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How to Use GitHub

Contributing Documentation to the AREDN® Project

Create Your GitHub Account

To contribute to the AREDN® project you first must create your own GitHub account. This is free and easy to do by following these steps:

  1. Open your web browser and navigate to the GitHub URL https://github.com.
  2. Click the Sign Up button and enter the required information. We suggest using your callsign as the username which will be indicated below as "myCall". You can, however, create any username you desire. Substitute your actual GitHub username for "myCall" in the examples below.
  3. On the GitHub website, click the Sign In button and authenticate to GitHub with the credentials you created.
  4. You can enter "aredn" into the search bar to find all repositories related to AREDN®, or if you want to navigate directly to the AREDN® documentation repository you can type this URL into your web browser: https://github.com/aredn/documentation.

Understanding GitHub Workflow

The process of contributing and tracking changes to AREDN® is circular. Code is maintained in the aredn/documentation repository on GitHub. To contribute a potential documentation update, you must first FORK the aredn/documentation repository to your own GitHub account. You then CLONE your copy of the documentation from your GitHub repository to your own local computer. Make and test any changes you want to contribute using your local computer's copy of the documentation repository.

When you are satisfied with your changes, stage and COMMIT them to your local computer's repository, then PUSH those local changes to your copy of the documentation on your own GitHub account. Finally, create a PULL REQUEST, which tells the AREDN® development team that you would like your changes to be reviewed for inclusion in the aredn/documentation repository.

GitHub Workflow

One-time Repository Setup:

  1. Login to your own GitHub account and navigate in your browser to https://github.com/aredn/documentation
  2. Click the Fork button on the upper right side of the page. You now have a copy of the AREDN® documentation on your own GitHub account.
  3. Go to your local computer and copy your fork of the AREDN® documentation: git clone https://github.com/[myCall]/documentation
  4. cd documentation This directory contains your local copy of the AREDN® documentation. The following commands will be executed while you are in this directory or its subdirectories.
  5. git remote add aredn https://github.com/aredn/documentation

Now your local environment knows about both the aredn/documentation repository and your forked copy on your GitHub account.

Ongoing Development Cycle:

  1. Update your local environment with the latest documentation changes from the rest of the community, which will include any changes you had previously submitted. Caution: never make changes directly on the main branch. This will result in inconsistencies between the AREDN® repository and your repository, requiring a force-remove of any changes you have made.
    1. git checkout main
    2. git pull aredn main
  2. Create a local git branch to add your contribution:
    1. git checkout -b my-new-branch
  3. Make your changes and test them.
  4. When ready to submit changes, check to see whether they can be merged with documentation others have recently submitted. In GitHub terminology, “pull” down the latest changes and “rebase” or move your changes on top of the latest. In this process you might find conflicts with changes someone else has submitted, making further merge edits necessary.
    1. git stash to stash any changes still in process.
    2. git checkout main
    3. git pull aredn main
    4. git checkout my-new-branch
    5. git rebase main to move your branch and changes on top of the latest changes others have submitted.
    6. git stash pop to reapply your stashed changes
    7. Resolve any conflicts that need to be merged if warned in the step above.
    8. Finally build and validate that your changes work on top of the latest changes from other contributors.
  5. Stage and Commit your changes to your local repository, then Push the changes to your own GitHub repository.
    1. git add [any-changed-files] (stage changes for commit)
    2. git commit (Be sure to commit your changes with a meaningful commit message. You can refer to the standards used by OpenWRT https://openwrt.org/submitting-patches for creating commit descriptions that are easy for others to understand. The key is a commit description that concisely communicates to others what is in the commit.)
    3. git push origin my-new-branch
  6. Create a Pull Request (PR) for the aredn/documentation repository by browsing to github.com/[myCall]/documentation, then select my-new-branch and click the New Pull Request button to generate your Pull Request. Others can now review your changes, test them, and give feedback. If feedback is given and you need to make additional changes, go back to step 3 above ~ "Make and test changes".
  7. Once your changes have been accepted into the aredn/documentation repository, you can delete your branch:
    1. On your local repository: git branch -D my-new-branch
    2. On your forked copy of your GitHub repository: git push origin --delete my-new-branch

You can continue contributing new documentation by beginning the cycle again starting with step 1 ~ "Update your local environment".