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Contribution guidelines for ROS Code

First off, thank you for considering contributing to ROS Code. It’s people like you that make ROS Code such a great tool.

Following these guidelines helps to communicate that you respect the time of the developers managing and developing this open source project. In return, they should reciprocate that respect in addressing your issue, assessing changes, and helping you finalize your pull requests.

ROS Code is an open source project and we love to receive contributions from our community — you! There are many ways to contribute, improving the documentation, submitting bug reports and feature requests or writing code which can be incorporated into ROS Code itself.

If your problem is not strictly specific to ROS Code, #python on Stack Overflow is generally more active.


  • Ensure cross-platform compatibility for every change that’s accepted. Windows, Mac, Debian & Ubuntu Linux.
  • Ensure that code that goes into core meets all requirements outlined in the other contribution documents.
  • Create issues for any major changes and enhancements that you wish to make. Discuss things transparently and get community feedback.
  • Don’t add any classes to the codebase unless absolutely needed. Err on the side of using functions.
  • Keep feature versions as small as possible, preferably one new feature per version.
  • Be welcoming to newcomers and encourage diverse new contributors from all backgrounds. See the Python Community Code of Conduct.

Unsure where to begin contributing to ROS Code? You can start by looking through these beginner and help-wanted issues: Beginner issues - issues which should only require a few lines of code, and a test or two. Help wanted issues - issues which should be a bit more involved than beginner issues. Both issue lists are sorted by total number of comments. While not perfect, number of comments is a reasonable proxy for impact a given change will have.

Working on your first Pull Request? You can learn how from this free series, How to Contribute to an Open Source Project on GitHub.

At this point, you’re ready to make your changes! Feel free to ask for help; everyone is a beginner at first 😸

If a maintainer asks you to “rebase” your PR, they’re saying that a lot of code has changed, and that you need to update your branch so it’s easier to merge.

For something that is bigger than a one or two line fix:

  1. Create your own fork of the code
  2. Do the changes in your fork
  3. If you like the change and think the project could use it:
  4. Be sure you have followed the code style for the project.

Small contributions such as fixing spelling errors, where the content is small enough to not be considered intellectual property, can be submitted by a contributor as a patch, without a CLA.

As a rule of thumb, changes are obvious fixes if they do not introduce any new functionality or creative thinking. As long as the change does not affect functionality, some likely examples include the following:

  • Spelling / grammar fixes
  • Typo correction, white space and formatting changes
  • Comment clean up
  • Bug fixes that change default return values or error codes stored in constants
  • Adding logging messages or debugging output
  • Changes to ‘metadata’ files like Gemfile, .gitignore, build scripts, etc.
  • Moving source files from one directory or package to another

If you find a security vulnerability, do NOT open an issue. Email [email protected] instead.

When filing an issue, make sure to answer these five questions:

  • What version of Python are you using (python –version)?
  • What operating system and processor architecture are you using?
  • What did you do?
  • What did you expect to see?
  • What did you see instead?

You can chat with the core team on Gitter or Discord. We try to have office hours on Fridays.