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+# The =Birt Tools project
+
+## Install
+
+_=Birt Tools_ is part of [JBoss Tools](http://jboss.org/tools) from
+which it can be [downloaded and installed](http://jboss.org/tools/download)
+on its own or together with the full JBoss Tools distribution.
+
+## Get the code
+
+The easiest way to get started with the code is to [create your own fork](http://help.github.com/forking/),
+and then clone your fork:
+
+ $ git clone git@github.com:<you>/=jbosstools-birt.git
+ $ cd =jbosstools-birt
+ $ git remote add upstream git://github.com/jbosstools/=jbosstools-birt.git
+
+At any time, you can pull changes from the upstream and merge them onto your master:
+
+ $ git checkout master # switches to the 'master' branch
+ $ git pull upstream master # fetches all 'upstream' changes and merges 'upstream/master' onto your 'master' branch
+ $ git push origin # pushes all the updates to your fork, which should be in-sync with 'upstream'
+
+The general idea is to keep your 'master' branch in-sync with the
+'upstream/master'.
+
+## Building =Birt Tools
+
+To build _=Birt Tools_ requires specific versions of Java and
+Maven. Also, there is some Maven setup. The [How to Build JBoss Tools with Maven 3](https://community.jboss.org/wiki/HowToBuildJBossToolsWithMaven3)
+document will guide you through that setup.
+
+This command will run the build:
+
+ $ mvn clean verify
+
+If you just want to check if things compiles/builds you can run:
+
+ $ mvn clean verify -DskipTest=true
+
+But *do not* push changes without having the new and existing unit tests pass!
+
+## Contribute fixes and features
+
+_=Birt Tools_ is open source, and we welcome anybody that wants to
+participate and contribute!
+
+If you want to fix a bug or make any changes, please log an issue in
+the [JBoss Tools JIRA](https://issues.jboss.org/browse/JBDE)
+describing the bug or new feature and give it a component type of
+`=birt`. Then we highly recommend making the changes on a
+topic branch named with the JIRA issue number. For example, this
+command creates a branch for the JBIDE-1234 issue:
+
+ $ git checkout -b jbide-1234
+
+After you're happy with your changes and a full build (with unit
+tests) runs successfully, commit your changes on your topic branch
+(with good comments). Then it's time to check for any recent changes
+that were made in the official repository:
+
+ $ git checkout master # switches to the 'master' branch
+ $ git pull upstream master # fetches all 'upstream' changes and merges 'upstream/master' onto your 'master' branch
+ $ git checkout jbide-1234 # switches to your topic branch
+ $ git rebase master # reapplies your changes on top of the latest in master
+ (i.e., the latest from master will be the new base for your changes)
+
+If the pull grabbed a lot of changes, you should rerun your build with
+tests enabled to make sure your changes are still good.
+
+You can then push your topic branch and its changes into your public fork repository:
+
+ $ git push origin jbide-1234 # pushes your topic branch into your public fork of =Birt Tools
+
+And then [generate a pull-request](http://help.github.com/pull-requests/) where we can
+review the proposed changes, comment on them, discuss them with you,
+and if everything is good merge the changes right into the official
+repository.

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