How to contribute

Update time: 2019-08-20

We recommend that you go to the Roadmap topic to learn about the development tasks and plans first.


Before contributing any code, you need to know how to use the Git tools and the GitHub website.

  • For the use of Git tools, refer to the official Pro Git book and get familiar with it by reading the first few chapters.
  • For the Git collaboration process, refer to Git Workflows.

GitHub Code Contribution Process

Submitting an issue

Regardless of whether you are fixing a SOFADashboard bug or adding a SOFADashboard feature, submit an issue on SOFADashboard GitHub to describe the bug you are going to fix or the feature you intend to add before you submit the code.

There are several advantages of doing so:

  • There will not be any conflict with other developers or their plans for this project. This avoids repetitive work.
  • The SOFADashboard maintenance personnel will discuss the issue or new feature you submitted to determine whether the modification is necessary, or if there is any room for improvement or a better solution.
  • Start code development and submit the code after an agreement is reached. This reduces the cost of communication between both parties and the number of rejected pull requests.

Get the source code

To modify or add a feature after submitting an issue, click the fork button in the upper left corner to copy the master branch code to your code repository.

Pull a branch

All SOFADashboard modifications are performed on branches. After the modification, submit a pull request. The modifications will then be merged into the master branch by the project maintenance personnel after the code review. Therefore, after getting familiar with how to get the source code, you need to:

  • Download the code locally. You may select the git/https mode in this step.
   git clone account name/sofa-dashboard.git
  • Pull a branch to prepare for code modification.
   git branch add_xxx_feature
  • After the preceding command is executed, your code repository is switched to the corresponding branch. To view the current branch, execute the following command:
   git branch -a
  • If you want to switch back to the master branch, execute the following command:
   git checkout -b master
  • If you want to switch back to the branch, execute the following command:
   git checkout -b "branchName"

Modify the code and submit it locally

After a branch is pulled, you can modify the code.

When modifying the code, note the following:

  • Keep the code style consistent.

SOFADashboard uses the Maven plug-in to keep the code style consistent. Before submitting the code, be sure to execute the following command locally.

   mvn clean compile
  • Add the unit test code.

  • Modifications should have passed existing unit tests.

  • You should provide a new unit test to prove that the previous code has bugs and the bugs
    have been fixed in the new code. You can execute the following code to run all tests:

   mvn clean test
  • You can also use the IDE to help run a test.

Other do’s and don’ts

  • Retain the original style of the code you are editing, especially the usage of spaces and line feeds in the code.
  • Delete unnecessary comments.
  • Add comments where the logic and functionality are difficult to understand.
  • Update documents in a timely manner.

After modifying the code, execute the following command to submit all modifications to your local repository:

git commit -am 'Add xx feature'

Submit the code to a remote repository

After being submitted to the local repository, the code is synchronized to a remote repository. Execute the following command to submit the local modification to GitHub:

git push origin "branchname"

If you clicked the ‘fork’ button to get the source code, the modified code is pushed to your code repository rather than the SOFADashboard repository.

Submit a request for merging the code into the master branch

After submitting the code to GitHub, you can send a request to merge your modified code into SOFADashboard’s master branch code. To do so, enter the corresponding repository on your GitHub and click the Pull Request button in the upper right corner. Select the target branch (usually master), and the system will notify the SOFADashboard maintenance personnel, who will review your code and merge it into SOFADashboard’s master branch code if it meets the requirements.

Code review

After you submit the code, it will be assigned to maintenance personnel for review. Wait patiently for the review result. If you have not received a reply after several days, leave a message under the PR, and put an at (@) sign before the name of the responsible person. The person will leave a comment containing the code review suggestions on the corresponding PR or issue. If you find the suggestions reasonable, update your patch based on the comments.

Merge the code into the master branch

After your code passes the review, the SOFADashboard maintenance personnel merge it into the master branch. You do not need to get involved in this step. After the code is merged, you will receive a message indicating a successful merge.