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L20n uses Bugzilla to track bugs and feature requests. All code discussion lives in Bugzilla comments. It helps us keep everything in a single place. That's why we prefer patches attached to bugs over pull requests in Github.

This guide explains how to submit a patch.

You can browse the open bugs on Bugzilla or file a new one.


  • Work in feature branches.
  • Track upstream/master in master.
  • Rebase local branches ontop of master to work with the up-to-date codebase.
  • Discuss code in Bugzilla by attaching patches to bugs.
  • Keep history clean with git rebase -i.
  • Amend commit message to mention the bug number and the reviewer.
  • Push the branch to your fork and let us pull from it and merge it into master.

Getting Started

To get started, fork the l20n.js repository, and with your own fork,

git clone git://[email protected]/YOU/l20n.js.git
cd l20n.js
git remote add upstream [email protected]:l20n/l20n.js.git

If you're new to git, check out the git cheatsheat.

Running tests

Before you start writing any code, install the dev dependencies with:

npm install

Run the linter and the tests to make sure everything works fine:


This will also build production files in the dist folder.

Starting a new feature branch

Let's assume you're working on bug 800000 that is about adding installation docs to the codebase.

git checkout -b 800000-install-docs
git add INSTALL
git commit -m "Add the INSTALL file"
git add INSTALL
git commit -m "Add the pip/virtualenv step"
git diff master... > patch.diff
# ...attach the patch on bugzilla and get review...

# ...address reviewer's comments...
git add INSTALL
git commit -m "Specify Python version, as per Joe's review"
git diff master... > patch.diff
# ...rinse and repeat...

git diff master... is a shorthand diff command that lets you see what a merge to the master branch would introduce given the current HEAD.
GitHub's help has a good explanation of this syntax.

Note: If your changes include file renaming, generate the diff by running git diff -M master... (which stands for git diff --find-renames master...). You can specify a similarity threshold if the default doesn't give you satisfying results, e.g. git diff -M70% master.... Find out more about this option in git documentation.

Keeping up with the upstream

As long as you work locally in your branch, you're encouraged to use git rebase to stay on the most recent codebase. Don't merge master into your branch, unless it has been previously published and you know people have pulled from it.

git checkout master
git pull upstream master
git checkout 800000-install-docs
git rebase master

A good rule of thumb is:

  • if the branch is local or private, use git rebase,
  • if the branch has been published, use git merge.

Linus Torvalds explains it best.

Pushing your feature branch after an r+

Once you get r+, you will want to:

  • rebase to avoid bitrot (use -i and squash/fixup unneeded commits),
  • adjust the commit message,
  • push to your origin,
  • let us know about it.


# make sure you're on the feature branch
git checkout 8000000-install-docs
# rebase and clean the log
git rebase -i master

Your editor will open. Leave the first commit as pick and squash all others. (In rare and justified cases, you might want to leave more than one commit.)

pick dd9511f Add the INSTALL file
squash bb0fc6e Add the pip/virtualenv step
squash c9781ef Fix a typo
squash 64a4f42 Add the third installation step, as per Bob's suggestion
squash 84d7d82 Specify Python version, as per Joe's review
squash b377ca6 Add the env creation step

Adjust the commit message

If you have at least one reword or squash when rebasing, your editor will open again. Adjust the commit message. The final commit message should include:

  • the bug number,
  • short summary of the changes made on the feature branch,
  • reviews (e.g. r=joe),
  • (optional) longer description separated by a blank line.


Bug 800000 - Add installation instructions, r=joe

The installation instructions are in the INSTALL file.

The final history of your branch should look something like this:

dd9511f Add the INSTALL file
64a4f42 Bug 800000 - Add installation instructions, r=joe

Note: If the commit message after the rebase still requires changes, you can fix it like so:

# ...change the commit message if needed...
git commit --amend


You are now ready to push your branch.

# make sure you're on the feature branch
git checkout 8000000-install-docs
# push the branch to the origin
git push origin 800000-install-docs

Comment in the bug

Comment in the bug with the URL of your branch so that we can pull and merge from it.

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: fscholz, stasm, Sheppy
 Last updated by: fscholz,