Contributing

Contributions are welcomed and greatly appreciated! BMI is a community-driven open source project, so every little bit helps. Credit will always be given.

This document describes how to contribute to the BMI project. It covers the main BMI repository, as well as the language specifications and examples for supported languages listed in Table 1 of the BMI documentation.

Making changes

The following sections describe the process through which changes to the BMI specification, language bindings, language examples, and support tools are made.

Pull requests

If you’d like to propose a change to the BMI or any of its language bindings, examples, or tools, you must submit a pull request (PR) to the corresponding GitHub repository. If you have questions regarding a potential change, or if you’re unsure whether your proposed changes or additions are acceptable, we recommend you first submit your question as a GitHub issue in the corresponding repository, which can later be turned into a PR.

When a PR is opened against the BMI or any of its language bindings, examples, or tools, it will be tagged either as a Request for Comment (RFC) or for resolution through lazy consensus. The RFC process is intended for major changes to the BMI, whereas lazy consensus applies to minor changes such as typos or documentation updates.

Request for Comment (RFC)

Once a PR has been tagged as an RFC, a review process begins. It proceeds in three steps:

  1. discussion
  2. summary
  3. resolution

Discussion

Reviewers (the other developers and interested community members) will write comments on your PR to help you improve its implementation, documentation, and style. Every single developer working on the project has their code reviewed, and we’ve come to see it as friendly conversation from which we all learn and the overall code quality benefits. Therefore, please don’t let the review discourage you from contributing: its only aim is to improve the quality of the project, not to criticize (we are, after all, very grateful for the time you’re donating!).

The author of the PR should try to build consensus and integrate feedback. An RFC with broad support will be more likely to be quickly accepted than one without comments. If you feel that your PR has been forgotten, please feel free to reach out directly to the project team.

We expect that most PRs will not be accepted without some modification. You can make changes by pushing commits directly to the PR branch and leaving comments that explain the modifications.

Summary

Once all parties have weighed in and there has been adequate discussion, the PR moves to a summary period. A team member will move for the discussion phase to end and for the summary period to begin, which will end with a recommendation for the RFC (merge, close, or, postpone). Team members making this motion should use their best judgment that adequate discussion has taken place and that the consequences of the proposed change have been adequately addressed.

The summary period will typically last about a week, allowing stakeholders to have a chance to lodge any final objections before the team reaches a final decision.

The intent is for this summary period to be fairly quiet, with most of the discussion taking place during the discussion phase. There will likely be times, however, where stakeholders might raise serious enough concerns that the PR moves back into the discussion phase.

Resolution

The RFC process concludes with the PR being merged, closed, or postponed.

There must be a consensus from project developers and interested community members for a PR to be merged. Consensus has a particular meaning when used with open source projects; see the BMI governance document for a definition of consensus in this context.

If consensus isn’t achieved, the PR will be postponed (the team feels the PR can wait until some future time) or closed.

Lazy Consensus

Lazy consensus, as defined by the Apache Software Foundation, is a decision-making policy which assumes general consent if no responses are posted within a defined period.

For the BMI project, a PR tagged for resolution through lazy consensus can be merged if no comments are posted within about a week.

Reporting a problem

Report bugs or other problems by creating a GitHub issue at https://github.com/csdms/bmi/issues.

In the issue, be sure to explain the problem and include additional details to help maintainers reproduce the problem. Here are some suggestions that will make it easier to track down the source of the problem:

  • Use a clear and descriptive title for the issue that identifies the problem.
  • Describe, and if possible provide a minimal example that demonstrates, the exact steps that reproduce the problem.
  • Describe the behavior you are seeing after these steps.
  • Describe the behavior you expect to see after these steps.

Providing feedback

The best way to send feedback is to file an issue at https://github.com/csdms/bmi/issues.

If you are proposing a feature:

  • Explain in detail how it would work.
  • Keep the scope as narrow as possible, to make it easier to implement.
  • Remember that this is a volunteer-driven project, and that contributions are welcome.