Contributing to Apache Commons Exec

You have found a bug or you have an idea for a cool new feature? Contributing code is a great way to give something back to the open source community. Before you dig right into the code there are a few guidelines that we need contributors to follow so that we can have a chance of keeping on top of things.

Getting Started

  • Make sure you have a JIRA account.
  • Make sure you have a GitHub account. This is not essential, but makes providing patches much easier.
  • If you‘re planning to implement a new feature it makes sense to discuss your changes on the dev list first. This way you can make sure you’re not wasting your time on something that isn‘t considered to be in Apache Commons Exec’s scope.
  • Submit a Jira Ticket for your issue, assuming one does not already exist.
    • Clearly describe the issue including steps to reproduce when it is a bug.
    • Make sure you fill in the earliest version that you know has the issue.
  • Find the corresponding repository on GitHub, fork and check out your forked repository. If you don't have a GitHub account, you can still clone the Commons repository.

Making Changes

  • Create a topic branch for your isolated work.
    • Usually you should base your branch on the master branch.
    • A good topic branch name can be the JIRA bug id plus a keyword, e.g. EXEC-123-InputStream.
    • If you have submitted multiple JIRA issues, try to maintain separate branches and pull requests.
  • Make commits of logical units.
    • Make sure your commit messages are meaningful and in the proper format. Your commit message should contain the key of the JIRA issue.
    • e.g. EXEC-123: Close input stream earlier
  • Respect the original code style:
    • Only use spaces for indentation.
    • Create minimal diffs - disable On Save actions like Reformat Source Code or Organize Imports. If you feel the source code should be reformatted create a separate PR for this change first.
    • Check for unnecessary whitespace with git diff -- check before committing.
  • Make sure you have added the necessary tests for your changes, typically in src/test/java.
  • Run all the tests with mvn clean verify to assure nothing else was accidentally broken.

Making Trivial Changes

The JIRA tickets are used to generate the changelog for the next release.

For changes of a trivial nature to comments and documentation, it is not always necessary to create a new ticket in JIRA. In this case, it is appropriate to start the first line of a commit with ‘(doc)’ instead of a ticket number.

Submitting Changes

  • Sign and submit the Apache Contributor License Agreement if you haven't already.
    • Note that small patches & typical bug fixes do not require a CLA as clause 5 of the Apache License covers them.
  • Push your changes to a topic branch in your fork of the repository.
  • Submit a Pull Request to the corresponding repository in the apache organization.
    • Verify Files Changed shows only your intended changes and does not include additional files like target/*.class
  • Update your JIRA ticket and include a link to the pull request in the ticket.

If you prefer to not use GitHub, then you can instead use git format-patch (or svn diff) and attach the patch file to the JIRA issue.

Additional Resources