Skip to content
Allows authenticated or anonymous users to fill out a standard web form to create GitHub issues (and pull requests).
Branch: master
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.

Problem Child

Allows authenticated or anonymous users to fill out a standard web form to create GitHub issues.

Build Status Deploy

How it works

  1. You create a standard HTML form, defining what fields you'd like a given authenticated or anonymous user to fill out
  2. They go to a hosted URL and fill out the form
  3. The fields are converted to markdown bullets and inserted into the body of a new issue created against the GitHub repo you specify


  1. Create a Gemfile and add gem "problem_child"
  2. Create a file and add the following:
require "problem_child"
run ProblemChild::App

Then, follow the configuration options below.


First, you must set the following environmental variable:

  • GITHUB_REPO - the repo to open the issue against in the form of owner/repo

You must also set one of the following:

  • GITHUB_TOKEN - A personal access token for a bot account with the ability to create an issue in the GITHUB_REPO if you would like all submissions to be anonymous
  • GITHUB_ORG_ID - The GitHub Org ID e.g, @whitehouse if you'd like all users to authenticate against a GitHub Org prior to being presented the form, or
  • GITHUB_TEAM_ID - The numeric Team ID (e.g., 1234) if you'd like all users to authenticate against a GitHub Team prior to being presented the form

If you are using OAuth Authentication (e.g., you set GITHUB_ORG_ID or GITHUB_TEAM_ID so that the user submits as themselves), you must also set the following as environmental variables:

Pro-tip: When developing locally, you can add these values to a .env file in the project root, and they will be automatically read in on load


By default, Problem Child will prompt the user with a simple form that contains only the title and body. If you'd like to customize the form, you must do the following:

  1. Create a new directory called views
  2. Create a layout.erb and form.erb
  3. Customize both the layout and form as a standard HTML form. Check out these examples to get started.
  4. Add the following (middle) line to your file:
require "problem_child"
ProblemChild.views_dir = "/path/to/your/views/directory"
run ProblemChild::App

Pro-tip: You can use any standard HTML form fields, but be sure to name one field title, which will become the issue title.

Pro-tip II: Problem child can set labels. You can do this either as a hidden field:

<input type="hidden" name="labels[]" value="bug" />

or as a checkbox:

<input type="checkbox" name="labels[]" value="bug" />
<input type="checkbox" name="labels[]" value="suggestion" />

Pro-tip III: Set the public directory

By default Problem child points to an internal public directory which includes jQuery and Twitter Bootstrap. You can add them to your custom layout.erb:

<link href="/vendor/bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap.min.css" rel="stylesheet">

<script src="/vender/jquery/dist/jquery.min.js"></script>

However, if you would like to add more files to your form app (e.g., favicon, custom CSS & JS files, etc.), you can redefine where the public directory points:

require "problem_child"
ProblemChild.views_dir = "/path/to/your/views/directory"
ProblemChild.public_dir = Rails.public_path
run ProblemChild::App

Note that you will lose access to the bundled jQuery & Bootstrap libraries and will have to put copies into your new public directory to use them.

Creating pull requests

Problem child can also be used to create pull requests. Simply add one or more file inputs to your form. The uploaded files will be committed to a newly created feature branch, and a pull request will be created against the repo's primary branch with the rest of the form content. You'll also want to change the form type to enctype="multipart/form-data".

<form method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data">
  <input type="file" name="file" />
  <input type="submit" />


  1. Fork it ([my-github-username]/problem_child/fork )
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create a new Pull Request
You can’t perform that action at this time.