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Contributing to Ruby

Ruby has a vast and friendly community with hundreds of people contributing to a thriving open-source ecosystem. This guide is designed to cover ways for participating in the development of CRuby.

There are plenty of ways for you to help even if you’re not ready to write code or documentation. You can help by reporting issues, testing patches, and trying out beta releases with your applications.

How To Report

If you’ve encountered a bug in Ruby please report it to the redmine issue tracker available at bugs.ruby-lang.org. Do not report security vulnerabilities here, there is a separate channel for them.

There are a few simple steps you should follow in order to receive feedback on your ticket.

Reporting to downstream distributions

You can reports downstream issues for the following distributions via their bugtracker:

Platform Maintainers

For platform specific bugs in Ruby, you can assign your ticket the current maintainer for a specific platform.

The current active platform maintainers are as follows:

mswin32, mswin64 (Microsoft Windows)

NAKAMURA Usaku (usa)

mingw32 (Minimalist GNU for Windows)

Nobuyoshi Nakada (nobu)

IA-64 (Debian GNU/Linux)

TAKANO Mitsuhiro (takano32)

Symbian OS

Alexander Zavorine (azov)

AIX

Yutaka Kanemoto (kanemoto)

FreeBSD

Akinori MUSHA (knu)

Solaris

Naohisa Goto (ngoto)

RHEL, CentOS

KOSAKI Motohiro kosaki

Mac OS X

Kenta Murata (mrkn)

cygwin, bcc32, djgpp, wince, …

none. (Maintainer WANTED)

Reporting Security Issues

Security vulnerabilities receive special treatment since they may negatively affect many users. There is a private mailing list that all security issues should be reported to and will be handled discretely. Email the security@ruby-lang.org list and the problem will be published after fixes have been released. You can also encrypt the issue using the PGP public key for the list.

Reporting Other Issues

If you’re having an issue with the website, or maybe the mailing list, you can contact the webmaster to help resolve the problem.

The current webmaster is:

You can also report issues with the ruby-lang.org website on the issue tracker:

Resolve Existing Issues

As a next step beyond reporting issues you can help the core team resolve existing issues. If you check the Everyone’s Issues list in GitHub Issues, you’ll find lots of issues already requiring attention. What can you do for these? Quite a bit, actually:

When a bug report goes for a while without any feedback, it goes to the bug graveyard which is unfortunate. If you check the issues list you’ll find lots of delinquent bugs that require attention.

You can help by verifying the existing tickets, try to reproduce the reported issue on your own and comment if you still experience the bug. Some issues lack attention because of too much ambiguity, to help you can narrow down the problem and provide more specific details or instructions to reproduce the bug. You might also try contributing a failing test in the form of a patch, which we will cover later in this guide.

It may also help to try out patches other contributors have submitted to redmine, if gone without notice. In this case the patch command is your friend, see man patch for more information. Basically this would go something like this:

cd path/to/ruby/trunk
patch -p0 < path/to/patch

You will then be prompted to apply the patch with the associated files. After building ruby again, you should try to run the tests and verify if the change actually worked or fixed the bug. It’s important to provide valuable feedback on the patch that can help reach the overall goal, try to answer some of these questions:

If you can answer some or all of these questions, you’re on the right track. If your comment simply says “+1”, then odds are that other reviewers aren’t going to take it too seriously. Show that you took the time to review the patch.

How To Request Features

If there’s a new feature that you want to see added to Ruby, you’ll need to write a convincing proposal and patch to implement the feature.

For new features in CRuby, use the ‘Feature’ tracker on ruby-trunk. For non-CRuby dependent features, features that would apply to alternate Ruby implementations such as JRuby and Rubinius, use the CommonRuby tracker.

When writing a proposal be sure to check for previous discussions on the topic and have a solid use case. You will need to be persuasive and convince Matz on your new feature. You should also consider the potential compatibility issues that this new feature might raise.

Consider making your feature into a gem, and if there are enough people who benefit from your feature it could help persuade ruby-core. Although feature requests can seem like an alluring way to contribute to Ruby, often these discussions can lead nowhere and exhaust time and energy that could be better spent fixing bugs. Choose your battles.

A good template for feature proposal should look something like this:

Abstract

Summary of your feature

Background

Describe current behavior and why it is problem. Related work, such as solutions in other language helps us to understand the problem.

Proposal

Describe your proposal in details

Details

If it has complicated feature, describe it

Usecase

How would your feature be used? Who will benefit from it?

Discussion

Discuss about this proposal. A list of pros and cons will help start discussion.

Limitation

Limitation of your proposal

Another alternative proposal

If there are alternative proposals, show them.

See also

Links to the other related resources

Slideshow

On Ruby Developer Meeting Japan, committers discuss about Feature Proposals together at Tokyo. We’ll judge proposals accept, reject, or feedback. If you have a stalled proposal, making a slide to submit is good way to get feedback.

