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How to contribute

Thank you for considering to contribute to our project! 馃帀 馃憤

In order to contribute you need to be registered on GitHub and familiar with the concepts of forking and communicating with GitHub.


This checklist is closely based on a blog post by Davide Coppola. It also serves as a table of contents.

  1. Preparations
  2. Create a branch
  3. Work on your contribution
  4. Pull request
  5. Code review
  6. Clean up


Before your first contribution, make sure to follow the steps described in on how to create a fork, configure your git client and clone a working copy.

Create a branch

Create a local branch to collect changes related to a new feature or bug fix. Branches help to organize different developments within the project and facilitate the code review process.

You can do that with the following git command:

$ git checkout -b BRANCH_NAME

This will create and checkout a new branch BRANCH_NAME in your local repository. It is best practice to use a name that clearly describes the purpose of the branch.

You can check which branch is active (*) using the git client:

$ git branch

Use the --all flag to show local and remote-tracking branches.

Work on your contribution

Now you can start with the development of your new feature (or bug fix). You can commit changes as often as you like locally. In your log message, follow the "The seven rules of a great Git commit message".

$ git add FILENAME
$ git commit

Use git's commit and push mechanism to save and track your changes to your personal fork:

$ git push origin BRANCH_NAME

Update your working copy

Make sure to pull changes from the upstream master branch at regular intervals to keep track of changes done to the project. We recommend to use the --rebase flag. This will rewind your commits and reapply them on top of the project's history to maintain a linear history.

$ git pull --rebase upstream master

Since this changes the order of commits, you need to pass the -f option when you push your branch to your own fork again:

$ git push -f origin BRANCH_NAME

If you are using different computers and pushed changes to your fork on one, you can update your local branch on the other computer with:

$ git pull --rebase origin BRANCH_NAME

Pull request

After pushing your changes to your fork navigate to the GitHub page of your fork and create a Pull request. Add the needed information to the web form and submit your request.

Code review

The developer team will review your changes and decide whether to accept your changes. This process might include some discussion or even further changes to the code (this is the reason why branches are important).

Clean up

After your contribution has been merged to the main project (or rejected) you can delete your development branch:

$ git branch -D BRANCH_NAME  # local
$ git push origin --delete BRANCH_NAME  # server-side