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Welcome to the SOFA Community! Here is a brief summary of how it is structured:

  • SOFA Users: people using SOFA by writing scenes or using the SOFA API.
  • SOFA Developpers: people programming into SOFA, modifying the API, writing plugins.
  • SOFA Contributors: (awesome) people proposing their changes in SOFA code via pull-requests.
  • SOFA Reviewers: people reviewing and merging the pull-requests. This group is validated by the Scientific and Technical Committee (STC).
  • SOFA Consortium: research centers and companies willing to share the cost of development and maintenance of SOFA, hosted by Inria.
  • SOFA Consortium Staff: administrators of SOFA and its ecosystem. This group is directed by the Executive Committee (EC).

All SOFA Developpers are gladly invited to the SOFA-dev meetings.
They take place remotely every Wednesday at 10 a.m. CET and are animated by the SOFA Reviewers + the Consortium Staff.
Subscribe to SOFA-dev mailing-list to get the agenda, reports and conference room url.

About the steering committees:

  • SOFA Scientific and Technical Committee (STC): defines the technical roadmap twice a year, validate the contribution rules, the Reviewers team and discuss every technical point in SOFA.
  • SOFA Executive Committee (EC): decides on evolutions of the membership contract, the communication policy and the priorities of the Consortium.

A more detailed definition of the committees is available in the SOFA website.

Getting started

Please read carefully the GitHub guide on Contributing to Open Source. We also recommend you to check this more detailed documentation on issues and pull requests.


For any question (help needed, problem of understanding SOFA, announcements), create a topic on the SOFA forum and benefit from the feedback of the community.

When creating a new topic, pay attention to some tips:

  • Check existing topics using the Search bar. Your question may have been answered already.
  • Be clear about what your problem is: what was the expected outcome, what happened instead? Detail how someone else can recreate the problem.
  • Additional infos: link to demos, screenshots or code showing the problem.


For bug tracking, feature proposals and task management, create a SOFA issue! There is nothing to it and whatever issue you are having, you are likely not the only one, so others will find your issue helpful, too. Issues labeled "discussion" are also used for larger topics: architecture, future of SOFA, long term dev, etc.

Please DO NOT create an issue for questions or support. Use the SOFA forum instead.

When creating an issue, pay attention to the following tips:

  • Check existing issues. What you are running into may have been addressed already.
  • Set the right label to your issue among our label list or propose them in the description.
  • Be clear about what your problem is: what was the expected outcome, what happened instead? Detail how someone else can recreate the problem.
  • If your issue reports a bug or any abnormal behavior in SOFA, a test highlighting the issue should be written and pull requested.

For more information on issues, check out this GitHub guide.

Pull requests

If you are able to patch the bug or add the feature yourself – fantastic, make a pull request with the code! Be sure you have read any documents on contributing and you understand the SOFA license. Once you have submitted a pull request the maintainer(s) can compare your branch to the existing one and decide whether or not to incorporate (pull in) your changes.

Reminder - How to pull request (from GitHub documentation)


  • Description must explain the issue solved or the feature added, and this must be reported in the file.
  • Code must follow our guidelines.
  • Commit must build successfully on Jenkins for all steps (compilation + tests + examples).
  • Unit Tests are required for each new component or if an issue is fixed.
  • Examples (at least one) must be provided showing the new feature.


Standard pull-requests are reviewed and approved by the "Reviewers" team.
Major pull-requests (BREAKING, major features) are reviewed by the "Reviewers" team and approved by the "STC members" team through a vote within a maximum period of 2 weeks.


  • Make sure the pull request is labelized and well assigned.
  • Control that it follows our rules (defined above).
  • Track the status of each pull request using the dedicated labels:
    • "pr: wip" must be set if the PR has been created for a team work or if some fixes are needed (discussed in the comments).
    • "pr: to review" must be set if the PR is ready to be reviewed.
    • "pr: ready" must be set instead of merge if another PR merge is being built on the Dashboard. It is used to delay the merge and avoid CI overflow.
  • Control the builds: Dashboard > Details in the pull request checks.
  • Merge method: prefer "merge" or "squash" over "rebase".

Remember that:

  • You can add commits in a pull request: see GitHub documentation.
  • If the pull request contains out of scope commits (from a previous merge with master), consider rebasing it.

For more information on forks and pull request, check out this GitHub guide.

SOFA Developer Certificate Of Origin (DCO)

SOFA is using the mechanism of the linux project to track and secure all issues related to copyrights: the Developper Certificate of Origin (DCO). If you are contributing code or documentation to the SOFA project, and using the git signed-off-by mechanism, you are agreeing to this certificate. This DCO essentially means that:

  • you offer the changes under the same license agreement as the project, and
  • you have the right to do that,
  • you did not steal somebody else’s work.

The original DCO is available online :

Developer Certificate of Origin
Version 1.1

Copyright (C) 2004, 2006 The Linux Foundation and its contributors.
1 Letterman Drive
Suite D4700
San Francisco, CA, 94129

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this
license document, but changing it is not allowed.

Developer's Certificate of Origin 1.1

By making a contribution to this project, I certify that:

(a) The contribution was created in whole or in part by me and I
    have the right to submit it under the open source license
    indicated in the file; or

(b) The contribution is based upon previous work that, to the best
    of my knowledge, is covered under an appropriate open source
    license and I have the right under that license to submit that
    work with modifications, whether created in whole or in part
    by me, under the same open source license (unless I am
    permitted to submit under a different license), as indicated
    in the file; or

(c) The contribution was provided directly to me by some other
    person who certified (a), (b) or (c) and I have not modified

(d) I understand and agree that this project and the contribution
    are public and that a record of the contribution (including all
    personal information I submit with it, including my sign-off) is
    maintained indefinitely and may be redistributed consistent with
    this project or the open source license(s) involved.