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Hi, and thanks in advance for contributing to Mapbox GL. Here's how we work. Please follow these conventions when submitting an issue or pull request.

Preparing your Development Environment


Install the Xcode Command Line Tools Package

xcode-select --install

Install node.js version ^10.15 ( Minimum 10.15 while sticking only to major version 10.0 )

brew install node

Install yarn

brew install yarn

Clone the repository

git clone

Install node module dependencies

cd mapbox-gl-js &&
yarn install


Install git, node.js (version ^10.15), GNU Make, and libglew-dev

sudo apt-get update &&
sudo apt-get install build-essential git nodejs libglew-dev libxi-dev

Install yarn

curl -o- -L | bash

(It is also possible to install yarn from Debian/Ubuntu packages. See yarn's install instructions).

Clone the repository

git clone

Install node module dependencies

cd mapbox-gl-js &&
yarn install


Install git, node.js (version ^10.15), yarn, npm and node-gyp.

Clone the repository

git clone

Install node module dependencies

cd mapbox-gl-js
yarn install

Install headless-gl dependencies

copy node_modules/headless-gl/deps/windows/dll/x64/*.dll c:\windows\system32

Serving the Debug Page

Start the debug server


Open the debug page at http://localhost:9966/debug

Creating a Standalone Build

A standalone build allows you to turn the contents of this repository into mapbox-gl.js and mapbox-gl.css files that can be included on an html page.

To create a standalone build, run

yarn run build-prod-min
yarn run build-css

Once those commands finish, you will have a standalone build at dist/mapbox-gl.js and dist/mapbox-gl.css

Writing & Running Tests

See test/

Writing & Running Benchmarks

See bench/

Code Conventions

  • We use error events to report user errors.
  • We use assert to check invariants that are not likely to be caused by user error. These assert statements are stripped out of production builds.
  • We use the following ES6 features:
    • let/const
    • for...of loops (for arraylike iteration only, i.e. what is supported by Bublé's dangerousForOf transform)
    • Arrow functions
    • Classes
    • Template strings
    • Computed and shorthand object properties
    • Default parameters
    • Rest parameters
    • Destructuring
    • Modules
  • The following ES6 features are not to be used, in order to maintain support for IE 11 and older mobile browsers. This may change in the future.
    • Spread (...) operator (because it requires Object.assign)
    • Iterators and generators
    • "Library" features such as Map, Set, array.find, etc.

The conventions for module exports are:

  • No exported "namespace objects" -- modules should export either classes or functions, with an occasional exception as needed for stubbing.
  • If a module exports something with the same name as the file name (modulo case), it should be the default export.
  • Anything else should be a named export.

Version Control Conventions

Here is a recommended way to get setup:

  1. Fork this project
  2. Clone your new fork, git clone
  3. cd mapbox-gl-js
  4. Add the Mapbox repository as an upstream repository: git remote add upstream
  5. Create a new branch git checkout -b your-branch for your contribution
  6. Write code, open a PR from your branch when you're ready
  7. If you need to rebase your fork's PR branch onto main to resolve conflicts: git fetch upstream, git rebase upstream/main and force push to Github git push --force origin your-branch

Changelog Conventions

What warrants a changelog entry?

  • Any change that affects the public API, visual appearance or user security must have a changelog entry
  • Any performance improvement or bugfix should have a changelog entry
  • Any contribution from a community member may have a changelog entry, no matter how small
  • Any documentation related changes should not have a changelog entry
  • Any regression change introduced and fixed within the same release should not have a changelog entry
  • Any internal refactoring, technical debt reduction, render test, unit test or benchmark related change should not have a changelog entry

How to add your changelog?

  • Any changelog entry should be descriptive and concise; it should explain the change to a reader without context
  • Any changelog entry should be added to the pull request in the following format: <changelog>Changelog description</changelog>
  • Any change that does not require a changelog should be labelled skip changelog

Documentation Conventions

See from mapbox-gl-js-docs.

Github Issue Labels

Our labeling system is

  • minimalistic: Labels' usefulness are inversely proportional to how many we have.
  • objective: Labels should be objective enough that any two people would agree on a labeling decision.
  • useful: Labels should track state or capture semantic meaning that would otherwise be hard to search.

We have divided our labels into categories to make them easier to use.

  • type (blue)
  • actionable status (red)
  • non-actionable status (grey)
  • importance / urgency (green)
  • topic / project / misc (yellow)

Recommended Reading

Learning WebGL

GL Performance


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