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Contributing to Shields

Shields is a community project. We invite your participation through financial contributions, issues, and pull requests!

Ways you can help

Financial contributions

We welcome financial contributions in full transparency on our open collective. Anyone can file an expense. If the expense makes sense for the development of the community, it will be "merged" into the ledger of our open collective by the core contributors and the person who filed the expense will be reimbursed.

Contributing code

This project has quite a backlog of suggestions! If you're new to the project, maybe you'd like to open a pull request to address one of them:

GitHub issues by-label

Contributing documentation

You can help by improving the project's usage and developer instructions.

Tutorials are in /doc:

  • When you read the documentation, you can fix mistakes and add your own thoughts.
  • When your pull request follows the documentation but the practice changed, consider pointing this out and change the documentation for the next person.

API documentation is at

  • This documentation is generated by annotating the code with JSDoc comments. Example
  • Adding a JSDoc comment to some existing code is a great first contribution and a good way to familiarize yourself with the codebase

Helping others

You can help with code review, which reduces bugs, and over time has a wonderful side effect of making the code more readable and therefore more approachable. It's also a great way to teach and learn. Feel free to jump in! Be welcoming, appreciative, and helpful. You can perform first reviews of simple changes, like badge additions. These are usually tagged with service badge.

Please review these impeccable guidelines.

You can monitor issues, discussions and the chat room, and help other people who have questions about contributing to Shields, or using it for their projects.

Feel free to reach out to one of the maintainers if you need help getting started.

Suggesting improvements

There are a lot of suggestions on file. You can help by weighing in on these suggestions, which helps convey community need to other contributors who might pick them up.

There is no need to post a new comment. Just add a 👍 or ❤️ to the top post.

If you have a suggestion of your own, search the open issues. If you don't see it, feel free to open a new issue.

Spreading the word

Feel free to star the repository. This will help increase the visibility of the project, therefore attracting more users and contributors to Shields!

We're also asking for one-time $10 donations from developers who use and love Shields, please spread the word!

Getting help

There are three places to get help:

  1. If you're new to the project, a good place to start is the tutorial.
  2. If you need help getting started or implementing a change, start a discussion with your question. We promise it's okay to do that. If there is already an issue open for the feature you're working on, you can post there directly.
  3. You can also join the chat room and ask your question there.

Badge guidelines

  • hosts integrations for services which are primarily used by developers or which are widely used by developers.
  • The left-hand side of a badge should not advertise. It should be a lowercase noun succinctly describing the meaning of the right-hand side.
  • Except for badges using the social style, logos and links should be turned off by default.
  • Badges should not obtain data from undocumented or reverse-engineered API endpoints.
  • Badges should not obtain data by scraping web pages - these are likely to break frequently. Whereas API publishers are incentivised to maintain a stable platform for their users, authors of web pages have no such incentive.
  • Badges may require users to specify a token in the badge URL as long it is scoped only to fetching information and doesn't expose any sensitive information. Generating a token with the correct scope must be clearly documented.

Badge URLs

  • The format of new badges should be of the form /SERVICE/NOUN/PARAMETERS.
  • There is further documentation on this in badge-urls

Coding guidelines


This project formats its source code using Prettier. The most enjoyable way to use Prettier is to let it format code for you when you save. You can integrate it into your editor.

Whether you integrate it into your editor or not, a pre-commit hook will run Prettier before a commit by default.


When adding or changing a service please write tests, and ensure the title of your Pull Requests follows the required conventions to ensure your tests are executed. When changing other code, please add unit tests.

To run the integration tests, you must have redis installed and in your PATH. Use brew install redis, yum install redis, etc. The test runner will start the server automatically.

Code organization

There is a High-level code walkthrough describing the layout of the project.


We have documentation for logo usage which includes contribution guidance

Pull Requests

All code changes are incorporated via pull requests, and pull requests are always squashed into a single commit on merging. Therefore there's no requirement to squash commits within your PR, but feel free to squash or restructure the commits on your PR branch if you think it will be helpful. PRs with well structured commits are always easier to review!

Because all changes are pulled into the main branch via squash merges from PRs, we do not support overwriting any aspects of the git history once it hits our main branch. Notably this means we do not support amending commit messages, nor adjusting commit author information once merged.

Accordingly, it is the responsibility of contributors to review this type of information and adjust as needed before marking PRs as ready for review and merging.

You can review and modify your local git configuration via git config, and also find more information about amending your commit messages here.

Running service tests in pull requests

The affected service names must be included in square brackets in the pull request title so that the CI engine will run those service tests. When a pull request affects multiple services, they should be separated with spaces. The test runner is case-insensitive, so they should be capitalized for readability.

For example:

  • [Travis] Fix timeout issues
  • [Travis Sonar] Support user token authentication
  • Add tests for [CRAN] and [CPAN]

Note that many services are part of a "family" of related services. Depending on the changes in your PR you may need to run the tests for just a single service, or for all the services within a family.

For example, a PR title of [GitHubForks] Foo will only run the service tests specifically for the GitHub Forks badge, whereas a title of [GitHub] Foo will run the service tests for all of the GitHub badges.

In the rare case when it's necessary to see the output of a full service-test run in a PR (all 2,000+ tests), include [*****] in the title. Unless all the tests pass, the build will fail, so likely it will be necessary to remove it and re-run the tests before merging.