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To Think About When Contributing Source Code

 This document is intended to offer some guidelines that can be useful to keep
 in mind when you decide to write a contribution to the project. This concerns
 new features as well as corrections to existing flaws or bugs.

The License Issue

 When contributing with code, you agree to put your changes and new code under
 the same license curl and libcurl is already using. Curl uses the MozPL, the
 Mozilla Public License, which is *NOT* compatible with the well known GPL,
 GNU Public License. We can never re-use sources from a GPL program in curl.
 If you add a larger piece of code, you can opt to make that file or set of
 files to use a different license as long as they don't enfore any changes to
 the rest of the package. Such "separate parts" can not be GPL either.


 Try using a non-confusing naming scheme for your new functions and variable
 names. It doesn't necessarily have to mean that you should use the same as in
 other places of the code, just that the names should be logical,
 understandable and be named according to what they're used for.


 Please try using the same indenting levels and bracing method as all the
 other code already does. It makes the source code a lot easier to follow if
 all of it is written using the same style. I don't ask you to like it, I just
 ask you to follow the tradition! ;-)


 Comment your source code extensively. I don't see myself as a very good
 source commenter, but I try to become one. Commented code is quality code and
 enables future modifications much more. Uncommented code much more risk being
 completely replaced when someone wants to extend things, since other persons'
 source code can get quite hard to read.

General Style

 Keep your functions small. If they're small you avoid a lot of mistakes and
 you don't accidentally mix up variables.

Non-clobbering All Over

 When you write new functionality or fix bugs, it is important that you don't
 fiddle all over the source files and functions. Remember that it is likely
 that other people have done changes in the same source files as you have and
 possibly even in the same functions. If you bring completely new
 functionality, try writing it in a new source file. If you fix bugs, try to
 fix one bug at a time and send them as separate patches.

Separate Patches Doing Different Things

 It is annoying when you get a huge patch from someone that is said to fix 511
 odd problems, but discussions and opinions don't agree with 510 of them - or
 509 of them were already fixed in a different way. Then the patcher needs to
 extract the single interesting patch from somewhere within the huge pile of
 source, and that gives a lot of extra work. Preferably, all fixes that
 correct different problems should be in their own patch with an attached
 description exactly what they correct so that all patches can be selectively
 applied by the maintainer or other interested parties.


 Writing docs is dead boring and one of the big problems with many open source
 projects. Someone's gotta do it. It makes it a lot easier if you submit a
 small description of your fix or your new features with every contribution so
 that it can be swiftly added to the package documentation.

Write Access to CVS Repository

 If you are a frequent contributor, or have another good reason, you can of
 course get write access to the CVS repository and then you'll be able to
 check-in all your changes straight into the CVS tree instead of sending all
 changes by mail as patches. Just ask if this is what you'd want.
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