Frequently Asked Questions

Prerequisites for code contributions

What are the Skills required to be a code contributor?

It depends on what area you want to work on. The internships postings list specific skills required. Generally, only Python and basic Git knowledge are required. Feel free to contact us on one of the development channels for details.

What are the minimum system requirements (hardware/software) to run SWH locally?

Python3.7 or newer is required. See the developer setup documentation for more details.

Getting Started

What are the must read docs before I start contributing?

We recommend you read the top links listed at from the documentation home page in order: getting started, contributing, and architecture, as well as the data model.

Where can I see the getting started guide for developers?

See Run your own Software Heritage tutorial.

How do I find an easy ticket to get started?

We maintain a list of easy tickets to work on, see the Easy hacks page for more details.

I am skilled in one specific technology, can I find tickets requiring that skill?

Unfortunately, not at the moment. But you can look at the internships list to look for something matching this skill, and this may allow you to find topics to search for in the bug tracking system.

Either way, feel free to contact our developers through any of the development channels, we would love to work with you.

Where should I ask for technical help?

You can choose one of the following:

Running an SWH instance locally

I have SWH stack running in my local. How do I get some initial data to play around?

You can setup a job on your local machine, for this you can schedule a listing task for example. Doing so on small forge, will allow you to load some repositories.

Or you can also trigger directly loading from the cli.

I have a SWH stack running in local, How do I setup a lister/loader job?

See the “Managing tasks” chapter in the Docker environment documentation.

How can I create a user in my local instance?

We cannot right now. Stay either anonymous or use the user “test” (password “test”) or the user ambassador (password “ambassador”).

Should I run/test the web app in any particular browser?

We expect the web app to work on all major browsers. It uses mostly straightforward HTML/CSS and a little Javascript for search and source code highlighting, so testing in a single browser is usually enough.

Getting sample datasets

Is there a way to connect to SWH archived (production) database from my local machine?

We provide the archive as a dataset on public clouds, see the swh-dataset documentation. We can also provide read access to one of the main databases on request, contact us.

Errors and bugs

I found a bug/improvement in the system, where should I report it?

Please report it on our bug tracking system. First create an account, then create a bug report using the “Create task” button. You should get some feedback within a week (at least someone triaging your issue). If not, get in touch with us to make sure we did not miss it.

Code Review

I found a straightforward typo fix, should my fix go through the entire code review process?

You are welcome to drop us a message at one of the development channels, we will pick it up and fix it so you don’t have to follow the whole code review process.

What tests I should run before committing the code?

Mostly run tox (or pytest) to run the unit tests suite. When you will propose a patch in our forge, the continuous integration factory will trigger a build (using tox as well).

I am getting errors while trying to commit. What is going wrong?

Ensure you followed the proper guide to setup your environment and try again. If the error persists, you are welcome to drop us a message at one of the development channels

Is there a format/guideline for writing commit messages?

See the Git style guide

how should I document the code I contribute to SWH?

Any new feature should include documentation in the form of comments and/or docstrings. Ideally, they should also be documented in plain English in the repository’s docs/ folder if relevant to a single package, or in the main swh-docs repository if it is a transversal feature.

Software Heritage API

How do I generate API usage credentials?

See the Authentication guide.

Is there a page where I can see all the API endpoints?

See the API endpoint listing page.

What are the usage limits for SWH APIs?

Maximum number of permitted requests per hour:

  • 120 for anonymous users

  • 1200 for authenticated users

It’s described in the rate limit documentation page.

System Administration

How does SWH release?

Release is mostly done: - first in docker (somewhat as part of the development process) - secondly packaged and deployed on staging (mostly) - thirdly the same package is deployed on production

Is there a release cycle?

When a functionality is ready (tests ok, landed in master, docker run ok), the module is tagged. The tag is pushed. This triggers a packaging build process. When the package is ready, depending on the module [1], sysadms deploy the package with the help of puppet.

[1] swh-web module is mostly automatic. Other modules are not yet automatic as some internal state migration (dbs) often enters the release cycle and due to the data volume, that may need human intervention.