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Contributing to Bower

Bower is a large community project with many different developers contributing at all levels to the project. There is more information about contributing in the Wiki.

🐛 Bug reports

Casual Involvement

  • Improve the site (tickets)
  • Comment on issues and drive to resolution

High-impact Involvement

Using the issue tracker

The issue tracker is the preferred channel for bug reports, features requests and submitting pull requests, but please respect the following restrictions:

  • Please do not use the issue tracker for personal support requests. Use Stack Overflow, or in serious cases send an e-mail to

  • Please do not derail or troll issues. Keep the discussion on topic and respect the opinions of others.

Feature requests

Feature requests are welcome. But take a moment to find out whether your idea fits with the scope and aims of the project. It's up to you to make a strong case to convince the project's developers of the merits of this feature. Please provide as much detail and context as possible.

Pull requests

Good pull requests - patches, improvements, new features - are a fantastic help. They should remain focused in scope and avoid containing unrelated commits.

Please ask first before embarking on any significant pull request (e.g. implementing features, refactoring code), otherwise you risk spending a lot of time working on something that the project's developers might not want to merge into the project.

Please adhere to the coding conventions used throughout a project (indentation, accurate comments, etc.) and any other requirements (such as test coverage).

Adhering to the following this process is the best way to get your work included in the project:

  1. Fork the project, clone your fork, and configure the remotes:

    # Clone your fork of the repo into the current directory
    git clone<your-username>/bower
    # Navigate to the newly cloned directory
    cd bower
    # Assign the original repo to a remote called "upstream"
    git remote add upstream
  2. If you cloned a while ago, get the latest changes from upstream:

    git checkout master
    git pull upstream master
  3. Create a new topic branch (off the main project development branch) to contain your feature, change, or fix:

    git checkout -b <topic-branch-name>
  4. Make sure to update, or add to the tests when appropriate. Patches and features will not be accepted without tests. Run npm test to check that all tests pass after you've made changes.

  5. Commit your changes in logical chunks. Please adhere to these git commit message guidelines or your code is unlikely be merged into the main project. Use Git's interactive rebase feature to tidy up your commits before making them public.

  6. Locally merge (or rebase) the upstream development branch into your topic branch:

    git pull [--rebase] upstream master
  7. Push your topic branch up to your fork:

    git push origin <topic-branch-name>
  8. Open a Pull Request with a clear title and description.

  9. If you are asked to amend your changes before they can be merged in, please use git commit --amend (or rebasing for multi-commit Pull Requests) and force push to your remote feature branch. You may also be asked to squash commits.

  10. If you are asked to squash your commits, then please use git rebase -i master. It will ask you to pick your commits - pick the major commits and squash the rest.

IMPORTANT: By submitting a patch, you agree to license your work under the same license as that used by the project.


If you have commit access, please follow this process for merging patches and cutting new releases.

Reviewing changes

  1. Check that a change is within the scope and philosophy of the project.
  2. Check that a change has any necessary tests and a proper, descriptive commit message.
  3. Checkout the change and test it locally.
  4. If the change is good, and authored by someone who cannot commit to master, please try to avoid using GitHub's merge button. Apply the change to master locally (feel free to amend any minor problems in the author's original commit if necessary).
  5. If the change is good, and authored by another maintainer/collaborator, give them a "Ship it!" comment and let them handle the merge.

Submitting changes

  1. All non-trivial changes should be put up for review using GitHub Pull Requests.
  2. Your change should not be merged into master (or another feature branch), without at least one "Ship it!" comment from another maintainer/collaborator on the project. "Looks good to me" is not the same as "Ship it!".
  3. Try to avoid using GitHub's merge button. Locally rebase your change onto master and then push to GitHub.
  4. Once a feature branch has been merged into its target branch, please delete the feature branch from the remote repository.

Releasing a new version

  1. Include all new functional changes in the CHANGELOG.
  2. Use a dedicated commit to increment the version. The version needs to be added to the (inc. date) and the package.json.
  3. The commit message must be of v0.0.0 format.
  4. Create an annotated tag for the version: git tag -m "v0.0.0" v0.0.0.
  5. Push the changes and tags to GitHub: git push --tags origin master.
  6. Publish the new version to npm: npm publish.