Zulip is a powerful, open source group chat application. Written in Python and using the Django framework, Zulip supports both private messaging and group chats via conversation streams.
Zulip also supports fast search, drag-and-drop file uploads, image previews, group private messages, audible notifications, missed-message emails, desktop apps, and much more.
Further information on the Zulip project and its features can be found at https://www.zulip.org.
There are several places online where folks discuss Zulip.
The primary place is the Zulip development community Zulip server.
For Google Summer of Code students and applicants, we have a mailing list for help, questions, and announcements. But it's often simpler to visit chat.zulip.org instead.
We have a public mailing list that is currently pretty low traffic because most discussions happen in our public Zulip instance. We use it to announce Zulip developer community gatherings and ask for feedback on major technical or design decisions. It has several hundred subscribers, so you can use it to ask questions about features or possible bugs, but please don't use it ask for generic help getting started as a contributor (e.g. because you want to do Google Summer of Code). The rest of this page covers how to get involved in the Zulip project in detail.
Last but not least, we use GitHub to track Zulip-related issues (and store our code, of course). Anybody with a GitHub account should be able to create Issues there pertaining to bugs or enhancement requests. We also use Pull Requests as our primary mechanism to receive code contributions.
The Zulip community has a Code of Conduct.
Installing the Zulip Development environment
The Zulip development environment is the recommended option for folks interested in trying out Zulip. This is documented in the developer installation guide.
Running Zulip in production
Zulip in production supports Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty and Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial. Work is ongoing on adding support for additional platforms. The installation process is documented at https://zulip.org/server.html and in more detail in the documentation.
Ways to contribute
Zulip welcomes all forms of contributions! This page documents the Zulip development process.
Pull requests. Before a pull request can be merged, you need to sign the Dropbox Contributor License Agreement. Also, please skim our commit message style guidelines. We encourage early pull requests for work in progress. Prefix the title of your pull request with
[WIP]and reference it when asking for community feedback. When you are ready for final review, remove the
Testing. The Zulip automated tests all run automatically when you submit a pull request, but you can also run them all in your development environment following the instructions in the testing docs. You can also try out our new desktop client, which is in alpha; we'd appreciate testing and feedback.
Developer Documentation. Zulip has a growing collection of developer documentation on Read The Docs. Recommended reading for new contributors includes the directory structure and new feature tutorial. You can also improve Zulip.org.
Mailing lists and bug tracker. Zulip has a development discussion mailing list and uses GitHub issues . There are also lists for the Android and iOS apps. Feel free to send any questions or suggestions of areas where you'd love to see more documentation to the relevant list! Please report any security issues you discover to email@example.com.
App codebases. This repository is for the Zulip server and web app (including most integrations); the React Native Mobile iOS app, Android app, new Electron desktop app, and legacy QT-based desktop app are all separate repositories.
Translations. Zulip is in the process of being translated into 10+ languages, and we love contributions to our translations. See our translating documentation if you're interested in contributing!
Code Reviews. Zulip is all about community and helping each other out. Check out #code review on chat.zulip.org to help review PRs and give comments on other people's work. Everyone is welcome to participate, even those new to Zulip! Even just checking out the code, manually testing it, and posting on whether or not it worked is valuable.
Google Summer of Code
We participated in GSoC in 2016 (with great results) and are participating in 2017 as well. For guidance, please read our GSoC instructions and ideas page and feel free to email our GSoC mailing list.
Note: For GSoC 2017, we will be focused on making our React Native app better rather than developing the Java Android app and React Native app in parallel. You can review our detailed plan for further details on the motivation and logistics.
How to get involved with contributing to Zulip
First, subscribe to the Zulip development discussion mailing list.
The Zulip project uses a system of labels in our issue tracker to make it easy to find a project if you don't have your own project idea in mind or want to get some experience with working on Zulip before embarking on a larger project you have in mind:
Integrations. Integrate Zulip with another piece of software and contribute it back to the community! Writing an integration can be a great first contribution. There's detailed documentation on how to write integrations in the Zulip integration writing guide.
Bite Size: Smaller projects that might be a great first contribution.
Documentation: The Zulip project loves contributions of new documentation.
Help Wanted: A broader list of projects that nobody is currently working on.
Platform support: These are open issues about making it possible to install Zulip on a wider range of platforms.
Bugs: Open bugs.
Feature requests: Browsing this list can be a great way to find feature ideas to implement that other Zulip users are excited about.
Another way to find issues in Zulip is to take advantage of our "area:" convention in separating out issues. We partition all of our issues into areas like admin, compose, emoji, hotkeys, i18n, onboarding, search, etc. You can see this here:
Click on any of the "area:" labels and you will see all the tickets related to your area of interest.
If you're excited about helping with an open issue, make sure to claim the issue by commenting the following in the comment section: "@zulipbot claim". @zulipbot will assign you to the issue and label the issue as in progress. For more details, check out @zulipbot.
You're encouraged to ask questions on how to best implement or debug your changes -- the Zulip maintainers are excited to answer questions to help you stay unblocked and working efficiently. It's great to ask questions in comments on GitHub issues and pull requests, or on chat.zulip.org. We'll direct longer discussions to Zulip chat, but please post a summary of what you learned from the chat, or link to the conversation, in a comment on the GitHub issue.
We also welcome suggestions of features that you feel would be valuable or changes that you feel would make Zulip a better open source project, and are happy to support you in adding new features or other user experience improvements to Zulip.
If you have a new feature you'd like to add, we recommend you start by opening a GitHub issue about the feature idea explaining the problem that you're hoping to solve and that you're excited to work on it. A Zulip maintainer will usually reply within a day with feedback on the idea, notes on any important issues or concerns, and and often tips on how to implement or test it. Please feel free to ping the thread if you don't hear a response from the maintainers -- we try to be very responsive so this usually means we missed your message.
For significant changes to the visual design, user experience, data model, or architecture, we highly recommend posting a mockup, screenshot, or description of what you have in mind to zulip-devel@ to get broad feedback before you spend too much time on implementation details.
Finally, before implementing a larger feature, we highly recommend looking at the new feature tutorial and coding style guidelines on ReadTheDocs.
Feedback on how to make this development process more efficient, fun, and friendly to new contributors is very welcome! Just send an email to the Zulip Developers list with your thoughts.
When you feel like you have completed your work on an issue, post your PR to the #code review stream on chat.zulip.org. This is our lightweight process that gives other developers the opportunity to give you comments and suggestions on your work.
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