Thanks for your interest in contributing to the project!

There are many ways to contribute, such as helping improve the documentation, reporting bugs, spreading the word or testing the latest development version.

Since the documentation is kept in a Mercurial repository like the code, most of the instructions for sending patches applies.

Before you start

Before you begin working on your contribution, it is always a good idea to let us know. We might have plans you should be aware of, or someone might already be working on the same thing. A great way to do this is to file an issue in our tracker.

Hang out in our chatroom if you can. We’ll be able to assist with any questions you might have, and provide advice and code reviews at your request.

Finally, note that we can’t promise to accept every patch, but rest assured that we’ll never reject without an explanation. Some reasons we might reject a patch:

  • If the patch adds a feature that few people will use, and/or should be in a module instead. This is because we aim to keep Prosody lightweight out of the box, modules are the best way to extend Prosody. We can advise you on how to turn your code into a module.
  • If it contains code that is longer or more complex than it needs to be. We strive to keep our code clean and concise. If we feel that there is a neater way of implementing your feature or fix, we’ll let you know.
  • If the code in the patch does not conform to our coding style. Simple to fix… always try and make your code follow the same formatting as the rest of Prosody’s code.

If you submit code we reserve the right to criticise it, and let you know so that you can make it the best that it can be. Please don’t take this process personally! We judge code, but we don’t judge people 😎

Creating patches

We are pretty relaxed about how we receive contributions, and we’ll let you know if what you send us is problematic. Sending us the entire changed file is perfectly fine. However the preferred way to submit contributions is:

  1. Clone the source repository using Mercurial: hg clone (tip: if you are submitting a bugfix, replace ‘trunk’ with the version you are fixing, such as ‘0.11’).
  2. Make your changes to the files in the repository you just cloned.
  3. Ensure make test passes, and run changed files through luacheck to catch any simple mistakes.
  4. Run hg commit to commit your changes to your local repository (if this is the first time you have used Mercurial, you may want to set your public name in .hgrc).

Exporting single commits:

  1. Run hg export tip > short-patch-description.patch

Exporting multiple commits:

  1. Run hg bundle short-patch-description.hg


Small commits

Try to keep individual commits small, and avoid doing multiple things in one commit (like fixing two different bugs, or implementing two different features). Make multiple commits if you have to.

Commit messages

By convention, our commit messages are often a single line of text, and commit messages begin with the name of the plugin(s) or core component they are modifying. Sometimes with a few lines more to explain why the change was needed. For example:

mod_ping: Implement timeout feature (fixes #NNN)

Optional longer explanation of why this change was needed.

If you find yourself typing the word “and” into a commit message, consider splitting the commit.

If you really need to write a longer description, prefer to explain why the change is needed, rather than describing what is changed (this should be obvious from the change itself). Keep in mind that the ‘why’ of the change is something different from the ‘why’ of the code itself. The later is better written in comments along with the code.

Sending patches

Email the patch or bundle file to the prosody-dev mailing list. If the patch fixes a bug, please include the issue number.