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 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?
I am skilled in one specific technology, can I find tickets requiring that skill?
Either way, feel free to contact our developers through any of the development channels, we would love to work with you.
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?
Getting sample datasets
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.
Do I need to sign a form to contribute code?
Yes, on your first diff, you will have to sign such document. As long as it’s not signed, your diff content won’t be visible.
Will my name be added to a CONTRIBUTORS file?
You will be asked during review to add yourself.
I found a straightforward typo fix, should my fix go through the entire 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?
Is there some recommended git branching strategy?
It’s left at the developer’s discretion. Mostly people hack on their feature, then propose a diff from a git branch or directly from the master branch. There is no imperative. The only imperative is that for a feature to be packaged and deployed, it needs to land first in the master branch.
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 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 , sysadms deploy the package with the help of puppet.
 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.