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So you wanna hack on Nimbus?

Nimbus follows one principle above all others:

        Nimbus may only grow if its documentation grows at the same rate, or faster.

By this principle, any new feature added to Nimbus must be documented. Where possible, examples should be provided. When necessary, architectural explanations must be referred to.

Taking on Tasks

If you would like to help out with the development of Nimbus, the easiest way to start is to check out the Grab Bag tasks on Github:

Adding New Features to Nimbus

If you would like to add a new feature to Nimbus take a moment to consider the following questions:

  • Has the feature already been built and open-sourced by someone else?
    • Does it have all of the features you'd like to see?
    • Is it well documented?
    • If the answers to the above are YES, then it's probably not a good feature to build for Nimbus. Consider either writing a guide for integrating it with Nimbus or seeing whether it makes sense to add the feature as a third-party feature.
  • Are you ok with open sourcing your code?
    • If you work for a company, consult with your manager and/or legal team to ensure that it's ok for you to contribute code to an open source project. Nimbus uses the Apache 2.0 license.

Creating the Feature

All Nimbus features are contained within the src directory in separate directories with the following structure:

src       - all of the feature's source code
unittests - all unit test code
resources - any resources the feature might require (in bundles for simplicity, usually)

Once you've set up the directory structure for your feature, add a new static library target to the Nimbus root project and add the necessary files to the target.


Nimbus documentation is generated using a tool called Doxygen. It's a powerful piece of software that allows Nimbus to generate Xcode docsets and documentation that is accessible from the web.

Out of the box, Doxygen does not provide as much support for generating Apple-esque documentation as would be desired, so Jeff has been hacking on Doxygen to get it to generate documentation that resembles Apple's docs.

You can download the custom build here:

And the source is accessible here:

Generating the Documentation

After you've installed Doxygen on your system, open Doxygen.

Open the Doxyfile found in Nimbus' docs directory. Run Doxygen and the documentation will be output in docs/output/html.