5.2. Contributing Changes to RackHD

5.2.1. Guidelines for merging pull requests

For code changes, we currently use a guideline of lazy consensus with two positive reviews with at least one of those reviews being one of the core maintainers and no negative votes. And of course, the gates for the pull requests must pass as well (unit tests, etc).

If you put a review up, please be explicit with a vote (+1, -1, or +/-0) so we can distinguish questions asking for information or background from reviews implying that the relevant change should not be merged. Likewise if you put up a change for review as a pull request, a -1 review comment isn’t a reflection on you as a person, instead is a request to make a modification before that pull request should be merged.

For those with commit privileges

See https://github.com/RackHD/RackHD/wiki/Merge-Guidelines for more informal guidelines and rules of thumb to follow when making merge decisions.

5.2.2. Getting commit privileges

The core committer team will grant contributor rights to the RackHD project using a lazy consensus mechanism. Any of the maintainers/core contributors can nominate someone to have those privileges, and with two +1 votes and no negative votes, the team will grant commit privileges.

The core team will also be responsible for removing commit privileges when appropriate - for example for malicious merge behavior or just inactivity over an extended period of time.

5.2.3. Quality gates for the pull requests

There are three quality gates to ensure the pull requests quality, Hound for code style check, Travis CI for unit-test and coveralls, Jenkins for the combination test including unit-test and smoke test. When a pull request is created, all tests will run automatically, and the test results can be found in the merge status field of each pull request page. Running unit/functional tests locally prior to creating a pull request is strongly encouraged. This would hopefully minimize the amount errors seen during PR submission and lessen a dependency on Travis/Jenkins to test code before it’s really ready to be submitted.


Hound works with jshint and comments on style violations in pull requests. Configuration files .hound.yml and .jshintrc have been created in each repository, so before creating a pull request, you can check code style locally with jshint to find out style violations beforehand.

Travis CI

Travis CI runs the unit tests, and then does some potentially ancillary actions. The build specifics are detailed in the .travis.yml file within each repository. For finding out basic errors before creating a pull request, you can run unit test locally using npm test within each repository.


Jenkins uses the Github Pull Request Builder plugin to monitor all pull requests to perform quality gate tests prior to merge. The gates include running all the unit tests, running all dependent project unit tests with the code proposed from the pull request, running an integration “smoke test” to verify basic end to end functionality and commenting on the details of test case failure. Jenkins can also take instructions from pull request comments or description in order to handle more complex test scenarios. Instructions can be written in pull request description or comments.

There’s a user white/admin list for instructions use. When a new pull request is opened in the project and the author of the pull request isn’t white-listed, “ok to test” commented by admins is needed for accepting this pull request for testing.

The following table show all the Jenkins Instructions and usage:

Instruction Description Detailed Usage
Jenkins: test this please Trigger one Jenkins test on current pull request. This command will trigger one Jenkins test no matter whether the pull request has been tested or not, the new test result will override the previous one.
Jenkins: ignore Avoid running any test in the next Jenkins test.

This command can be used in “work in progress” pull request or one of “interdependent pull requests” to avoid a Jenkins test that is destined to fail. The commit status of this pull request will be set to “pending” temporarily. Jenkins periodically check the repository status so to guarantee to avoid the unexpected test, it’s strongly recommended to write this command in pull request description. Otherwise if write in comments, an unexpected test may be triggered in the time slot between pull request creation and writing up comments.

Remove this instruction and then “test this please” can recovery Jenkins test on this pull request and the commit status “pending” will be replaced by new result. If one pull request is dependent on by another, the result of the combination test will replace “pending” too.

Jenkins: depends on pr1_url, pr2_url ... Trigger one Jenkins test that using the commits of all interdependent pull requests.

RackHD is a multi repository project, so there are times one new feature needs changes on two or more repositories. In such situation neither Jenkins test for single pull request can pass. This command is order to solve this problem.

Recommended usage: for interdependent pull requests, first create pull request one by one and write “jenkins: ignore” in description of each pull request until the last one. When create the last pull request write “jenkins: depends on pr1_url, pr2_url ...” in its description.

Under this usage duplicated or unexpected Jenkins test can be avoided.

The interdependent test result will be written back to all interdependent pull requests. The unit test error log will be commented on each related pull request, the functional test error log will only be commented on the main pull request, the one wrote “Jenkins: depends on”.