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Thank you so much for your interest in contributing to Spectrum. Having a healthy community of people who feel empowered to work on the project is vital to its success.

If you have any questions about the project, please get in touch with the community. We will gladly help you out!

Contributing Code

If you are interested in contributing code to Spectrum, you can find the source repositories online:

If you have made changes you would like to be included in the official Spectrum distribution, please send patches to the spectrum-devel mailing list ( For more information, see Working with Patches.

Sending patches to the list is easy — you can do it with Git, straight from the command line. You do not have to set anything up in your email client, and you do not have to subscribe to the list. The only thing you need to do is probably to set up Git so it knows how to send email using your provider’s SMTP server. These instructions should be enough to get you going. If you are still stuck, send an email to and we will help you out.

Once you have Git configured correctly, sending your changes to the list should be as simple as something like:

git send-email origin/master --to

You will be CCed on replies to your posts, so you do not even have to be subscribed to the mailing list if you are worried about too much traffic. There is also a web interface that you can use to browse or even post to the mailing list.

Add a Signed-off-by line to each patch you submit, to indicate your certification of the Developer’s Certificate of Origin for that patch. The easiest way to do this is with git commit’s -s flag.

Do not be too afraid of getting it wrong the first couple of times. This might well be a new way of collaborating for you, and everybody understands that. Hopefully, you will soon realise just how effective this style of collaboration can be compared to the alternatives.

Contributing Documentation

If you notice something that can be fixed or improved:

  1. Edit or add any relevant documentation.

    Make sure your changes are formatted correctly and consistently with the rest of the documentation. For information on writing guidelines, see Documentation Style Guide.
  2. Test your documentation. Reread what you wrote and run a spellchecker on it to make sure you did not miss anything.

  3. Submit changes.

Documentation To-Do List

Spectrum documentation needs are:

  • Reporting Bugs

  • Development conventions/style (code review, naming)

  • Integration, code philosophy

The list will be updated. Improvements to the documentation are welcome!

Contributing Other Things

At this stage, it is difficult to say what things would be useful to the project beyond code and documentation. Artwork will be extremely important and valuable. But, do not let that dissuade you! At some point, we will need all sorts of things, and we might as well get the work done early if people are willing to do it.

If you think you have skills to offer the project beyond writing code, we would love to hear from you. The best thing to do is to either talk with us on spectrum-discuss, or in real time on IRC. For more information, see Communication in Spectrum.

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