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1 parent 47ba479 commit babbd6bb8ab50c0df6e823220289fc2efa36610b @boneskull boneskull committed Dec 2, 2016
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# Contributing to Mocha
-Hi! We could use your help. Let us help you help us. Or something.
+> Please read these guidelines before submitting an issue, filing a feature request, or contributing code.
-## General
+## :question: Got a Question?
-1. If you are looking for a place to begin, **please send PRs for bugfixes instead of new features**, and/or **look for issues labeled `PR PLEASE`.**
+If you have a question about using Mocha, please use the [mailing list](, [StackOverflow](, or ask the friendly people in our [chat room](
-2. **Help with documentation and the wiki is always appreciated**.
+## :bug: I Found a Bug
-3. Please **be courteous and constructive** when commenting on issues, commits, and pull requests.
+Sorry! It happens to the best of us. If you've found a bug in Mocha, **please [search]( to see if it's already been reported**. Otherwise, create a [new issue]( If you can fix the bug yourself, feel free to create a [pull request](#propose-a-change) thereafter.
-## Bug Reports & Issues
+Please include *as much detail as possible* to help us reproduce and diagnose the bug. Most importantly:
-1. When reporting a bug, please **provide steps to reproduce**. If possible, show code.
-2. Please **show all code in JavaScript**. We don't all read `<insert-language-that-compiles-to-JavaScript-here>`. If you do not, you will be asked to.
+- Let us know *how* you're running Mocha (options, flags, environment, browser or Node.js, etc.)
+- Include your test code or file(s). If large, please provide a link to a repository or [gist](
+- Please show code in JavaScript only (any version)
-3. Because Mocha works with many third-party libraries and tools, **ensure the bug you are reporting is actually within Mocha**.
+If we need more information from you, we'll let you know. If you don't within a reasonable time frame (TBD), your issue will be automatically closed for inactivity.
-4. If you report a bug, and it is inactive for a significant amount of time, it may be closed. **Please respond promptly to requests for more information**.
+## :exclamation: Propose a Change
-## Pull Requests
+Before you get your hands dirty, please [search]( for a related issue, or [create a new one]( If you wish to contribute a new feature, this is doubly important! Let's discuss your proposed changes first; we don't want you to waste time implementing a change that is at odds with the project's direction. That said, we'll happily consider any contribution, no matter how great or small.
-1. Before sending a large PR, it's recommended to **create an issue to propose the change**. Nobody wants to write a book of code and throw it away.
+*This paragraph would contain information about Mocha's roadmap, but it doesn't yet exist.* :poop:
-2. Because Mocha should be kept as maintainable as possible, its codebase must be kept slim. Historically, *most PRs for new features are not merged*. New features inevitably increase the size of the codebase, and thus reduce maintainability. Only features *deemed essential* are likely to be merged--this is at the discretion of the maintainer(s). If your PR for a feature is not merged, this doesn't necessarily mean your PR was a bad idea, wouldn't be used, or otherwise sucks. It just means **only essential PRs for new features are likely to be merged**.
+It's also important to understand some overarching goals of Mocha, detailed below.
-3. Due to the above, before creating a PR for a new feature, **create an issue to propose the feature.**
+### :soccer: About Project Goals
-4. Please **respect existing coding conventions**, whatever those may be.
+Mocha is a test framework. Developers use it against anything from legacy spaghetti in IE7 to stage-0 TC39 features in Electron. While still staying current, Mocha will only drop support for old platforms as a last resort. If and only if Mocha cannot move forward as a project, support will be dropped. If workarounds exist, they are preferred.
-5. If your PR has been waiting in limbo for some time, it's very helpful to **rebase against master**, which will make it easier to merge.
+Mocha adheres strictly to [semantic versioning]( We are *extremely cautious* with changes that have the potential to break; given the size of Mocha's user base, it's *highly unlikely* a breaking change will slide by.
-6. Please **add tests for new code**.
+Mocha's usage far outweighs its resources. If a proposed feature would incur a maintenance penalty, it could be a hard sell.
-7. **Always run `npm test` before sending a PR.** If you break the tests, your PR will not be accepted until they are fixed.
