1. Contributing

IvorySQL is maintained by a core team of developers with commit rights to the main IvorySQL repository on GitHub. At the same time, we are very eager to receive contributions from anybody in the wider IvorySQL community. This section covers all you need to know if you want to see your code or documentation changes be added to IvorySQL and appear in future releases.

2. Getting started

IvorySQL is developed on GitHub, and anybody wishing to contribute to it will have to have a GitHub account and be familiar with Git tools and workflow. It is also recommended that you follow the developer’s mailing list since some of the contributions may generate more detailed discussions there.

Once you have your GitHub account, fork this repository so that you can have your private copy to start hacking on and to use as a source of pull requests.

3. Licensing of IvorySQL contributions

If the contribution you’re submitting is original work, you can assume that IvorySQL will release it as part of an overall IvorySQL release available to the downstream consumers under the Apache License, Version 2.0.

If the contribution you’re submitting is NOT original work you have to indicate the name of the license and also make sure that it is similar in terms to the Apache License 2.0. Apache Software Foundation maintains a list of these licenses under Category A. In addition to that, you may be required to make proper attributions.

Finally, keep in mind that it is NEVER a good idea to remove licensing headers from the work that is not your original one. Even if you are using parts of the file that originally had a licensing header at the top you should err on the side of preserving it. As always, if you are not quite sure about the licensing implications of your contributions, feel free to reach out to us on the developer mailing list.

4. Coding guidelines

Your chances of getting feedback and seeing your code merged into the project greatly depend on how granular your changes are. If you happen to have a bigger change in mind, we highly recommend engaging on the developer’s mailing list first and sharing your proposal with us before you spend a lot of time writing code. Even when your proposal gets validated by the community, we still recommend doing the actual work as a series of small, self-contained commits. This makes the reviewer’s job much easier and increases the timeliness of feedback.

When it comes to C and C++ parts of IvorySQL, we try to follow PostgreSQL Coding Conventions. In addition to that:

For C and Perl code, please run pgindent if necessary. We recommend using git diff --color when reviewing your changes so that you don’t have any spurious whitespace issues in the code that you submit.

All new functionality that is contributed to IvorySQL should be covered by regression tests that are contributed alongside it. If you are uncertain about how to test or document your work, please raise the question on the ivorysql-hackers mailing list and the developer community will do its best to help you.

At the very minimum, you should always be running make installcheck-world to make sure that you’re not breaking anything.

5. Changes applicable to upstream PostgreSQL

If the change you’re working on touches functionality that is common between PostgreSQL and IvorySQL, you may be asked to forward-port it to PostgreSQL. This is not only so that we keep reducing the delta between the two projects, but also so that any change that is relevant to PostgreSQL can benefit from a much broader review of the upstream PostgreSQL community. In general, it is a good idea to keep both codebases handy so you can be sure whether your changes may need to be forward-ported.

6. Patch submission

Once you are ready to share your work with the IvorySQL core team and the rest of the IvorySQL community, you should push all the commits to a branch in your own repository forked from the official IvorySQL and send us a pull request.

7. Patch review

A submitted pull request with passing validation checks is assumed to be available for peer review. Peer review is the process that ensures that contributions to IvorySQL are of high quality and align well with the road map and community expectations. Every member of the IvorySQL community is encouraged to review pull requests and provide feedback. Since you don’t have to be a core team member to be able to do that, we recommend following a stream of pull reviews to anybody who’s interested in becoming a long-term contributor to IvorySQL.

One outcome of the peer review could be a consensus that you need to modify your pull request in certain ways. GitHub allows you to push additional commits into a branch from which a pull request was sent. Those additional commits will be then visible to all of the reviewers.

A peer review converges when it receives at least one +1 and no -1s votes from the participants. At that point, you should expect one of the core team members to pull your changes into the project.

At any time during the patch review, you may experience delays based on the availability of reviewers and core team members. Please be patient. That being said, don’t get discouraged either. If you’re not getting expected feedback for a few days add a comment asking for updates on the pull request itself or send an email to the mailing list.

8. Direct commits to the repository

On occasion, you will see core team members committing directly to the repository without going through the pull request workflow. This is reserved for small changes only and the rule of thumb we use is this: if the change touches any functionality that may result in a test failure, then it has to go through a pull request workflow. If, on the other hand, the change is in the non-functional part of the codebase (such as fixing a typo inside of a comment block) core team members can decide to just commit to the repository directly.