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Contributing to Phoenix

Please take a moment to review this document in order to make the contribution process easy and effective for everyone involved! Also make sure you read our Code of Conduct that outlines our commitment towards an open and welcoming environment.

Using the issue tracker

Use the issues tracker for:

Please do not use the issue tracker for personal support requests nor feature requests. Support requests should be sent to:

Development issues can be discussed on the phoenix-core mailing list.

We do our best to keep the issue tracker tidy and organized, making it useful for everyone. For example, we classify open issues per perceived difficulty, making it easier for developers to contribute to Phoenix.

Bug reports

A bug is either a demonstrable problem that is caused by the code in the repository, or indicate missing, unclear, or misleading documentation. Good bug reports are extremely helpful - thank you!

Guidelines for bug reports:

  1. Use the GitHub issue search — check if the issue has already been reported.

  2. Check if the issue has been fixed — try to reproduce it using the master branch in the repository.

  3. Isolate and report the problem — ideally create a reduced test case.

Please try to be as detailed as possible in your report. Include information about your Operating System, as well as your Erlang, Elixir and Phoenix versions. Please provide steps to reproduce the issue as well as the outcome you were expecting! All these details will help developers to fix any potential bugs.

Example:

Short and descriptive example bug report title

A summary of the issue and the environment in which it occurs. If suitable, include the steps required to reproduce the bug.

  1. This is the first step
  2. This is the second step
  3. Further steps, etc.

<url> - a link to the reduced test case (e.g. a GitHub Gist)

Any other information you want to share that is relevant to the issue being reported. This might include the lines of code that you have identified as causing the bug, and potential solutions (and your opinions on their merits).

Feature requests

Feature requests are welcome and should be discussed on the phoenix-core mailing list. But take a moment to find out whether your idea fits with the scope and aims of the project. It's up to you to make a strong case to convince the community of the merits of this feature. Please provide as much detail and context as possible.

Contributing Documentation

Code documentation (@doc, @moduledoc, @typedoc) has a special convention: the first paragraph is considered to be a short summary.

For functions, macros and callbacks say what it will do. For example write something like:

@doc """
Marks the given value as HTML safe.
"""
def safe({:safe, value}), do: {:safe, value}

For modules, protocols and types say what it is. For example write something like:

defmodule Phoenix.HTML do
  @moduledoc """
  Conveniences for working HTML strings and templates.
  ...
  """

Keep in mind that the first paragraph might show up in a summary somewhere, long texts in the first paragraph create very ugly summaries. As a rule of thumb anything longer than 80 characters is too long.

Try to keep unnecessary details out of the first paragraph, it's only there to give a user a quick idea of what the documented "thing" does/is. The rest of the documentation string can contain the details, for example when a value and when nil is returned.

If possible include examples, preferably in a form that works with doctests. This makes it easy to test the examples so that they don't go stale and examples are often a great help in explaining what a function does.

Pull requests

Good pull requests - patches, improvements, new features - are a fantastic help. They should remain focused in scope and avoid containing unrelated commits.

IMPORTANT: By submitting a patch, you agree that your work will be licensed under the license used by the project.

If you have any large pull request in mind (e.g. implementing features, refactoring code, etc), please ask first otherwise you risk spending a lot of time working on something that the project's developers might not want to merge into the project.

Please adhere to the coding conventions in the project (indentation, accurate comments, etc.) and don't forget to add your own tests and documentation. When working with git, we recommend the following process in order to craft an excellent pull request:

  1. Fork the project, clone your fork, and configure the remotes:

    # Clone your fork of the repo into the current directory
    git clone https://github.com/<your-username>/phoenix
    # Navigate to the newly cloned directory
    cd phoenix
    # Assign the original repo to a remote called "upstream"
    git remote add upstream https://github.com/phoenixframework/phoenix
  2. If you cloned a while ago, get the latest changes from upstream, and update your fork:

    git checkout master
    git pull upstream master
    git push
  3. Create a new topic branch (off of master) to contain your feature, change, or fix.

    IMPORTANT: Making changes in master is discouraged. You should always keep your local master in sync with upstream master and make your changes in topic branches.

    git checkout -b <topic-branch-name>
  4. Commit your changes in logical chunks. Keep your commit messages organized, with a short description in the first line and more detailed information on the following lines. Feel free to use Git's interactive rebase feature to tidy up your commits before making them public.

  5. Make sure all the tests are still passing.

    mix test
  6. Push your topic branch up to your fork:

    git push origin <topic-branch-name>
  7. Open a Pull Request with a clear title and description.

  8. If you haven't updated your pull request for a while, you should consider rebasing on master and resolving any conflicts.

    IMPORTANT: Never ever merge upstream master into your branches. You should always git rebase on master to bring your changes up to date when necessary.

    git checkout master
    git pull upstream master
    git checkout <your-topic-branch>
    git rebase master

Thank you for your contributions!

Guides

These Guides aim to be inclusive. We use "we" and "our" instead of "you" and "your" to foster this sense of inclusion.

Ideally there is something for everybody in each guide, from beginner to expert. This is hard, maybe impossible. When we need to compromise, we do so on behalf of beginning users because expert users have more tools at their disposal to help themselves.

The general pattern we use for presenting information is to first introduce a small, discreet topic, then write a small amount of code to demonstrate the concept, then verify that the code worked.

In this way, we build from small, easily digestible concepts into more complex ones. The shorter this cycle is, as long as the information is still clear and complete, the better.

For formatting the guides:

  • We use the "elixir" code fence for all module code.
  • We use the "console" code fence for iex and shell commands.
  • We use the "html" code fence for html templates, even if there is elixir code in the template.
  • We use backticks for filenames and directory paths.
  • We use backticks for module names, function names, and variable names.