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Contributing to this project


  1. All potential contributors must read the :ref:`code-of-conduct` and follow it
  2. Fork the repository on GitHub or GitLab
  3. Create a new branch, e.g., git checkout -b bug/12345
  4. Fix the bug and add tests (if applicable [1], see :ref:`how-to-add-tests`)
  5. Run the tests (see :ref:`how-to-run-tests` below)
  6. Add documentation (as necessary) for your change
  7. Build the documentation to check for errors and formatting (see :ref:`how-to-build-the-docs` below)
  8. Add yourself to the :file:`AUTHORS.rst` (unless you're already there)
  9. Commit it. Follow these rules in your commit message:
    • Keep the subject line under 50 characters
    • Use an imperative verb to start the commit
    • Use an empty line between the subject and the message
    • Describe the why in detail in the message portion of the commit
    • Wrap the lines of the message at 72 characters
    • Add the appropriate "Closes #12345" syntax to autoclose the issue it fixed (if it closes an issue)
    • See :ref:`example-commit-message` below
  10. Push it to your fork
  11. Create a request for us to merge your contribution

After this last step, it is possible that we may leave feedback in the form of review comments. When addressing these comments, you can follow two strategies:

  • Amend/rebase your changes into an existing commit
  • Create a new commit with a different message [2] describing the changes in that commit and push it to your branch

This project is not opinionated about which approach you should prefer. We only ask that you are aware of the following:

  • Neither GitHub nor GitLab notifies us that you have pushed new changes. A friendly ping is encouraged
  • If you continue to use the same branch that you created the request from, both GitHub and GitLab will update the request on the website. You do not need to create a new request for the new changes.

How To Add Tests

We use pytest to run tests and to simplify how we write tests. If you're fixing a bug in an existing please find tests for that module or feature and add to them. Most tests live in the tests directory. If you're adding a new feature in a new submodule, please create a new module of test code. For example, if you're adding a submodule named foo then you would create tests/ which will contain the tests for the foo submodule.

How To Run The Tests

Run the tests in this project using tox. Before you run the tests, ensure you have installed tox either using your system package manager (e.g., apt, yum, etc.), or your prefered python installer (e.g., pip).

Then run the tests on at least Python 2.7 and Python 3.x, e.g.,

$ tox -e py27,py34

Finally run one, or both, of the flake8 style enforcers, e.g.,

$ tox -e py27-flake8
# or
$ tox -e py34-flake8

It is preferable if you run both to catch syntax errors that might occur in Python 2 or Python 3 (based on how familiar you are with the common subset of language from both).

Tox will manage virtual environments and dependencies for you so it will be the only dependency you need to install to contribute to this project.

How To Build The Documentation

To build the docs, you need to ensure tox is installed and then you may run

$ tox -e docs

This will build the documentation into docs/_build/html. If you then run

$ python2.7 -m SimpleHTTPServer
# or
$ python3.4 -m http.server

from that directory, you can view the docs locally at http://localhost:8000/.

Example Commit Message

Allow users to use the frob when uploading data

When uploading data with FooBar, users may need to use the frob method
to ensure that pieces of data are not munged.

Closes #1234567


[1]You might not need tests if you're updating documentation, fixing a typo, or updating a docstring. If you're fixing a bug, please add tests.
[2]If each commit has the same message, the reviewer may ask you to squash your commits or may squash them for you and perform a manual merge.