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How to Contribute

We want contributing to Gatsby to be fun, enjoyable, and educational for anyone and everyone. Contributions go far beyond pull requests and commits; we are thrilled to receive a variety of other contributions including the following:

  • Blogging, speaking about, or creating tutorials about one of Gatsby’s many features. Mention @gatsbyjs on Twitter and/or email shannon [at] gatsbyjs [dot] com so we can give pointers and tips (if you want them 😄) and help you spread the word. Please add your blog posts and videos of talks to our Awesome Gatsby page.
  • Submitting new feature ideas through an RFC
  • Submitting new documentation; titles in italics on are stubs and need contributions
  • Tweeting about things you #buildwithgatsby (make sure to use the hashtag and/or @ mention us!)
  • Submitting documentation updates, enhancements, designs, or bugfixes
  • Submitting spelling or grammar fixes
  • Adding unit or functional tests
  • Triaging GitHub issues — especially determining whether an issue still persists or is reproducible
  • Reporting bugs or issues
  • Searching for Gatsby on Discord or Spectrum and helping someone else who needs help
  • Teaching others how to contribute to Gatsby’s repo!

As our way of saying “thank you” to our contributors, all contributors are eligible for free Gatsby swag — whether you’re contributing code, docs, a talk, an article, or something else that helps the Gatby community. Learn how to claim free swag for contributors.

Not sure how to start contributing?

If you are worried or don’t know where to start, you can always reach out to Shannon Soper (@shannonb_ux) on Twitter or submit an issue and a maintainer can help give you guidance!

Looking to speak about Gatsby? We’d love to review your talk abstract/CFP! You can email it to shannon [at] gatsbyjs [dot] com, and we can give pointers or tips!

Creating your own plugins and loaders

If you create a loader or plugin, we would <3 for you to open source it and put it on npm. For more information on creating custom plugins, please see the documentation for plugins and the API specification.

Contributing to the repo

Gatsby uses a “monorepo” pattern to manage its many dependencies and relies on lerna and yarn to configure the repository for active development.

You can install the latest version of Gatsby by following these steps:

  • Clone the repo, navigate to its directory.
  • ensure you have the latest version of yarn installed (>= 1.0.2)
  • Install dependencies using yarn run bootstrap in the root of the repo.

The usual contributing steps are:

  • Fork the official repository.
  • Clone your fork: git clone<your-username>/gatsby.git
  • Setup up repo and install dependencies: yarn run bootstrap
  • Make sure tests are passing for you: yarn test
  • Create a topic branch: git checkout -b topics/new-feature-name
  • Run npm run watch from the root of the repo to watch for changes to packages’ source code and compile these changes on-the-fly as you work. Note that the watch command can be resource intensive. To limit it to the packages you’re working on, add a scope flag, like npm run watch -- --scope={gatsby,gatsby-cli}. To watch just one package, run npm run watch -- --scope=gatsby.
  • Install gatsby-dev-cli globally: yarn global add gatsby-dev-cli
  • Run yarn install in each of the sites you’re testing.
  • For each of your Gatsby test sites, run the gatsby-dev command there to copy the built files from your cloned copy of Gatsby. It’ll watch for your changes to Gatsby packages and copy them into the site. For more detailed instructions see the gatsby-dev-cli README
  • Add tests and code for your changes.
  • Once you’re done, make sure all tests still pass: yarn test.
  • Commit and push to your fork.
  • Create a pull request from your branch.

Contributing to the documentation.

Gatsby, unsurprisingly, uses Gatsby for its documentation website.

If you want to add/modify any Gatsby documentation, go to the docs folder on GitHub and use the file editor to edit and then preview your changes. GitHub then allows you to commit the change and raise a PR right in the UI. This is the easiest way you can contribute to the project!

However, if you want to make more changes to the website, that is, change layouts, add sections/pages, follow the steps below. You can then spin up your own instance of the Gatsby website and make/preview your changes before raising a pull request.

  • Clone the repo and navigate to /www
  • Run yarn to install all of the website’s dependencies.
  • Run gatsby develop to preview the website in http://localhost:8000
  • The Markdown files for the documentation live in /docs folder. Make additions or modifications here.
  • Make sure to double check your grammar and capitalise correctly.
  • Commit and push to your fork.
  • Create a pull request from your branch.

Development tools

Redux devtools

Gatsby uses Redux for managing state during development and building. It’s often helpful to see the flow of actions and built-up state for a site you’re working on or if adding new functionality to core. We leverage Remote Redux Devtools and RemoteDev Server to give you use the Redux devtools extension for debugging Gatsby.

To use this, first install redux-devtools-extension in your browser. Then in your Gatsby repo, run npm run remotedev. Then in your site directory run REDUX_DEVTOOLS=true gatsby develop. Depending on your operating system and shell, you may need to modify how you set the REDUX_DEVTOOLS environment variable.

At this point, your site will be sending Redux actions and state to the remote server.

To connect to this, you need to setup the devtools extension to talk to the remote server.

First open the remote devtools.

how to open the redux remote devtools extension

Then click settings along the bottom menu and set the host and port.

how to set the host/port for the remote devtools extension to connect to Gatsby

After this, the devtools extension should connect to the remote server and you’ll see actions start showing up.

gatsby redux remote devtools

Warning!! Lots of bugginess. While having this available is extremely helpful, this setup is very buggy and fragile. There is a memory leak in the extension that’s triggered it seems every time you restart the Gatsby development server. Also the extension often, for no apparent reason, just won’t show any actions from the remote server. It’ll also often freeze up. The best solution seems to just be turning everything off and on again. Fixing up these tools would be very helpful for us and many others using these tools if someone wants to take this on!

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