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The lobsters codebase is under a 3-clause BSD license. All code submitted must be licensed under these or more-permissive terms (2-clause BSD, MIT, ISC, etc.).

Before Making Changes

While this project's license allows for modification and use to run your own website, this source code repository is for the code running the website at

If you're new to contributing, issues tagged good-first-pr require little knowledge of the codebase or community. Please don't hesitate to ask questions in the issue or in our chat room, we'd love to help you get involved.

Not all changes or new features submitted will be accepted. Please discuss your proposed changes on /t/meta or as a Github issue before working on them to avoid wasted efforts.

Making Changes

  • Fork lobsters/lobsters on Github.

  • (Optional) Create a branch to house your changes.

  • Wrap code at 80 characters with 2-space soft tabs for Ruby code. For other languages, use the existing style of the files being edited. 3rd party, externally-maintained code such as Javascript libraries can remain in their own style.

  • Check for unnecessary whitespace with git diff --check before committing. Commit whitespace and other code cleanups separately so that your actual changes can be easily understood.

  • Write a proper commit message with the first line being a short, present-tense explanation of the change. Wrap all lines at 80 characters.

  • If applicable, add tests for your changes. Not all changes require tests, and tests should not be added just for the sake of code coverage.

  • Run all tests (with rake in the root directory) to ensure nothing has been broken by your changes.

Submitting Changes

  • Push your changes to your fork of the repository (to your branch if you created one).

  • Submit a pull request to lobsters/lobsters.