Fork on github

Before you do anything else, login/signup on and fork django-crispy-forms from

Clone your fork locally

If you have git-scm installed, you now clone your git repo using the following command-line argument where <my-github-name> is your account name on github:

git clone<my-github-name>/django-crispy-forms.git

Setting up topic branches and generating pull requests

While it’s handy to provide useful code snippets in an issue, it is better for you as a developer to submit pull requests. By submitting pull request your contribution to django-crispy-forms will be recorded by Github.

In git it is best to isolate each topic or feature into a “topic branch”. While individual commits allow you control over how small individual changes are made to the code, branches are a great way to group a set of commits all related to one feature together, or to isolate different efforts when you might be working on multiple topics at the same time.

While it takes some experience to get the right feel about how to break up commits, a topic branch must be limited in scope to a single issue as submitted to an issue tracker.

Also since github pegs and syncs a pull request to a specific branch, it is the ONLY way that you can submit more than one fix at a time. If you submit a pull from your master branch, you can’t make any more commits to your master without those getting added to the pull.

To create a topic branch, its easiest to use the convenient -b argument to git checkout:

git checkout -b fix-broken-thing
Switched to a new branch 'fix-broken-thing'

You should use a verbose enough name for your branch so it is clear what it is about. Now you can commit your changes and regularly merge in the upstream master as described below.

When you are ready to generate a pull request, either for preliminary review, or for consideration of merging into the project you must first push your local topic branch back up to github:

git push origin fix-broken-thing

Now when you go to your fork on github, you will see this branch listed under the “Source” tab where it says “Switch Branches”. Go ahead and select your topic branch from this list, and then click the “Pull request” button.

Here you can add a comment about your branch. If this in response to a submitted issue, it is good to put a link to that issue in this initial comment. The repo managers will be notified of your pull request and it will be reviewed (see below for best practices). Note that you can continue to add commits to your topic branch (and push them up to github) either if you see something that needs changing, or in response to a reviewer’s comments. If a reviewer asks for changes, you do not need to close the pull and reissue it after making changes. Just make the changes locally, push them to github, then add a comment to the discussion section of the pull request.

Pull upstream changes into your fork regularly

django-crispy-forms is worked on by a lot of people. It is therefore critical that you pull upstream changes from trunk into your fork on a regular basis. Nothing is worse than putting in days of hard work into a pull request only to have it rejected because it has diverged too far from trunk.

To pull in upstream changes:

git remote add trunk git://
git fetch trunk

Check the log to be sure that you actually want the changes, before merging:

git log ..django-crispy-forms/master

Then merge the changes that you fetched:

git merge django-crispy-forms/master

For more info, see

How to get your Pull Request accepted

We want your submission. But we also want to provide a stable experience for our users and the community. Follow these rules and you should succeed without a problem!

Run the tests!

Before you submit a pull request, please run the entire django-crispy-forms test suite via:

make test

The first thing the core committers will do is run this command. Any pull request that fails this test suite will be rejected.

It’s always good to add tests!

We’ve learned the hard way that code without tests is undependable. If your pull request comes with tests, it’s got a greater chance to be included. Otherwise the lead will ask you to code them or will help you doing so.

We use the py.test.

Also, keep your tests as simple as possible. Complex tests end up requiring their own tests. We would rather see duplicated assertions across test methods then cunning utility methods that magically determine which assertions are needed at a particular stage. Remember: Explicit is better than implicit.

Don’t mix code changes with whitespace cleanup

If you change two lines of code and correct 200 lines of whitespace issues in a file the diff on that pull request is functionally unreadable and will be rejected. Whitespace cleanups need to be in their own pull request.

Keep your pull requests limited to a single issue

django-crispy-forms pull requests should be as small/atomic as possible. Large, wide-sweeping changes in a pull request will be rejected, with comments to isolate the specific code in your pull request. Some examples:

  1. If you are fixing a bug in one helper class don’t ‘cleanup‘ unrelated helpers. That cleanup belongs in another pull request.
  2. Changing permissions on a file should be in its own pull request with explicit reasons why.

Keep your code simple!

Memorize the Zen of Python:

>>> python -c 'import this'

Please keep your code as clean and straightforward as possible. When we see more than one or two functions/methods starting with _my_special_function or things like __builtins__.object = str we start to get worried. Rather than try and figure out your brilliant work we’ll just reject it and send along a request for simplification.

Furthermore, the pixel shortage is over. We want to see:

  • helper instead of hpr
  • django-crispy-forms instead of dcf
  • my_function_that_does_things instead of mftdt