Like every open-source project, Django Compressor is always looking for motivated individuals to contribute to its source code. However, to ensure the highest code quality and keep the repository nice and tidy, everybody has to follow a few rules (nothing major, I promise :) )


People interested in developing for the Django Compressor should open an issue on GitHub explaining your ideas.

In a nutshell

Here’s what the contribution process looks like, in a bullet-points fashion, and only for the stuff we host on github:

  1. Django Compressor is hosted on github, at

  2. The best method to contribute back is to create a github account, then fork the project. You can use this fork as if it was your own project, and should push your changes to it.

  3. When you feel your code is good enough for inclusion, “send us a pull request”, by using the nice github web interface.

Contributing Code

Getting the source code

If you’re interested in developing a new feature for Compressor, it is recommended that you first discuss it in an issue in order not to do any work that wouldn’t get merged anyway.

  • Code will be reviewed and tested by at least one core developer, preferably by several. Other community members are welcome to give feedback.

  • Code must be tested. Your pull request should include unit-tests (that cover the piece of code you’re submitting, obviously)

  • Documentation should reflect your changes if relevant. There is nothing worse than invalid documentation.

  • Usually, if unit tests are written, pass, and your change is relevant, then it’ll be merged.

Since it’s hosted on github, Django Compressor uses git as a version control system.

The github help is very well written and will get you started on using git and github in a jiffy. It is an invaluable resource for newbies and old timers alike.

Syntax and conventions

We try to conform to PEP8 as much as possible. A few highlights:

  • Indentation should be exactly 4 spaces. Not 2, not 6, not 8. 4. Also, tabs are evil.

  • We try (loosely) to keep the line length at 79 characters. Generally the rule is “it should look good in a terminal-base editor” (eg vim), but we try not be [Godwin’s law] about it.


This is how you fix a bug or add a feature:

  1. Fork us on github.

  2. Checkout your fork.

  3. Hack hack hack, test test test, commit commit commit, test again.

  4. Push to your fork.

  5. Open a pull request.


Having a wide and comprehensive library of unit-tests and integration tests is of exceeding importance. Contributing tests is widely regarded as a very prestigious contribution (you’re making everybody’s future work much easier by doing so). Good karma for you. Cookie points. Maybe even a beer if we meet in person :)

Generally tests should be:

  • Unitary (as much as possible). I.E. should test as much as possible only one function/method/class. That’s the very definition of unit tests.

  • Integration tests are interesting too obviously, but require more time to maintain since they have a higher probability of breaking.

  • Short running. No hard numbers here, but if your one test doubles the time it takes for everybody to run them, it’s probably an indication that you’re doing it wrong.

In a similar way to code, pull requests will be reviewed before pulling (obviously), and we encourage discussion via code review (everybody learns something this way).

Running the tests

To run the tests simply fork django_compressor, make the changes and open a pull request. The Github actions will automatically run the tests of your branch/fork and add a status about the test results to the pull requests.

Alternatively, create a virtualenv and activate it, then install the requirements in the virtualenv:

$ virtualenv compressor_test
$ source compressor_test/bin/activate
(compressor_test) $ make testenv

Then run make test to run the tests. Please note that this only tests django_compressor in the Python version you’ve created the virtualenv with not all the versions that are required to be supported.

Contributing Documentation

Perhaps considered “boring” by hard-core coders, documentation is sometimes even more important than code! This is what brings fresh blood to a project, and serves as a reference for old timers. On top of this, documentation is the one area where less technical people can help most - you just need to write a semi-decent English. People need to understand you.

Documentation should be:

  • We use Sphinx/restructuredText. So obviously this is the format you should use :) File extensions should be .txt.

  • Written in English. We can discuss how it would bring more people to the project to have a Klingon translation or anything, but that’s a problem we will ask ourselves when we already have a good documentation in English.

  • Accessible. You should assume the reader to be moderately familiar with Python and Django, but not anything else. Link to documentation of libraries you use, for example, even if they are “obvious” to you. A brief description of what it does is also welcome.

Pulling of documentation is pretty fast and painless. Usually somebody goes over your text and merges it, since there are no “breaks” and that github parses rst files automagically it’s really convenient to work with.

Also, contributing to the documentation will earn you great respect from the core developers. You get good karma just like a test contributor, but you get double cookie points. Seriously. You rock.


This very document is based on the contributing docs of the django CMS project. Many thanks for allowing us to steal it!