Slides should be:

Please note:

Backport Requests

When a new version of Ruby is released it starts at patch level 0 (p0), and bugs will be fixed first on the trunk branch. If its determined that a bug exists in a previous version of Ruby that is still in the bug fix stage of maintenance, then a patch will be backported. After the maintenance stage of a particular Ruby version ends, it goes into “security fix only” mode which means only security related vulnerabilities will be backported. Versions in End-of-life (EOL) will not receive any updates and it is recommended you upgrade as soon as possible.

If a major security issue is found or after a certain amount of time since the last patch level release, a new patch-level release will be made.

When submitting a backport request please confirm the bug has been fixed in newer versions and exists in maintenance mode versions. There is a backport tracker for each major version still in maintenance where you can request a particular revision merged in the affected version of Ruby.

Each major version of Ruby has a release manager that should be assigned to handle backport requests. You can find the list of release managers on the wiki.

Branch Maintainers

A branch maintainer maintains a branch and releases a new release of Ruby. The branch depends on the associated version of Ruby, such as ruby_1_8_7 for version 1.8.7. The current branch maintainers are as follows:

trunk

unnecessary

ruby_2_0_0

Chikanaga Tomoyuki (nagachika)

ruby_1_9_3

NAKAMURA Usaku (usa)

ruby_1_9_2, ruby_1_9_1

unmaintained

ruby_1_8

unmaintained

ruby_1_8_7

unmaintained

ruby_1_8_6 …

unmaintained

Running tests

In order to help resolve existing issues and contributing patches to Ruby you need to be able to run the test suite.

CRuby uses subversion for source control, you can find installation instructions and lots of great info to learn subversion on the svnbook.red-bean.com. For other resources see the ruby-core documentation on ruby-lang.org.

This guide will use git for contributing. The git homepage has installation instructions with links to documentation for learning more about git. There is a mirror of the subversion repository on github.

Install the prerequisite dependencies for building the CRuby interpreter to run tests.

You should also have access to development headers for the following libraries, but these are not required:

Now let’s build CRuby:

After adding Ruby to your PATH, you should be ready to run the test suite:

make test

You can also use test-all to run all of the tests with the RUNRUBY interpreter just built. Use TESTS or RUNRUBYOPT to pass parameters, such as:

make test-all TESTS=-v

This is also how you can run a specific test from our build dir:

make test-all TESTS=drb/test_drb.rb

For older versions of Ruby you’ll need to run the build setup again after checking out the associated branch in git, for example if you wanted to checkout 1.9.3:

git clone git://github.com/ruby/ruby.git --branch ruby_1_9_3

Contributing Documentation

If you’re interested in contributing documentation directly to CRuby there is a wealth of information available at documenting-ruby.org.

There is also the Ruby Reference Manual in Japanese.

Contributing A Patch

Deciding what to patch

Before you submit a patch, there are a few things you should know:

To improve the chance your patch will be accepted please follow these simple rules:

First thing you should do is check out the code if you haven’t already:

git clone git://github.com/ruby/ruby.git ruby-trunk

Now create a dedicated branch:

cd ruby-trunk
git checkout -b my_new_branch

The name of your branch doesn’t really matter because it will only exist on your local computer and won’t be part of the official Ruby repository. It will be used to create patches based on the differences between your branch and trunk, or edge Ruby.

Coding style

Here are some general rules to follow when writing Ruby and C code for CRuby:

ChangeLog

Although not required, if you wish to add a ChangeLog entry for your change please note:

You can use the following template for the ChangeLog entry on your commit:

Thu Jan  1 00:00:00 2004  Your Name  <yourmail@example.com>

      * filename (function): short description of this commit.
        This should include your intention of this change.
        [bug:#number] [mailinglist:number]

      * filename2 (function2): additional description for this file/function.

This follows GNU Coding Standards for Change Logs, some other requirements and tips:

You can generate the ChangeLog entry by running make change

When you’re ready to commit, copy your ChangeLog entry into the commit message, keeping the same formatting and select your files:

git commit ChangeLog path/to/files

In the likely event that your branch becomes outdated, you will have to update your working branch:

git fetch origin
git rebase remotes/origin/master

Now that you’ve got some code you want to contribute, let’s get set up to generate a patch. Start by forking the github mirror, check the github docs on forking if you get stuck here. here. You will also need a github account if you don’t yet have one.

Next copy the writable url for your fork and add it as a git remote, replace “my_username” with your github account name:

git remote add my_fork git@github.com:my_username/ruby.git
# Now we can push our branch to our fork
git push my_fork my_new_branch

In order to generate a patch that you can upload to the bug tracker, we can use the github interface to review our changes just visit github.com/my_username/ruby/compare/trunk…my_new_branch

Next, you can simply add ‘.patch’ to the end of this URL and it will generate the patch for you, save the file to your computer and upload it to the bug tracker. Alternatively you can submit a pull request, but for the best chances to receive feedback add it is recommended you add it to redmine.

Generated with Rubydoc Rdoc Generator 0.26.0.