Open source projects these days have fewer core maintainers, but more casual contributors who commits less frequently. Projects like Pandas – with over 1,400 total contributors but just four among them contributing nearly half of all commits in 2018 – are becoming more common.
Many projects have contributor guidelines set and written by the maintainers. But when contributors only submit code occasionally, it’s not easy for them to remember those guidelines. New developers making their first contributions also may require more handholding.
We realize our product would be a good solution for this. By enforcing guidelines through pull request policy checks, Datree can help maintainers ensure contributor commits meet their code style, quality, and security standards.
This is why recently we decided that Datree should be free for open source projects.
We’d love the see the Datree badge on more open source projects!
This is our newest feature and we are getting a ton of love for this custom policy. One of my favorite use cases is to require the pull request submitter checks all items in a task list in the PR description when submitting the PR. Of course you can use this policy to simply check if the PR doesn’t have blank description.
We previously wrote about best practices for commit message naming convention. When it comes to open source projects, it’s extra important to apply some basic rules like limiting the commit subject line to 50 characters. This way, the entire commit message title will be shown on GitHub commits history UI and when running $ git log.
This policy ensures your local git configuration is matching your GitHub user settings. If they are mismatched, the commit won’t be associated with any GitHub user, which means you won’t get credit for the code contributed to the open source project. You can tell if someone is having this issue if you see a gray and non-clickable GitHub avatar next to their user name on GitHub.
There are many more policies that would be useful to open source projects but we didn’t cover here for the sake of brevity. Check out our Docs for the complete list of policies.
If you know any open source project that could benefit from using Datree, could you let us or the maintainers know? They can sign up and give it a try anytime – or contact me for more info or questions at Eyar at Datree.io.
Datree is on GitHub Marketplace. if you’re already on GitHub, installing Datree is a seamless few-clicks experience, and the billing is unified with your other GitHub apps.
If you ever tried to get developers to fill out a pull request description template, you’d want this policy rule from Datree.