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pollen/CONTRIBUTING.md

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Pull-request tips

I welcome pull requests. But accepting a PR obligates me to maintain that code for the life of Pollen. So if I seem picky about which PRs I accept — yes, because I have to be. No hard feelings. (= Principle of Infinite Maintenance)

  • There’s plenty of room for improvement in the Pollen code, because every line of it has been written against the backdrop of ignorance and fallibility, mostly my own. (= Principle of Prior Ignorance)

  • PRs for simple documentation fixes (e.g., spelling and grammar corrections) are always welcome. For more substantial changes, I don’t necessarily prefer PRs to issues or feature requests. A good description of the problem with a working example is better than a half-baked PR. I can often fix it in less time than it would take to review the PR. (= Principle of Efficiency)

  • If you want feedback on a potential PR, I recommend posting to the Pollen forum rather than here. Because more people will see it. (= Principle of Exposure)

  • Small PRs are easier to accept than large ones. Large PRs should have a benefit worthy of their complexity. PRs that want to amend Pollen’s public interface receive the highest scrutiny. (= Principle of Proportionality)

  • I consider every PR, but I can’t promise detailed code reviews or comments. Helpful Racketeers can be found on the Pollen forum, the Racket mailing list, and the Racket Slack channel. (= Principle of Specialization)

  • PRs should be necessary, in the sense that the proposed change can only be accomplished by patching this repo. (Corollary: features that can live in a separate package probably should.) (= Principle of Necessity)

  • PRs should avoid introducing magic behavior (= Principle of Least Astonishment).

  • PRs should forbid as little as possible. In particular, PRs should avoid enshrining personal preference as default behavior (because others will have different preferences). (= Principle of Generality)

  • PRs should avoid reinventing features that already exist in Racket. (= Principle of Economy)

  • PRs should fix real problems that have arisen in actual use, not theoretical or conjectural problems. (= Principle of Practical Justification)

  • I follow these principles too, because they’re virtuous habits. Still, I created Pollen as a tool for my writing and typography work. If a certain PR would negatively impact that work, I can’t accept it. (= Principle of Royalty)

  • If you’re new to Pollen or Racket, your PR is more likely to be declined, because certain things you perceive as bugs are actually features, certain things you perceive as missing are actually present, and certain limitations you perceive as surmountable are actually not. (See also point #1 re: backdrop of ignorance.) (= Principle of Novelty)

  • If your PR includes open-source material from elsewhere, please make sure that material is a) compatible with the Pollen license and b) attributed in whatever way is required. Otherwise, I cannot accept it. (= Principle of Legality)

  • PRs that could have unit tests, and don’t, will be treated harshly. As they should. (= Principle of Proof)