Contribution guidelines

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Bug reports and patch submission[edit]

Bugs and patches should be submitted to Octave's bug and patch trackers respectively.

The best way to contribute patches is to create a Mercurial changeset. See the Mercurial page for instructions.

Building from development sources[edit]

Up to date build instructions are available from /etc/HACKING in Octave's Mercurial development repository.

Distribution specific instructions are kept on the wiki:

Coding style[edit]

Apart from C++ and Octave language (m-files), Octave's sources include files written in C, Fortran, M4, Perl, Unix shell, AWK, Texinfo, and @TeX{}. There are not many rules to follow when using these other languages; some of them are summarized below. In any case, the golden rule is: if you modify a source file, try to follow any conventions you can detect in the file or other similar files.

C/C++ guide[edit]

See C++ style guide. For C, you should follow all C++ rules that can apply.

Octave guide[edit]

See Octave style guide.

Help text style[edit]

Octave's manual and functions help text is written in Texinfo. See Help text.

Fortran guide[edit]

If you modify a Fortran file, you should stay within Fortran 77 with common extensions like END DO. Currently, we want all sources to be compilable with the f2c and g77 compilers, without special flags if possible. This usually means that non-legacy compilers also accept the sources.

M4 guide[edit]

The M4 macro language is mainly used for Autoconf configuration files. You should follow normal M4 rules when contributing to these files. Some M4 files come from external source, namely the Autoconf archive.

mediawiki guide[edit]

  • Please try to fit a new page into the already existing category tree.
  • If you have to create a new category, choose the name and place wisely (try to stay close to Wikipedia's categorization scheme).
  • Instead of creating a new page and redirect it to another for link aliases, choose piped links instead. See here for more infos about piped links.
  • The one and only root category is Category:Contents. All other categories have to point to it (over one or more subcategories).
  • Start a new page title with a capital letter, the rest is written in lower case (except for names, cities, etc.).