5. If you added or changed a feature, make sure to document it accordingly in the CouchDB documentation repository.

  6. Push your topic branch up to your fork:

    git push origin <topic-branch-name>
  7. Open a Pull Request with a clear title and description.

For Apache CouchDB Committers

  1. Be sure to set up GitHub two-factor authentication, then link your Apache account to your GitHub account. You will need to wait about 30 minutes after completing this process for it to complete. Follow the instructions in the organisational invite email you receive. Alternately, you can use the Apache mirror of the repository at https://gitbox.apache.org/repos/asf/couchdb.git if you do not agree to the GitHub Terms of Service.

  2. Clone the repo and create a branch.

    git clone https://github.com/couchdb/couchdb
    # or git clone https://gitbox.apache.org/repos/asf/couchdb.git
    cd couchdb
    git checkout -b <topic-branch-name>
  3. Make sure to update, or add to the tests when appropriate. Patches and features will not be accepted without tests. Run make check to check that all tests pass after you've made changes. Look for a Testing section in the project’s README for more information.

  4. If you added or changed a feature, make sure to document it accordingly in the CouchDB documentation repository.

  5. Push your topic branch up to our repo

    git push origin <topic-branch-name>
  6. Open a Pull Request using your branch with a clear title and description. Please also add any appropriate labels to the pull request for clarity.

Optionally, you can help us with these things. But don’t worry if they are too complicated, we can help you out and teach you as we go :)

  1. Update your branch to the latest changes in the upstream master branch. You can do that locally with

    git pull --rebase upstream master

    Afterwards force push your changes to your remote feature branch.

  2. Once a pull request is good to go, you can tidy up your commit messages using Git's interactive rebase.

IMPORTANT: By submitting a patch, you agree to license your work under the Apache License, per your signed Apache CLA.

Triagers

Apache CouchDB committers who have completed the GitHub account linking process may triage issues. This helps to speed up releases and minimises both user and developer pain in working through our backlog.

Briefly, to triage an issue, review the report, validate that it is an actual issue (reproducing if possible), and add one or more labels. We have a summary of our label taxonomy for your reference.

If you are not an official committer, please reach out to our mailing list or chat to learn how you can assist with triaging indirectly.

Maintainers

If you have commit access, please follow this process for merging patches and cutting new releases.

Reviewing changes

  1. Check that a change is within the scope and philosophy of the component.

  2. Check that a change has any necessary tests.

  3. Check that a change has any necessary documentation.

  4. If there is anything you don’t like, leave a comment below the respective lines and submit a "Request changes" review. Repeat until everything has been addressed.

  5. If you are not sure about something, mention specific people for help in a comment.

  6. If there is only a tiny change left before you can merge it and you think it’s best to fix it yourself, you can directly commit to the author’s fork. Leave a comment about it so the author and others will know.

  7. Once everything looks good, add an "Approve" review. Don’t forget to say something nice 👏🐶💖

  8. If the commit messages follow our conventions

    1. If the pull request fixes one or more open issues, please include the text "Fixes #472" or "Fixes apache/couchdb#472".
    2. Use the "Rebase and merge" button to merge the pull request.
    3. Done! You are awesome! Thanks so much for your help 🤗
  9. If the commit messages do not follow our conventions

    1. Use the "squash and merge" button to clean up the commits and merge at the same time: 🎩
    2. If the pull request fixes one or more open issues, please include the text "Fixes #472" or "Fixes apache/couchdb#472".

Sometimes there might be a good reason to merge changes locally. The process looks like this:

Reviewing and merging changes locally

git checkout master # or the main branch configured on github
git pull # get latest changes
git checkout feature-branch # replace name with your branch
git rebase master
git checkout master
git merge feature-branch # replace name with your branch
git push

When merging PRs from forked repositories, we recommend you install the hub command line tools.

This allows you to do:

hub checkout link-to-pull-request

meaning that you will automatically check out the branch for the pull request, without needing any other steps like setting git upstreams!

Thanks

Special thanks to [Hoodie][https://github.com/hoodiehq/hoodie] for the great CONTRIBUTING.md template.