Contributor’s guide

If you’re reading this you’re probably interested in contributing to batou. First, we’d like to say: thank you! Open source projects live-and-die based on the support they receive from others, and the fact that you’re even considering supporting batou is very generous of you.

This document lays out guidelines and advice for contributing to batou. If you’re thinking of contributing, start by reading this thoroughly and getting a feel for how contributing to the project works. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Christian Theune, the primary maintainer.

The guide is split into sections based on the type of contribution you’re thinking of making, with a section that covers general guidelines for all contributors.

All Contributions

Be Cordial

Be cordial or be on your way.

batou has adopted this very important rule from the Requests library. This rule governs all forms of contribution, including reporting bugs or requesting features. This golden rule is be cordial or be on your way. All contributions are welcome, as long as everyone involved is treated with respect.

Get Early Feedback

If you are contributing, do not feel the need to sit on your contribution until it is perfectly polished and complete. It helps everyone involved for you to seek feedback as early as you possibly can. Submitting an early, unfinished version of your contribution for feedback in no way prejudices your chances of getting that contribution accepted, and can save you from putting a lot of work into a contribution that is not suitable for the project.

Contribution Suitability

The project maintainer has the last word on whether or not a contribution is suitable for batou. All contributions will be considered, but from time to time contributions will be rejected because they do not suit the project.

If your contribution is rejected, don’t despair! So long as you followed these guidelines, you’ll have a much better chance of getting your next contribution accepted.

Code Contributions

When contributing code, you’ll want to follow this checklist:

  1. Fork the repository on GitHub.

  2. Run the tests to confirm they all pass on your system. If they don’t, you’ll need to investigate why they fail. If you’re unable to diagnose this yourself, raise it as a bug report by following the guidelines in this document.

  3. Write tests that demonstrate your bug or feature. Ensure that they fail. Make your change.

  4. Run the entire test suite again, confirming that all tests pass including the ones you just added.

  5. Send a Pull Request to the main repository’s master branch. Pull Requests are the expected method of code collaboration on this project.

The following sub-sections go into more detail on some of the points above.

Code Review

Contributions will not be merged until they’ve been code reviewed. You should implement any code review feedback unless you strongly object to it. In the event that you object to the code review feedback, you should make your case clearly and calmly. If, after doing so, the feedback is judged to still apply, you must either apply the feedback or withdraw your contribution.

New Contributors

If you are new or relatively new to Open Source, welcome! batou aims to be a gentle introduction to the world of Open Source. If you’re concerned about how best to contribute, please consider mailing a maintainer (listed above) and asking for help.

Please also check the “Get Early Feedback” section.

Documentation Contributions

Documentation improvements are always welcome! The documentation files live in the doc/ directory of the codebase. They’re written in reStructuredText, and use Sphinx to generate the full suite of documentation.

When contributing documentation, please attempt to follow the style of the documentation files. This means a soft-limit of 79 characters wide in your text files and a semi-formal prose style.

Bug Reports

Bug reports are hugely important! Before you raise one, though, please check through the bugtracker issues, both open and closed, to confirm that the bug hasn’t been reported before. Duplicate bug reports are a huge drain on the time of other contributors, and should be avoided as much as possible.

When reporting a bug, make sure to include the batou version and platform identifier, e.g.:

$ ./batou
batou/2.3b2.dev0 (cpython 3.9.5-final0, Darwin 20.5.0 x86_64)

Also, include console output, relevant component code and maybe environment configuration if reporting errors.

Feature Requests

batou is under development. We have a strong idea about our architecture, though.

If you believe there is a feature missing, feel free to raise a feature request, but please demonstrate the issue you want to solve instead of only suggesting a certain function or feature. We want batou’s architecture to remain as small and clean as possible and thus we’re heavily interested in understanding the problem you are trying to solve.

Code of Conduct

Our Pledge

In the interest of fostering an open and welcoming environment, we as contributors and maintainers pledge to making participation in our project and our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, level of experience, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation.

Our Standards

Examples of behavior that contributes to creating a positive environment include:

  • Using welcoming and inclusive language

  • Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences

  • Gracefully accepting constructive criticism

  • Focusing on what is best for the community

  • Showing empathy towards other community members

Examples of unacceptable behavior by participants include:

  • The use of sexualized language or imagery and unwelcome sexual attention or advances

  • Trolling, insulting/derogatory comments, and personal or political attacks

  • Public or private harassment

  • Publishing others’ private information, such as a physical or electronic address, without explicit permission

  • Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a professional setting

Our Responsibilities

Project maintainers are responsible for clarifying the standards of acceptable behavior and are expected to take appropriate and fair corrective action in response to any instances of unacceptable behavior.

Project maintainers have the right and responsibility to remove, edit, or reject comments, commits, code, wiki edits, issues, and other contributions that are not aligned to this Code of Conduct, or to ban temporarily or permanently any contributor for other behaviors that they deem inappropriate, threatening, offensive, or harmful.


This Code of Conduct applies both within project spaces and in public spaces when an individual is representing the project or its community. Examples of representing a project or community include using an official project e-mail address, posting via an official social media account, or acting as an appointed representative at an online or offline event. Representation of a project may be further defined and clarified by project maintainers.


Instances of abusive, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behavior may be reported by contacting the project team at All complaints will be reviewed and investigated and will result in a response that is deemed necessary and appropriate to the circumstances. The project team is obligated to maintain confidentiality with regard to the reporter of an incident. Further details of specific enforcement policies may be posted separately.

Project maintainers who do not follow or enforce the Code of Conduct in good faith may face temporary or permanent repercussions as determined by other members of the project’s leadership.


This Code of Conduct is adapted from the Contributor Covenant, version 1.4, available at