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Contributing to the CareKit Framework

This page focuses on code contributions to the existing codebase. However, other types of contributions are welcome too, in keeping with the CareKit™ framework best practices.

Contributing software

This page assumes you already know how to check out and build the code. Contributions to the CareKit framework are expected to comply with the CareKit Contribution Terms and License Policy; please familiarize yourself with this policy prior to submitting a pull request. For any contribution, ensure that you own the rights or have permission from the copyright holder. (e.g. code, images, surveys, videos and other content you may include)

To contribute to CareKit:

  1. Choose or create an issue to work on.
  2. Create a personal fork of the CareKit framework.
  3. Develop your changes in your fork.
  4. Run the unit tests.
  5. Submit a pull request.
  6. Make any changes requested by the reviewer, and update your pull request as needed.
  7. Once accepted, your pull request will be merged into master.

Choosing an issue to work on

To find an issue to work on, either pick something that you need for your app, or select one of the issues from our issue list. Or, consider one of the areas where we'd like to extend CareKit:

  • Faster 'get started' to a useful app
  • Data pipe between CarePlanStore and Insights
  • More chart types

If in doubt, bring your idea up on Issues.

Creating a personal fork

On GitHub, it's easy to create a personal fork. Just tap the "Fork" button on the top right, and clone your new repository.

Develop your changes in your fork

Develop your changes using your normal development process. If you already have code from an existing project, you may need to adjust its style to more closely match the coding style.

New components may need to expose new Public or Private headers. Public headers are for APIs that are likely to be a stable part of the interface of the CareKit framework. Private headers are for APIs that may need to be accessed from app-side unit tests, or that are more subject to change than the public interface. All other headers should be internal, "Project" headers.

Please review and ensure that any contributions you make comply with the CareKit Contribution Terms and License Policy.

Add automated tests for your feature, where it is possible to do so. For UI driven components where it is harder to write automated tests, add UI to at least one test application so that the new features can be reviewed and tested. Consider also whether to add new code to other existing demo apps to exercise your feature.

When adding UI driven components, make sure that they are accessible. Follow the steps outlined in the Best Practices section under Accessibility. Before submitting the pull request, you should audit your components with Voice Over (or other relevant assistive technologies) enabled.

Keep changes that fix different issues separate. For bug fixes, separate bugs should be submitted as separate pull requests. A good way to do this is to create a new branch in your fork for each new bug work on.

Any new user-visible strings should be included in the English CareKit.strings table so that they can be picked up and localized in the next release cycle.

Run the tests

All unit tests should pass, and there should be no warnings. Also verify that test apps run on both device and simulator.

Where your code affects UI presentation, also test:

  • Multiple device form factors (for instance, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus).
  • Dynamic text, especially at the "Large" setting.
  • Rotation between portrait and landscape, where appropriate.

You can use the apps in the Testing and samples directories to test your changes.

Submit a pull request

The reviewers may request changes. Make the changes, and update your pull request as needed. Reviews will focus on coding style, correctness, and design consistency.

After acceptance

Once your pull request has been accepted, your changes will be merged to master. You are still responsible for your change after it is accepted. Stay in contact, in case bugs are detected that may require your attention.

When the project is next branched for release, your changes will be incorporated. Queries may come back to you regarding localization, documentation, or other issues during this process.

Release process

The master branch is used for work in progress. On master:

  • All test apps should build and run error free.

  • Unit tests should all pass.

  • Everything should be continuously in working order in English (the base language).

    The project will make periodic releases. When preparing a stable release, we will branch from master to a convergence branch. During this process, changes will be made first to the convergence branch, and then merged into master. On the convergence branch, changes will be made only to:

    • Fix high priority issues.
    • Update documentation.
    • Bring localization up to date.
    • Ensure good behavior across all supported devices.

    After the converging process is completed, we will merge everything to the stable branch and tag with a new release number. The most recent release will be highlighted in the README.

CareKit Contribution Terms and License Policy

Thank you for your interest in contributing to the CareKit community. In order to maintain consistency and license compatibility throughout the project, all contributions must comply with our licensing policy and terms for contributing code to the CareKit project:

  1. If you are submitting a patch to the existing codebase, you represent that you have the right to license the patch, including all code and content, to Apple and the community, and agree by submitting the patch that your changes are licensed under the existing license terms of the file you are modifying (i.e., CareKit BSD license). You confirm that you have added your copyright (name and year) to the relevant files for changes that are more than 10 lines of code.
  2. If you are submitting a new file for inclusion in the CareKit framework (no code or other content is copied from another source), you have included your copyright (name and year) and a copy of the CareKit BSD license. By submitting your new file you represent that you have the right to license your file to Apple and the community, and agree that your file submission is licensed under the CareKit BSD license.
  3. If you aren't the author of the patch, you agree that you have the right to submit the patch, and have included the original copyright notices and licensing terms with it, to the extent that they exist. If there wasn't a copyright notice or license, please make a note of it in your response. Generally we can only take in patches that are BSD-licensed in order to maintain license compatibility within the project.