Contributing to Invoke

How to get the code

Our primary Git repository is on Github at pyinvoke/invoke; please follow their instruction for cloning to your local system. (If you intend to submit patches/pull requests, we recommend forking first, then cloning your fork. Github has excellent documentation for all this.)

Development guidelines


Please follow these instructions closely! Your patch will not be accepted (or will at least be delayed) otherwise. Thanks!

Which branch to work out of

We split development into two primary branches:

  • Bug fixes go into a branch named after the current stable release line (e.g. 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 etc).

    • Caveat: bug fixes requiring large changes to the code or which have a chance of being otherwise disruptive, may need to go in master instead. This is a judgement call – ask the devs!
  • New features go into the master branch.

    • Note that depending on how long it takes for the dev team to merge your patch, the copy of master you worked off of may get out of date! If you find yourself ‘bumping’ a pull request that’s been sidelined for a while, make sure you rebase or merge to latest master to ensure a speedier resolution.

Code formatting

We follow PEP-8 whenever it makes sense, which is most of the time. At the very least, please make sure you put spaces after your commas within list-like syntax ([this,is,not,ok] but [this, is, fine]; ditto for function(calls, like, this)) and keep your variables lower_cased_and_underscored, with only classes being CamelCased.

Documentation isn’t optional

It’s not! Patches without documentation will be returned to sender. Specifically, by “documentation” we mean:

  • Docstrings must be created or updated for public API functions/methods/etc.

    • Don’t forget to include versionadded/versionchanged ReST directives at the bottom of any new or changed docstrings!
    • Use versionadded for truly new API members – new methods, functions, classes or modules.
    • Use versionchanged when adding/removing new function/method arguments, or whenever behavior changes.
  • New features should ideally include updates to prose documentation, including useful example code snippets.

  • All changes (including bugfixes) should have a changelog entry crediting the contributor and/or any individuals instrumental in identifying the problem.

Tests aren’t optional

We aim for very high code coverage. Any bugfix that doesn’t include a test proving the existence of the bug being fixed (and of course, that passes when the bugfix is applied) may be suspect.

We’ve found that test-first development really helps make features better architected and identifies potential edge cases earlier instead of later. New features should also include thorough tests.