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Contributing to Bower

Please take a moment to review this document in order to make the contribution process easy and effective for everyone involved.

Following these guidelines helps to communicate that you respect the time of the developers managing and developing this open source project. In return, they should reciprocate that respect in addressing your issue, assessing changes, and helping you finalize your pull requests.

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:

Bug reports

A bug is a demonstrable problem that is caused by the code in the repository. Good bug reports are extremely helpful - thank you!

Guidelines for bug reports:

  1. Use the GitHub issue search — check if the issue has already been reported.

  2. Check if the issue has been fixed — try to reproduce it using the latest master or development branch in the repository.

  3. Isolate the problem — ideally create a reduced test case.

A good bug report shouldn't leave others needing to chase you up for more information. Please try to be as detailed as possible in your report. What is your environment? What steps will reproduce the issue? What OS experiences the problem? What would you expect to be the outcome? All these details will help people to fix any potential bugs.


Short and descriptive example bug report title

A summary of the issue and the browser/OS environment in which it occurs. If suitable, include the steps required to reproduce the bug.

  1. This is the first step
  2. This is the second step
  3. Further steps, etc.

<url> - a link to the reduced test case

Any other information you want to share that is relevant to the issue being reported. This might include the lines of code that you have identified as causing the bug, and potential solutions (and your opinions on their merits).

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.

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.
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