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Contributing to Kodi Home Theater

Looking to contribute code to Kodi Home Theater? Great! You landed on the right place and we appreciate you for taking the time. Can't code for your life? No shame in that. There's a lot more to the Kodi project than just code. Check out other ways to contribute.

First, a few words of caution: Kodi's huge codebase spans over 15 years of development, hundreds of volunteer developers from all walks of life and countless, sleepless hours. Please remember that somewhere in between your first WTH? and before you start ranting or splitting hairs.

Also, always keep in mind that for many of us English is not our native language. What might come across as discourteous is probably an unintended side effect of the language barrier. Usage of emoticons is highly encouraged. They are great to convey, er, emotions and state of mind.

Getting Started

Before you start coding we advise you to build Kodi's master branch. This will save you and us precious time by making sure a proper build environment is set up and all dependencies are met. For your convenience, build guides are available for most common platforms. A git guide is also available, streamlined to Kodi's development workflow. Unless you're a git ninja, please read it carefully.
If you are a git ninja, we feel happy and sad for you at the same time. Your soul might be lost to the dark side already but worry not, we have cookies!

Pull request guidelines

  • Create topic branches. Never ever open a pull request from your master branch. Ever!
  • Code against master branch. Unless release specific, all Kodi development occurs in the master branch. If it needs backporting it can be done after it hits master.
  • One topic branch per change. Found something that needs fixing but is unrelated to the current work? Create a new topic branch and open another pull request.
  • Use a coherent commit history. Make sure each individual commit in your pull request is meaningful and organized in logical chunks. Tidy up and squash commits before submitting.
  • Be descriptive, but concise. The pull request and commits should have a useful title and follow the [component(s)] Short description... format. No, [README.md] Update is not descriptive enough. The pull request description should only contain information relevant to the change.
  • Be patient, be kind, rewind. We're all volunteers with busy lives but usually very responsive in cataloging pull requests and pinging the relevant maintainer(s). Sometimes though, things go unnoticed for longer than usual. Probably due to beer deprivation... or lack thereof. Feel free to nudge us if we forget.

Coding guidelines

  • Follow our code guidelines. New code should follow those guidelines even if existing code doesn't. If you're up to it, improve existing code and submit it in separate commits.
  • Document the code. You know you're brilliant, but maybe you'd like to understand what you did a year from now. Or, code God forbid, help others... Nope, // Magic. Do not touch! does not count as documentation.
  • Separate code from cosmetics. Code and cosmetic changes should be in separate commits. It's already hard to review code without added noise. Of course, deleting a few trailing spaces does not warrant a separate commit. Use your judgement.
  • Test your changes. Kodi's continuous integration system builds every PR automatically. Nonetheless, you're expected to test the code on your development platform.

Updating your PR

Making a pull request adhere to the standards above can be difficult. If the maintainers notice anything that they'd like changed, they'll ask you to edit your pull request before it gets merged. There's no need to open a new pull request, just edit the existing one. If you're not sure how to do that, our git guide provides a step by step guide. If you're still not sure, ask us for guidance. We're all fairly proficient with git and happy to be of assistance.

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