Getting commit access

All contributors are asked to provide an assignment agreement for working on the project:

  • individual_contributor

    Individual contributor agreement.

  • corporate_contributor

    Corporate contributor agreement to authorize employees to work on project. May also be used as a software grant to donate software to the project.

GeoServer is grateful that organizations of all shapes and sizes support our project with in-kind participation of their employees. Extending commit access is made to individuals directly based on their expertise demonstrated over time.

This agreement can be printed, signed, scanned and emailed to at Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). OSGeo is the non-profit which holds the GeoServer codebase for the community.

The contribution licenses are used by OSGeo projects seeking to assign copyright directly to the foundation. These licenses are directly derived from the Apache code contribution licenses (CLA V2.0 and CCLA v r190612).

Community commit access

The first stage of access allows a developer to commit only to the community module or extension for which they are the maintainer. This stage of access can be obtained quite easily.

The process of getting community commit access is as follows:

  1. Email the developer list

    This first step is all about communication. In order to grant commit access the other developers on the project must first know what the intention is. Therefore any developer looking for commit access must first describe what they want to commit (usually a community module), and what it does.

  2. Sign up for a GitHub account

    GeoServer source code is hosted on Github and you’ll need an account in order to access it. You can sign-up [here <>`_.

  3. Print, sign, scan and send the contributor agreement

    Scanned assignment agreement can be emailed at OSGeo.

  4. Notify the developer list

    After a developer has signed up on Github they must notify the developer list. A project despot will then add them to the group of GeoServer committers and grant write access to the canonical repository.

  5. Fork the canonical GeoServer repository

    All committers maintain a fork of the GeoServer repository that they work from. Fork the canonical repository into your own account.

  6. Configure your local setup

    Follow this guide in the developer manual.

Core commit access

The second stage allows a developer to make commits to the core modules of GeoServer. Being granted this stage of access takes time, and is obtained only after the developer has gained the trust of the other core committers.

The process of obtaining core commit access is far less mechanical than the one to obtain community commit access. It is based solely on trust. To obtain core commit access a developer must first obtain the trust of the other core committers.

The way this is typically done is through continuous code review of patches. After a developer has submitted enough patches that have been met with a positive response, and those patches require little modifications, the developer will be nominated for core commit access.

There is no magic number of patches that make the criteria, it is based mostly on the nature of the patches, how in depth the they are, etc… Basically it boils down to the developer being able to show that they understand the code base well enough to not seriously break anything.

Commit Guidelines

There is not much in the way of strict commit policies when it comes to committing in GeoServer. But over time some rules and conventions have emerged:

  1. Update copyright headers

    When adding new source files to the repository remember to add the standard copyright header:

    /* (c) 2016 Open Source Geospatial Foundation - all rights reserved
     * This code is licensed under the GPL 2.0 license, available at the root
     * application directory.

    When updating a file that does not have an existing header, add one (as above).

    When adding content from another organisation maintain copyright history and original license. Only add Open Source Geospatial Foundation if you have made modifications to the file for GeoServer:

    /* (c) 2016 Open Source Geospatial Foundation - all rights reserved
     * (c) 2014 OpenPlans
     * (c) 2008-2010 GeoSolutions
     * This code is licensed under the GPL 2.0 license, available at the root
     * application directory.
     * Original from GeoWebCache 1.5.1 under a LGPL license

    In a rare case (as when asking to migrate content from GeoTools) you can obtain permission to change the license to our GPL 2.0 license.

  2. Do not commit large amounts of binary data

    In general do not commit any binary data to the repository. There are cases where it is appropriate like some data for a test case, but in these cases the files should be kept as small as possible.

  3. Do not commit jars or libs, use Maven instead

    In general never commit a depending library directly into the repository, this is what we use Maven for. If you have a jar that is not present in any maven repositories, ask on the developer list to get it uploaded to one of the project maven repositories.

  4. Ensure code is properly formatted

    Ensure that the IDE or editor used to edit source files is setup with proper formatting rules. This means spaces instead of tabs, 100 character line break, etc…

    If using Eclipse ensure you have configured it with the template and formatter used for GeoTools.