mirror of https://github.com/profanity-im/profanity.git synced 2024-06-23 21:45:30 +00:00
2023-01-10 10:24:44 +01:00

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Contributing to Profanity


Please follow the build section in our user guide. You might also take a look at the Dockerfile.* in the root directory.

Submitting patches

We recommend for people to always work on a dedicated git branch for each fix or feature. Don't work on master. So that they can easily pull master and rebase their work if needed.

For fixing (reported) bugs we usually use git checkout -b fix/issuenumber-somedescription. When working on a new feature we usually use git checkout -b feature/optionalissuenumber-somedescription.

However this is not a rule just a recommendation to keep an overview of things. If your change isn't a bugfix or new feature you can also just use any branch name.

Commit messages

Write commit messages that make sense. Explain what and why you change. Write in present tense. Please give this guideline a read.


We would like to encourage people to use GitHub to create pull requests. It makes it easy for us to review the patches, track WIP branches, organize branches with labels and milestones, and help others to see what's being worked on.

Also see the blogpost Contributing a Patch via GitHub.


In case GitHub is down or you can't use it for any other reason, you can send a patch to our mailing list.

We recommend that you follow the workflow mentioned above. And create your patch using the git-format-patch tool: git format-patch master --stdout > feature.patch

Another git service

We prefer if you create a pull request on GitHub. Then our team can easily request reviews. And we have the history of the review saved in one place.

If using GitHub is out of the question but you are okay using another service (i.e.: GitLab, codeberg) then please message us in the MUC or send us an email. We will then pull from your repository and merge manually.


  • When fixing a bug, describe it and how your patch fixes it.
  • When fixing a reported issue add an Fixes https://github.com/profanity-im/profanity/issues/23 in the commit body.
  • When adding a new feature add a description of the feature and how it should be used (workflow).
  • If your patch adds a new configuration option add this to the profrc.example file.
  • If your patch adds a new theming option add this to the theme_template file.
  • Each patch or pull request should only contain related modifications.
  • Run the tests and code formatters before submitting (c.f. Chapter 'Check everything' of this README).
  • When changing the UI it would be appreciated if you could add a before and after screenshot for comparison.
  • Squash fixup commits into one

Hints and Pitfalls

  • When adding a new hotkey/shortcut make sure it's not registered in Profanity already. And also that it's not a default shortcut of readline.

Coding style

Follow the style already present ;-)

To make this easier for you we created a .clang-format file. You'll need to have clang-format installed.

Then just run make format before you do any commit.

It might be a good idea to add a git pre-commit hook. So git automatically runs clang-format before doing a commit.

You can add the following snippet to .git/hooks/pre-commit:

for f in $(git diff --cached --name-only)
    if [[ "$f" =~ \.(c|h)$ ]]; then
        clang-format -i $f

If you feel embarrassed every time the CI fails you can add the following snippet to .git/hooks/pre-push:

set -e

This will run the same tests that the CI runs and refuse the push if it fails. Note that it will run on the actual content of the repository directory and not what may have been staged/committed.

If you're in a hurry you can add the --no-verify flag when issuing git push and the pre-push hook will be skipped.

Finding mistakes

Test your changes with the following tools to find mistakes.

unit tests

Run make check to run the unit tests with your current configuration or ./ci-build.sh to check with different switches passed to configure.


We provide a suppressions file prof.supp. It is a combination of the suppressions for shipped with glib2, python and custom rules.

G_DEBUG=gc-friendly G_SLICE=always-malloc valgrind --tool=memcheck --track-origins=yes --leak-check=full --leak-resolution=high --num-callers=30 --show-leak-kinds=definite --log-file=profval --suppressions=prof.supp ./profanity


Running the clang static code analyzer helps improving the quality too.

make clean
scan-build make
scan-view ...

Finding typos

We include a .codespellrc configuration file for codespell in the root directory. Before committing it might make sense to run codespell to see if you made any typos.

You can run the make spell command for this.

Check everything

make doublecheck will run the code formatter, spell checker and unit tests.