We are glad and thankful that you want to contribute to OpenWISP.
Please read these guidelines carefully, it will help you and us to save precious time later.
It won’t hurt to join our main communication channel and introduce yourself, although to coordinate with one another on technical matters we use the development channel. Use these two channels share feedback, share your OpenWISP derivative work, ask questions or announce your intentions.
Look for open issues
Check out these two kanban boards:
OpenWISP Contributor’s Board: lists issues that are suited to newcomers.
OpenWISP Priorities for next releases, lists issues that are more urgently needed by the community and is frequently used and reviewed by more seasoned contributors.
If there’s anything you don’t understand regarding the board or a specific github issue, don’t hesitate to ask questions in our general chat.
You don’t need to wait for the issue to be assigned to you. Just check if there is anyone else actively working on it (eg: an open pull request with recent activity). If nobody else is actively working on it, just announce your intention to work on it by leaving a comment in the issue.
Priorities for the next release
When we are close to releasing a new major version of OpenWISP, we will encourage all contributors to focus on the To Do column of the OpenWISP Priorities for next releases board and filter the issues according to their expertise:
Newcomer: filter by Good first issue or Hacktoberfest.
Expert: filter by Important.
Once you have chosen an issue to work on, read the
README of the
repository of the module you want to contribute to, follow the setup
instructions, each module has its own specific instructions which we
highly advise to read carefully.
How to commit your changes properly
Our main development branch is master, it’s our central development branch.
You should open a pull request on github. The pull request will be merged only once the CI build completes successfully (automated tests, code coverage check, QA checks, etc.) and after project maintainers have reviewed and tested it.
You can run QA checks locally by running
./run-qa-checks in the
top level directory of the repository you’re working on.
Every OpenWISP module should have this script
(if a module doesn’t have it, please open an issue on github).
1. Branch naming guidelines
Create a new branch for your patch, use a self-descriptive name, eg:
git pull origin master # if there's an issue your patch addresses git checkout -b issues/48-issue-title-shortened # if there is no issue for your branch, (we suggest creating one anyway) # use a descriptive name git checkout -b autoregistration
2. Commit message style guidelines
Please follow our commit message style conventions.
If the issue is present on Github, use following commit style:
[module/file/feature] Short description #<issue-number> Long description here. Fixes #<issue-number>
Here’s a real world commit message example from one of our modules:
[admin] Fixed VPN context in preview #57 Fortunately it was just a frontend JS issue. The preview instance was getting the UUID of the Device object instead of the Config object, and that prevented the system from finding the associated VPN and fill the context VPN keys correctly. Fixes #57
Moreover, keep in mind the following guidelines:
commits should be descriptive in nature, the message should explain the nature of the change
make sure to follow the code style used in the module you are contributing to
before committing and pushing the changes, test the code both manually and automatically with the automated test suite if applicable
after pushing your branch code, make a pull-request of that corresponding change of yours which should contain a descriptive message and mention the issue number as suggested in the example above
make sure to send one pull request for each feature. Whenever changes are requested during reviews, please send new commits (do not amend previous commits), if multiple commits are present in a single pull request, they will be squashed in a single commit by the maintainers before merging
in case of big features in which multiple related features/changes needs to be implemented, multiple commits (one commit per feature) in a single PR are acceptable.
3. Pull-Request guidelines
After pushing your changes to your fork, prepare a new Pull Request (from now on we will shorten it often to just PR):
from your forked repository of the project select your branch and click “New Pull Request”
check the changes tab and review the changes again to ensure everything is correct
write a concise description of the PR, if an issue exists for
after submitting your PR, check back again whether your PR has passed our required tests and style checks
if the tests fail for some reason, try to fix them and if you get stuck seek our help on our communication channels
if the tests pass, maintainers will review the PR and may ask you to improve details or changes, please be patient: creating a good quality open source project takes a bit of sweat and effort; ensure to follow up with this type of operations
once everything is fine with us we’ll merge your PR
4. Avoiding unnecessary changes
Keep your contribution focused and change the least amount of lines of code as possible needed to reach the goal you’re working on.
Avoid changes unrelated to the feature/bugfix/change you’re working on.
Avoid changes related to white-space (spaces, tabs, blank lines) by setting your editor as follows:
always add a blank line at the end of the file
clear empty lines containing only spaces or tabs
show white space (this will help you to spot unnecessary white space)
Coding Style Conventions
1. Python code conventions
OpenWISP follows PEP 8 – Style Guide for Python Code and several other style conventions which can be enforced by using the following tools:
openwisp-qa-format: this command is shipped in openwisp-utils, a dependency used in every OpenWISP python module, it formats the Python code according to the OpenWISP style conventions, it’s based on popular tools like: isort and black (please do not run black directly but always call
./run-qa-checks: it’s a script present in the top level directory of each OpenWISP module and performs all the QA checks that are specific to each module. It mainly calls the
openwisp-qa-checkcommand, which performs several common QA checks used across all OpenWISP modules to ensure consistency (including flake8), for more info consult the documentation of openwisp-qa-check
Keep in mind that the QA checks defined in the
are also executed in the CI builds, which will fail if any QA check fails.
To fix QA check failures, run
openwisp-qa-format and apply manual
fixes if needed until
./run-qa-checks runs without errors.
If you want to learn more about our usage of python and django, we suggest reading Hacking OpenWISP: Python and Django
If you follow these guidelines closely your contribution will have a very positive impact on the OpenWISP project.
Thanks a lot for your patience.