Contributing to iText 7 Community

We'd love for you to contribute to our source code and to make iText 7 Community even better than it is today! Here are the guidelines we'd like you to follow:

iText 7 Community contribution

Got a Question or Problem?

If you have questions about how to use iText 7 Community, please direct these to Stack Overflow.

If you are a customer with a support agreement, you also have direct access to our JIRA and our developers.

Found an Issue?

If you find a bug in the source code or a mistake in the documentation, you can help us by submitting a Pull Request with a fix.

Please see the Submission Guidelines below.

Want to implement a Feature?

If you would like to implement a new feature then consider what kind of change it is:

  • Major Changes that you wish to contribute to the project should be discussed first so that we can better coordinate our efforts, prevent duplication of work, and help you to craft the change so that it is successfully accepted into the project. Contact us at community@itextpdf.com.

  • Small Changes can be crafted and submitted to the GitHub Repository as a Pull Request.

Submission Guidelines

Submitting a Question or an Issue

Before you submit your question or issue, search Stack Overflow, maybe your question was already answered.

If your issue appears to be a bug, and hasn't been reported, ask a question on Stack Overflow to verify that is indeed a bug and not a mistake in your own code. Help us to maximize the effort we can spend fixing issues and adding new features, by not reporting duplicate issues. Providing the following information will increase the chances of your issue being dealt with quickly:

  • How to ask good questions

  • Overview of the Issue - if an error is being thrown a non-minified stack trace helps

  • Motivation for or Use Case - explain why this is a bug for you

  • iText Version(s) - is it a regression?

  • Operating System - is this a problem on Windows or Linux, maybe on Mac?

  • Reproduce the Error - provide a Short, Self Contained, Correct (Compilable), Example, also known as a Minimal, Complete, and Verifiable example.

  • Related Issues - has a similar issue been reported before?

  • Suggest a Fix - if you can't fix the bug yourself, perhaps you can point to what might be causing the problem (line of code or commit)

  • Tag the question - add the tag itext7 to your question so we can find it.

If you get help, help others. Good karma rulez!

Submitting a Pull Request

Before you submit your pull request consider the following guidelines:

  • Search GitHub for an open or closed Pull Request that relates to your submission. You don't want to duplicate effort.

  • Verify that your proposed change hasn't already been addressed in the develop branch.

  • Don't send a separate pull request for every single file you change.

  • Please sign the iText Contributor License Agreement (iCLA) before sending pull requests for any change of more than 20 significant lines of code (we're not counting curly braces and other syntactical sugar). We cannot accept code without this agreement.

  • Clone iText 7 Community to your local machine.

    git clone git@github.com:itext/itext7.git
    cd itext7
    git fetch origin
    git checkout -b develop origin/develop
    
  • Make your changes in a new git branch based off the develop branch:

    git checkout -b my-fix-branch develop
    
  • Create your patch, including appropriate test cases.

  • Follow our Coding Rules.

  • Run the full iText 7 Community test suite and ensure that all tests pass.

  • Commit your changes using a descriptive commit message that follows our commit message conventions.

    git commit -a
    

    Note: the optional commit -a command line option will automatically add and rm edited files.

  • Now would be a good time to fix up your commits (if you want or need to) with git rebase --interactive.

  • Build your changes locally to ensure all the tests pass.

  • Push your branch to your GitHub account:

    git remote add my-remote git@github.com:my-remote/itext7.git
    git push my-remote my-fix-branch
    
  • In GitHub, send a pull request to itext7:develop.

  • If we suggest changes then:

    • Make the required updates.

    • Re-run the iText 7 Community test suite to ensure tests are still passing.

    • Rebase your branch and force push to your GitHub repository (this will update your Pull Request):

      git fetch origin
      git rebase develop -i
      git push my-remote my-fix-branch -f
      

      That's it! Thank you for your contribution!

After your pull request is merged

After your pull request is merged, you can safely delete your branch and pull the changes from the main (upstream) repository:

  • Delete the remote branch on GitHub either through the GitHub web UI or your local shell as follows:

    git push my-remote --delete my-fix-branch
    
  • Check out the develop branch:

    git checkout develop -f
    
  • Delete the local branch:

    git branch -D my-fix-branch
    
  • Update your develop with the latest upstream version:

    git pull --ff upstream develop
    

Coding Rules

To ensure consistency throughout the source code, keep these rules in mind as you are working:

  • We develop in Java first, and then port to .NET, so code submissions in Java are preferred. Nevertheless this shouldn't stop you from making a good pull request to the .NET port.

  • All Java code must be Java 7. Sorry, no lambda expressions or other Java 8 language features.

  • All features or bug fixes must be tested by one or more unit tests.

  • All public API methods must be documented with JavaDoc. To see how we document our APIs, please check out the existing javadocs.

  • We follow the rules contained in Oracle's Code Conventions for the Java Programming Language, with these additions:

    • Wrap all code at 100 characters.

Git Commit Guidelines

We have guidelines on how our git commit messages should be formatted. This leads to more readable messages that are easy to follow when looking through the project history. But also, we use the git commit messages to generate the iText 7 Community change log.

These guidelines were taken from Chris Beams' blog post How to Write a Git Commit Message.

Commit Message Format

Each commit message consists of a subject, a body and a footer:

<subject>
<BLANK LINE>
<body>
<BLANK LINE>
<footer>

Any line of the commit message should not be longer 72 characters! This allows the message to be easier to read on GitHub as well as in various git tools.

Subject

The subject contains succinct description of the change:

Body

Footer

The footer contains any information about Breaking Changes and is also the place to reference JIRA or GitHub issues that this commit Closes.

Signing the iCLA

Please sign the iText Contributor License Agreement (iCLA) before sending pull requests. For any larger code changes (more than 20 lines of significant code) to be accepted, the iCLA must be signed. It's a quick process, we promise!

We'll need you to (digitally) sign and then email, fax or mail the form.

Contributor Code of Conduct

Please note that this project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By participating in this project you agree to abide by its terms.

We use the Stack Exchange network for free support and GitHub for code hosting. By using these services, you agree to abide by their terms: