Be sure to read the Suggestions for New Developers.
How to make a Pull Request (PR) to Submitty
Contributors from outside the Submitty GitHub organization should clone the repo on their own GitHub page, and create a branch with the modifications to be included with this PR. Note: Please grant write access to the submitty organization administrators so we can more conveniently make small edits (e.g., UI text wording changes). This can speed up the approval and merging of your contributions.
Contributors who are already active members of the Submitty GitHub organization can make a branch within the Submitty organization repo. Note: This is the preferred method, since it allows other members of the organization to directly push changes to the branch (with fewer steps), and allows work as a group on larger features.
PRs can be made from either type of branch.
Each pull request (PR) should be addressing/closing an open issue. Usually.
The PR title should be useful and descriptive.
Titles of PR, Issues, and commits should be <= 50 characters. Usually.
The PR title should not include the issue #.
To help developers, system administrators, and users who are reading the release notes, please categorize your contribution by formatting your PR title as follows:
<TYPE>is one of the following:
Testing(includes sample data),
UI/UX/API(includes mobile, css), or
<MODULE>is one of the following:
Submission(includes bulk uploads, teams, late days, notebook gradeables, and other student features),
Autograding(includes router, container/docker),
Notifications(includes email and grade inquiries),
TAGrading(includes PDF annotation, peer grading),
InstructorUI(includes course and gradeable configuration, course materials, office hours queue, plagiarism detection),
System(includes installation, migrations, vagrant), or
<SUBJECT>adds more specific details.
#<PR NUMBER>is appended to the title automatically by GitHub when the PR is merged with “squash & merge”. Do not include this when you open a new pull request.
[WIP]to the start of the PR title if you would like feedback / detailed review on work in progress. This indicates to the reviewers and project managers that this feature is not ready to be merged into the master branch. When it is ready to merge, edit the title to remove the
[WIP]. Note that WIP branches skip some phases of continuous integration (CI) testing.
IMPORTANT: If this PR requires system administrator action before/after installation, the PR title should be prepended with
[SYSADMIN ACTION]and the commit message should describe the specific actions required and include links to additional documentation as appropriate. For example:
[SYSADMIN ACTION][<TYPE>:<MODULE>] <SUBJECT>
Most moderate database changes and software package installation/updates should be handled automatically by migrations and do not need to be flagged in this way. However some operations, like edits to the Apache configuration should not be performed automatically via a migration because these files commonly have customizations that make automation difficult or problematic.
See also: Installation Version Notes
The body of the PR should describe the purpose of the PR.
When merged, this PR body will be part of the documentation for the next Submitty release. Thus, the contents should be understandable to an average Submitty instructor user or system administrator. The description can include links to related issues or PRs, but this description should not require the user to follow links to have a general understanding of the PR purpose.
Include the string
Fixes #1234within the top comment of the PR so that GitHub issue will be automatically closed when the pull request is merged.
The commit message should talk about WHAT changed, and WHY. Not HOW. How is the diff, and you don’t need to repeat it.
Comments explaining the code should be in the code, rather than in the PR message or comments.
Including screenshots in the issue or PR message is helpful for UI changes.
The comments should explain a bit about the purpose/history/overview – don’t assume the reader knows it (or link to the issue that explains everything).
Be explicit about what you want feedback on, or why you are asking for specific reviewers.
These guidelines drawn from:
How To Review a Pull Request (PR)
So you’ve been assigned to review another developer’s code. What do you need to do?
Make sure you understand the purpose of the PR. Read the notes in the PR and read the notes from any issues that are referenced in the PR.
What bug(s) is the PR attempting to fix?
If it’s a bug, it’s a good idea to try to reproduce the problem from the current master branch. Make sure you understand the sequence of actions needed to produce the erroneous behavior.
What new feature(s) is the PR adding?
If it’s a new feature, make sure you understand the purpose of the new feature and how it’s supposed to work. As needed, test the current master branch to understand how the system works without the new feature.
- Checkout the branch containing the bug fixes and/or new feature.
Re-install the system as necessary. Test the system with typical
use cases. Think about how a novice user will experience this portion
of the Submitty system. Is it clear and intuitive? Are the
instructions (on page or on submitty.org) clear? As appropriate
leave comments for the PR author with specific suggestions for
- If the PR is a branch of the main Submitty repository, you can
check it out with
git checkout BRANCH_NAME
- If the PR is from a fork of the main Submitty repository, first
create a new branch based of the pull request ID (PR_ID). The new branch
will be called BRANCH_NAME in this example
git fetch origin pull/PR_ID/head:BRANCH_NAME
Then, checkout the new branch.
git checkout BRANCH_NAME
Now you have a version of the code in a new branch on the main repo. Review the PR normally and delete the temporary branch when you are done
Test the system with extreme use cases or corner cases. Try to break the overall system or new feature. If you find an error, leave a comment in the PR describing how to reproduce the problem.
- If the PR is a branch of the main Submitty repository, you can check it out with
Look through the source code for the pull request. Depending on your familiarity with this portion of the code, your review may be cursory or in depth.
Does the new or modified code have adequate comments?
Is the code well structured into functions and/or classes?
Has the PR introduced code duplication? Should the code make use of existing functions/classes? Or modify existing functions with new parameters so code sharing is feasible?
Critique code for security-related vulnerabilities.
Critique code for programming language-specific coding & style conventions.
Does the PR require system level changes or database updates to work with older, existing installations? Does the PR include necessary changes to automate these updates?
Is the PR title appropriate? Are the PR notes sufficient? Will a system administrator understand the purpose & importance of installing this commit on their system?
Through the github review system, indicate whether you approve as is or require changes on this PR before it can be merged.
If you have indicated that changes are necessary, be prompt in following up with the PR author as the changes are made, and hopefully, in short order, approving that the code be merged into the master branch.
How To Edit Submitty.org Documentation
If you want to update or add documentation to Submitty.org here’s what you do:
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to clone the git repo of Submitty.org:
git clone https://github.com/Submitty/submitty.github.io.git
After cloning the repo, go into the _docs folder. You will see a folder representing each major category on Submitty.org
Navigate to whichever page you want to edit and open it in your text editor of choice. The files are written in Markdown.
Run Jekyll locally to generate and view the webpages and proofread your edits: README.md
After you are done editing, you can submit a pull request for review.