Contributing

If you’re looking to contribute to Channels, then please read on - we encourage contributions both large and small, from both novice and seasoned developers.

What can I work on?

We’re looking for help with the following areas:

  • Documentation and tutorial writing
  • Bugfixing and testing
  • Feature polish and occasional new feature design
  • Case studies and writeups

You can find what we’re looking to work on in the GitHub issues list for each of the Channels sub-projects:

Issues are categorized by difficulty level:

  • exp/beginner: Easy issues suitable for a first-time contributor.
  • exp/intermediate: Moderate issues that need skill and a day or two to solve.
  • exp/advanced: Difficult issues that require expertise and potentially weeks of work.

They are also classified by type:

  • documentation: Documentation issues. Pick these if you want to help us by writing docs.
  • bug: A bug in existing code. Usually easier for beginners as there’s a defined thing to fix.
  • enhancement: A new feature for the code; may be a bit more open-ended.

You should filter the issues list by the experience level and type of work you’d like to do, and then if you want to take something on leave a comment and assign yourself to it. If you want advice about how to take on a bug, leave a comment asking about it, or pop into the IRC channel at #django-channels on Freenode and we’ll be happy to help.

The issues are also just a suggested list - any offer to help is welcome as long as it fits the project goals, but you should make an issue for the thing you wish to do and discuss it first if it’s relatively large (but if you just found a small bug and want to fix it, sending us a pull request straight away is fine).

I’m a novice contributor/developer - can I help?

Of course! The issues labelled with exp/beginner are a perfect place to get started, as they’re usually small and well defined. If you want help with one of them, pop into the IRC channel at #django-channels on Freenode or get in touch with Andrew directly at andrew@aeracode.org.

How do I get started and run the tests?

First, you should first clone the git repository to a local directory:

git clone https://github.com/django/channels.git channels

Next, you may want to make a virtual environment to run the tests and develop in; you can use either virtualenvwrapper, pipenv or just plain virtualenv for this.

Then, cd into the channels directory and install it editable into your environment:

cd channels/
pip install -e .[tests]

Note the [tests] section there; that tells pip that you want to install the tests extra, which will bring in testing depedencies like pytest-django.

Then, you can run the tests:

pytest

Also, there is a tox.ini file at the root of the repository. Example commands:

$ tox -l
py36-dj11
py36-dj20
py36-dj21
py37-dj11
py37-dj20
py37-dj21

# run the test with Python 3.7, on Django 2.2 and Django master branch
$ tox -e py37-dj21 && tox -e py37-djmaster

Can you pay me for my time?

Unfortunately, the Mozilla funds we previously had are exhausted, so we can no longer pay for contributions. Thanks to all who participated!

How do I do a release?

If you have commit access, a release involves the following steps:

  • Create a new entry in the CHANGELOG.txt file and summarise the changes
  • Create a new release page in the docs under docs/releases and add the changelog there with more information where necessary
  • Add a link to the new release notes in docs/releases/index.rst
  • Set the new version in __init__.py
  • Roll all of these up into a single commit and tag it with the new version number. Push the commit and tag, and Travis will automatically build and release the new version to PyPI as long as all tests pass.

The release process for channels-redis and daphne is similar, but they don’t have the two steps in docs/.