Get involved

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Revision as of 00:38, 1 June 2015 by Joakim (talk | contribs) (Mention preapproved issues)
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File a bug report

The simplest way to participate is to file bug reports at the bug tracker.

If you find any problems with the D language, please file a bug report. Problems that are not filed will not get fixed, because the developers wouldn't know the problem existed. If you're not sure if something is a bug or by design, please ask in the forums (see below).

Ideally, bug reports should be accompanied by a small, self-contained example which demonstrates the problem, and makes it easy to reproduce it. If you find it difficult to manually extract a small example from your source code, DustMite can help with automatically extracting one. See the project wiki for more information.

If a piece of code worked in an older version of a compiler but no longer works in a newer version, please file a regression (by setting the "Severity" field to "Regression"). Regression bugs are examined before all others. You can use Digger to find the pull request that introduced the change which broke your code. DustMite can also be helpful in creating a minimal example.

Note that compiler internal errors (crashes, assertion failures, etc.) should always be filed. No matter how wrong your input is, the compiler should give an appropriate error message and abort compilation; it should never crash. Such crashes are always bugs.

Discuss in the forums

You can also join in the discussion at the D forums, which can be accessed via the web interface, the mailing list interface, or the NNTP server.

The main D forum is for general discussion on the D language, feature requests and discussions, etc.. Newcomers should start with the D.learn forum, which is intended for learners to ask more basic questions about programming in D.

Alpha-test the development version of D

If you're feeling adventurous, or crave the bleeding-edge features of D, you may want to learn how to build git master.

Contribute to the source code and documentation

The source code for the D website, compiler, runtime library, and Phobos (the standard library), are all available on GitHub. Contributions to the source code are done via pull requests. Please note that contributions to DMD source code will only be accepted if the author agrees to have the copyright of the code assigned to Digital Mars.

To find something to work on, you can search the bug list for issues that you can help fix, or on one that has been voted for a lot or preapproved.

To contribute to the documentation, start by reading How to Fork and Build Additional information on improving the documentation can be found in this thread started by Walter Bright.

Review pull requests

The sheer amount of code being written for the D compiler, standard library and related project is often too great for the core developers to keep up. Even if you're not a "hardcore" D developer you can help lessen this load by reviewing the changes in pull requests at GitHub for DMD, Phobos, DRuntime and the D website.

Various "easy" things to look for:

  • Missing or hard to understand comments
  • Unintuitive documentation
  • Unchecked edge cases in the code (missing assert, enforce, template constraints)
  • Inconsistencies with the D style
  • API inconvenient for use cases the author didn't think of
  • Missing/inadequate unittests
  • Poor code coverage (check with `dmd -cov -unittest -main std/filename.d`)
  • More/better code examples in documentation. Look at answers in D.learn and stack overflow for ideas.

To run the unittests of a single file on posix:

make -f posix.mak DMD=../dmd/src/dmd std/*.test

Adding "-cov" to the "%.test" target inside posix.mak will generate a coverage analysis.

Also, it is often helpful to review old pull requests (e.g. sort by least recently updated on GitHub). Commenting on an old pull request that seems OK but was for some reason forgotten may bring some attention to it. If you think a pull request is OK to be merged, write "LGTM" (looks good to merge) in your comment.

If a pull you're interested in has been languishing in the queue for a long time with no attention, commenting "ping" may help prod things along. Especially if the author needs to rebase the pull due to a merge conflict, autotester failure, or other such maintenance problem.

Citing Andrei Alexandrescu:

"If you see [Pull request] you care about, review it even if you don't have rights yet. A simple message such as "I reviewed this and LGTM, any holdup?" would be sufficient to attract attention."

See also