Contributing to Vent

Want to hack on Vent? Awesome! Here are instructions to get you started. They are probably not perfect, please let us know if anything feels wrong or incomplete.

Contribution guidelines

Pull requests are always welcome

We are always thrilled to receive pull requests, and do our best to process them as fast as possible. Not sure if that typo is worth a pull request? Do it! We will appreciate it.

If your pull request is not accepted on the first try, don’t be discouraged! If there’s a problem with the implementation, hopefully you received feedback on what to improve.

We’re trying very hard to keep Vent lean and focused. We don’t want it to do everything for everybody. This means that we might decide against incorporating a new feature. However, there might be a way to implement that feature on top of Vent.

Create issues…

Any significant improvement should be documented as a github issue before anybody starts working on it.

…but check for existing issues first!

Please take a moment to check that an issue doesn’t already exist documenting your bug report or improvement proposal. If it does, it never hurts to add a quick “+1” or “I have this problem too”. This will help prioritize the most common problems and requests.


Fork the repo and make changes on your fork in a feature branch.

Make sure you include relevant updates or additions to documentation and tests when creating or modifying features.

Pull requests descriptions should be as clear as possible and include a reference to all the issues that they address.

Code review comments may be added to your pull request. Discuss, then make the suggested modifications and push additional commits to your feature branch. Be sure to post a comment after pushing. The new commits will show up in the pull request automatically, but the reviewers will not be notified unless you comment.

Before the pull request is merged, make sure that you squash your commits into logical units of work using git rebase -i and git push -f. After every commit the test suite should be passing. Include documentation changes in the same commit so that a revert would remove all traces of the feature or fix.

Commits that fix or close an issue should include a reference like Closes #XXX or Fixes #XXX, which will automatically close the issue when merged.

Add your name to the AUTHORS file, but make sure the list is sorted and your name and email address match your git configuration. The AUTHORS file is regenerated occasionally from the git commit history, so a mismatch may result in your changes being overwritten.

Decision process

How are decisions made?

Short answer: with pull requests to the Vent repository.

All decisions affecting Vent, big and small, follow the same 3 steps:

  • Step 1: Open a pull request. Anyone can do this.
  • Step 2: Discuss the pull request. Anyone can do this.
  • Step 3: Accept or refuse a pull request. A maintainer does this.

How can I become a maintainer?

  • Step 1: learn the code inside out
  • Step 2: make yourself useful by contributing code, bug fixes, support etc.

Don’t forget: being a maintainer is a time investment. Make sure you will have time to make yourself available. You don’t have to be a maintainer to make a difference on the project!

What are a maintainer’s responsibility?

It is every maintainer’s responsibility to:

    1. Deliver prompt feedback and decisions on pull requests.
    1. Be available to anyone with questions, bug reports, criticism, etc. regarding Vent.

How is this process changed?

Just like everything else: by making a pull request :)

Derivative work from Docker