4 Creating a pull request

4.1 Before creating a pull request

Before you create a PR, please do the following:

  • think about what your role is in the project. Are you in a position where you can contribute code to the project (via a PR) or does it make more sense if you focus on pointing to the problems and let other people fix it (via issues) that have more experience with the project?
  • if you think you are suited to make a code contribution, make sure the changes you suggestion are welcome. You can best check that by opening an issue on the repository. To make clear you are intending to create the PR that would resolve the issue, you can use key words in the issue title to indicate that you want to know whether the maintainers would be open to your suggestions. For example, the issue title “Consider removing dplyr dependency” indicates already that you would like to remove a dependency from the project.
  • Once you have the clearance from the repo maintainers, make sure you are using the development version of the project before you start contributing.

4.2 Actually creating a pull request

  • first read the contributing guide of the project if there is one and try to understand the structure of the project. If the project is large, there is most likely some documentation available that helps you to get started. Pay attention to the style and conventions used in the project by looking at other code. Your contribution should fit as well as possible in the code base.
  • Use git wisely, i.e. break down your contribution in smaller proportions and commit each of them separately with an informative commit message.
  • make sure to include / update unit tests and documentation along the new code.
  • when creating the pull request, reference the issue and describe the changes you want to introduce on a high level. If you are uncertain about whether some of your contribution is adequate, include questions about it in the pull request to make it easy for reviewers to spot potential issues.