What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is an experimental digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: managing transactions and issuing money are carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin Knots is the name of open source software which enables the use of this currency.
Development generally takes place as part of Bitcoin Core, and is merged into Knots for each release.
Even if your pull request to Core is closed, or if your feature is not suitable for Core (eg, because it builds on a features not supported in Core; relies on centralised services; etc), it may still be eligible for inclusion in Bitcoin Knots. In this case, a pull request may be opened on the Knots GitHub for review and consideration. When accepted, you are expected to maintain the submitted branch in your own repository, and it will be automatically merged into new releases of Knots.
The developer mailing list should be used to discuss complicated or controversial changes before working on a patch set.
Developer IRC can be found on Freenode at #bitcoin-dev.
Testing and code review is the bottleneck for development; we get more pull requests than we can review and test on short notice. Please be patient and help out by testing other people's pull requests, and remember this is a security-critical project where any mistake might cost people lots of money.
Developers are strongly encouraged to write unit tests for new code, and to
submit new unit tests for old code. Unit tests can be compiled and run
(assuming they weren't disabled in configure) with:
make check. Further details on running
and extending unit tests can be found in /src/test/README.md.
There are also regression and integration tests, written
in Python, that are run automatically on the build server.
These tests can be run (if the test dependencies are installed) with:
The Travis CI system makes sure that every pull request is built for Windows, Linux, and macOS, and that unit/sanity tests are run automatically.
Manual Quality Assurance (QA) Testing
Changes should be tested by somebody other than the developer who wrote the code. This is especially important for large or high-risk changes. It is useful to add a test plan to the pull request description if testing the changes is not straightforward.
Changes to translations as well as new translations can be submitted to Bitcoin Core's Transifex page.
Translations are periodically pulled from Transifex and merged into the git repository. See the translation process for details on how this works.
Important: We do not accept translation changes as GitHub pull requests because the next pull from Transifex would automatically overwrite them again.
Translators should also subscribe to the mailing list.