+We ask you please keep these goals in mind when making or proposing changes.
-## Source Control
+### :shoe: Contributing Code: Step-by-Step
-1. Please **squash your commits** when sending a pull request. If you are unfamiliar with this process, see [this guide]( If you have already pushed your changesets and are squashing thereafter, this may necessitate the use of a "force push". Please [read the docs]( before you attempt this.
-2. Please **follow the commit message conventions [outlined here](**
+Follow these steps to get going. If you are having trouble, don't be afraid to [ask for help](#got-a-question).
-## TL;DR
+1. [Install Node.js 4.x or newer](
+1. Install [GNU Make]( or equivalent.
+1. Follow [Github's documentation]( on setting up Git, forking and cloning.
+1. Create a new branch in your working copy. Give your branch a descriptive name, such as `issue/12345`: `git checkout -b issue/12345`.
+1. Execute `npm install` to install the development dependencies.
+1. Make your changes and add them via `git add`.
+ - **Do not modify** the root `mocha.js` file directly; it is automatically generated.
+ - Your changes will likely be somewhere in `lib/`, `bin/` or `browser-entry.js` if your changes are browser-specific.
+ - Please add unit and/or integration tests (depending on the nature of your changes).
+ - Keep your PR focused. Don't fix two things at once, or make formatting changes alongside bug fixes.
+1. Before committing, run `npm test`.
+ - This will run unit tests, Node.js and browser integration tests, and lint the source code.
+ - The "browser" tests use Mocha to test itself; it will rebuild the root `mocha.js` file with your changes.
+ - **Please avoid committing changes to `mocha.js`**.
+ - Ultimately, your pull request will be built on our continuous integration servers ([Travis CI]( and [AppVeyor]( The first step to ensuring these checks pass is to test on your own machine.
+1. Commit your changes.
+ - Use a brief message on the first line, referencing a relevant issue (e.g. `#12345`).
+ - Add detail in subsequent lines.
+1. Push your changes to your fork.
+1. Navigate to the source repository. You should see a notification about your recent changes in your fork's branch, with a button to create a pull request. Click it.
+1. Describe your changes in detail here. Once you're satisfied, submit the form.
+ - *PRO TIP*: If you've used a multi-line commit message, Github will pre-fill the PR's description with it.
+1. If you have not signed our Contributor License Agreement, a friendly robot will prompt you to do so. A CLA (electronic) signature is **required** for all contributions of code to Mocha.
+1. CI will run against your changes.
+ - If the changes fail the checks, you will need to address those before merging.
+ - You don't need to make a new PR to make changes. Instead, commit on top of your changes, and push these to your fork's branch. The PR will be updated, and CI will re-run.
+ - Github will indicate if there's a conflict. If this happens, you will need to [rebase]( your branch onto the `master` branch of the source repository. *Don't merge.*
+ - It's no longer necessary to "squash" your changes.
+1. Be patient while your PR is reviewed. This can take awhile ([why?]( We may request changes; don't be afraid to question them.
-**Be kind, be diligent, look before you leap into a PR, and follow common community conventions**.
+## :angel: I Just Want To Help
-*- The Mocha Team*
+*Excellent.* Here's how:
+- **Handy with JavaScript?** Please check out the issues labeled [`pr-please`](
+- **Can you write good (and do other stuff good too)?** Help with the documentation. See the [issues for our site](
+- **Design your thing?** [Our site]( needs your magic touch.
+- **Know Mocha's codebase?** We could use your help triaging issues and/or reviewing pull requests. Please contact an [org member](, and we'll chat.
+- **Want to build our community?** Mocha has a *lot* of users. We could use your help bringing everyone together in peace and harmony. Please contact an [org member](
+- **You can sell dirt to worms?** Let's raise Mocha's profile in the JavaScript and OSS communities. Please contact an [org member](!
+- **Wait--you write unit tests for *fun*?** A PR which increases coverage is unlikely to be turned down.
+- **Are you experienced?** If you're a seasoned Mocha user, why not help answer some questions in the [chat room](

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