Contributor’s Guide

If you’re reading this you’re probably interested in contributing to hyper. First, I’d like to say: thankyou! Projects like this one live-and-die based on the support they receive from others, and the fact that you’re even considering supporting hyper is incredibly generous of you.

This document lays out guidelines and advice for contributing to hyper. If you’re thinking of contributing, start by reading this thoroughly and getting a feel for how contributing to the project works. If you’ve still got questions after reading this, you should go ahead and contact the author: he’ll be happy to help.

The guide is split into sections based on the type of contribution you’re thinking of making, with a section that covers general guidelines for all contributors.

All Contributions

Be Cordial Or Be On Your Way

hyper has one very important guideline governing all forms of contribution, including things like reporting bugs or requesting features. The guideline is be cordial or be on your way. All contributions are welcome, but they come with an implicit social contract: everyone must be treated with respect.

This can be a difficult area to judge, so the maintainer will enforce the following policy. If any contributor acts rudely or aggressively towards any other contributor, regardless of whether they perceive themselves to be acting in retaliation for an earlier breach of this guideline, they will be subject to the following steps:

  1. They must apologise. This apology must be genuine in nature: “I’m sorry you were offended” is not sufficient. The judgement of ‘genuine’ is at the discretion of the maintainer.
  2. If the apology is not offered, any outstanding and future contributions from the violating contributor will be rejected immediately.

Everyone involved in the hyper project, the maintainer included, is bound by this policy. Failing to abide by it leads to the offender being kicked off the project.

Get Early Feedback

If you are contributing, do not feel the need to sit on your contribution until it is perfectly polished and complete. It helps everyone involved for you to seek feedback as early as you possibly can. Submitting an early, unfinished version of your contribution for feedback in no way prejudices your chances of getting that contribution accepted, and can save you from putting a lot of work into a contribution that is not suitable for the project.

Contribution Suitability

The project maintainer has the last word on whether or not a contribution is suitable for hyper. All contributions will be considered, but from time to time contributions will be rejected because they do not suit the project.

If your contribution is rejected, don’t despair! So long as you followed these guidelines, you’ll have a much better chance of getting your next contribution accepted.

Code Contributions


When contributing code, you’ll want to follow this checklist:

  1. Fork the repository on GitHub.
  2. Run the tests to confirm they all pass on your system. If they don’t, you’ll need to investigate why they fail. If you’re unable to diagnose this yourself, raise it as a bug report by following the guidelines in this document: Bug Reports.
  3. Write tests that demonstrate your bug or feature. Ensure that they fail.
  4. Make your change.
  5. Run the entire test suite again, confirming that all tests pass including the ones you just added.
  6. Send a GitHub Pull Request to the main repository’s development branch. GitHub Pull Requests are the expected method of code collaboration on this project. If you object to the GitHub workflow, you may mail a patch to the maintainer.

The following sub-sections go into more detail on some of the points above.

Tests & Code Coverage

hyper has a substantial suite of tests, both unit tests and integration tests, and has 100% code coverage. Whenever you contribute, you must write tests that exercise your contributed code, and you must not regress the code coverage.

To run the tests, you need to install tox. Once you have, you can run the tests against all supported platforms by simply executing tox.

If you’re having trouble running the tests, please consider raising a bug report using the guidelines in the Bug Reports section.

If you’ve done this but want to get contributing right away, you can take advantage of the fact that hyper uses a continuous integration system. This will automatically run the tests against any pull request raised against the main hyper repository. The continuous integration system treats a regression in code coverage as a failure of the test suite.

Before a contribution is merged it must have a green run through the CI system.

Code Review

Contributions will not be merged until they’ve been code reviewed. You should implement any code review feedback unless you strongly object to it. In the event that you object to the code review feedback, you should make your case clearly and calmly. If, after doing so, the feedback is judged to still apply, you must either apply the feedback or withdraw your contribution.

New Contributors

If you are new or relatively new to Open Source, welcome! hyper aims to be a gentle introduction to the world of Open Source. If you’re concerned about how best to contribute, please consider mailing the maintainer and asking for help.

Please also check the Get Early Feedback section.

Documentation Contributions

Documentation improvements are always welcome! The documentation files live in the docs/ directory of the codebase. They’re written in reStructuredText, and use Sphinx to generate the full suite of documentation.

When contributing documentation, please attempt to follow the style of the documentation files. This means a soft-limit of 79 characters wide in your text files and a semi-formal prose style.

Bug Reports

Bug reports are hugely important! Before you raise one, though, please check through the GitHub issues, both open and closed, to confirm that the bug hasn’t been reported before. Duplicate bug reports are a huge drain on the time of other contributors, and should be avoided as much as possible.

Feature Requests

Feature requests are always welcome, but please note that all the general guidelines for contribution apply. Also note that the importance of a feature request without an associated Pull Request is always lower than the importance of one with an associated Pull Request: code is more valuable than ideas.