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HOW-TO:Submit a patch

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XBMC is a non-profit open source hobby project that is developed by volunteers in their spare time without any monetary gain. The team of developers working on XBMC encourage anyone submit source code patches for bug-fixes, new features/functions or improvements to existing ones. Any and all contributions to the source code are appreciated, though please understand that there is no guarantee that your patch will be accepted and implemented into XBMC. If you wish to have input from XBMC developers prior to implementing a feature or improvement, please open a discussion on the forums. Lastly, understand that it may take us a little while to review your patch, so please be patient - clean and well documented code will most likely be looked at sooner than messy or undocumented code.

Note! We know our rules place a burden on you the submitter, but rest assured that maintaining a large, complex software project is even harder, so please accept the rules that have been set before you here. These rules are there for a reason, we cannot afford to spend too much of our time fixing buggy, broken or outdated patches. The closer you follow our rules the higher is the likelihood that your patch will be accepted.

Contents

1 Code submissions

Please submit all code submissions as a "pull request" to the XBMC Github - see the section below for information on how to create a pull request. Then to get some attention please also post a new thread in the development-section of our forums describing the patch. Doing so allows for a more open discussion with the whole XBMC community including non-developers about possible improvements/enhancements or additions and bugs/fixes. Note that any code you submit will be (c) Team XBMC.

1.1 Minimum requirements

We currently do not have any other minimum requirements other than the code being under LGPL or GPL license, that it is clean and that any comments and documentation be accurate and in English.

1.2 Code documentation

Though not yet a standard in all XBMC source code, please try and document at least the "public" portions of your code using doxygen inline comments. If you are submitting a new feature or function, please also add a small "readme.txt" to the the patch describing the use of feature that may be used as a basis for user documentation in the wiki later. You are most welcome to format this up for the wiki after the patch is submitted.

1.3 Code guide-lines and formatting conventions

This is still under discussion, so for now please follow or add to the discussion here. Of course, modular designs (like dynamic or static libraries) are preferred.

All code should strive to be platform agnostic - XBMC is multi-platform software, thus any single platform-specific features should be discussed with XBMC team members before being implemented. Major features should ideally be developed in a separate branch or in small increments so that other members have the opportunity to review the code and comment on it during development.

1.4 Patch format

Please do not send complete files. These need to be diffed by hand to see the changes, which makes reviews harder and less likely to occur. Besides as soon as one of the files changes, your version becomes harder to apply, thus reducing its chances of being accepted. Please follow these simple rules when making patch for XBMC:

1. Use git to its full potential. The best thing is to fork the xbmc project on github, branch from there, and develop your patch on top of HEAD. See the excellent documentation at github for help with this.
2. Make sure you keep each commit as simple as possible as well as self-contained. i.e. a commit series that builds at each commit and builds up the functionality required is much nicer than a single huge commit that changes lots of things at once.
3. When you're changing functions that require re-indenting, it's best to do the functionality change in one commit, with a second commit for the cosmetic re-indenting.
4. Check your commits for unnecessary cosmetic changes such as whitespace changes, particularly for whitespace at end of line.
5. Doxy and new functions added, particularly if they're to the public API of a class. Doxy classes as well if necessary. The important thing is what the function is supposed to do, what parameter values are (plus any default values) and what the return code is.
6. Make sure you maintain const'ness where reasonable.
7. If you implement new features or modify the behavior of existing features, please do not forget to also point out whether any changes are required in the wiki documentation, and ideally perform these changes once your patch series is accepted.
8. When you're done, push to your github repo and do a pull request against the main XBMC repository. See the excellent documentation at github for more information.
9. Give us a few days to react. We try to review patches as quickly as possible, but unfortunately we are constantly overloaded with work, be it XBMC-related or from our day to day lives. If your patch seems to be ignored, post a reminder asking for opinions in the forum's development section or as a reply to the original patch ticket, mentioning that you got ignored - we are interested in your work and will eventually either accept it or reject it with an explanation of what we liked and disliked about your patch. Note that we will often ask you to make changes to your patch to make it acceptable before we commit it, so please implement those changes, and update your branch with the changes made as you go. Some of these changes may seem trivial, but the less work we need to do, the faster it'll hit GIT.
10. Enjoy developing for XBMC :)

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