How To Contribute

First off, thank you for considering contributing to forge!

This document intends to make contribution more accessible by codifying tribal knowledge and expectations. Don’t be afraid to open half-finished PRs, and ask questions if something is unclear!


  • No contribution is too small! Please submit as many fixes for typos and grammar bloopers as you can!
  • Try to limit each pull request to one change only.
  • Always add tests and docs for your code. This is a hard rule; patches with missing tests or documentation can’t be merged.
  • Make sure your changes pass our CI. You won’t get any feedback until it’s green unless you ask for it.
  • Once you’ve addressed review feedback, make sure to bump the pull request with a short note, so we know you’re done.


  • Obey PEP 8 and PEP 257. We use the """-on-separate-lines style for docstrings:

    def func(x):
        Do something.
        :param str x: A very important parameter.
        :rtype: str
  • If you add or change public APIs, tag the docstring using ..  versionadded:: 16.0.0 WHAT or ..  versionchanged:: 16.2.0 WHAT.

  • Prefer double quotes (") over single quotes (') unless the string contains double quotes itself.


  • Write your asserts as actual == expected to line them up nicely:

    x = f()
    assert x.some_attribute == 42
    assert x._a_private_attribute == 'foo'
  • To run the test suite, all you need is a recent tox. It will ensure the test suite runs with all dependencies against all Python versions just as it will on Travis CI.

  • Write good test docstrings.


  • Use semantic newlines in reStructuredText files (files ending in .rst):

    This is a sentence.
    This is another sentence.
  • If you start a new section, add two blank lines before and one blank line after the header, except if two headers follow immediately after each other:

    Last line of previous section.
    Header of New Top Section
    Header of New Section
    First line of new section.
  • If you add a new feature, demonstrate its awesomeness on the basic page!


The recipe for releasing new software looks like this:

  • Add functionality / docstrings as appropriate
  • Add tests / docstrings as necessary
  • Update documentation and changelog
  • Tag release in setup.cfg (and update badge in the README.
  • Merge branch into master
  • Add a git tag for the release
  • Build a release using python bdist_wheel and publish to PYPI as described in Packaging Python Projects

Local Development Environment

You can (and should) run our test suite using tox. However, you’ll probably want a more traditional environment as well. We highly recommend to develop using the latest Python 3 release because forge tries to take advantage of modern features whenever possible.

First create a virtual environment.

Next, get an up to date checkout of the forge repository:

$ git checkout

Change into the newly created directory and after activating your virtual environment install an editable version of forge along with its tests and docs requirements:

$ cd forge
$ pip install -e .[dev]

At this point,

$ python -m pytest

should work and pass, as should:

$ cd docs
$ make html

The built documentation can then be found in docs/_build/html/.


forge is maintained by Devin Fee, who welcomes any and all help. If you’d like to help, just get a pull request merged and ask to be added in the very same pull request!

Thank you for contributing to forge!