Version 61 (modified by robe, 10 years ago) (diff)


RFC-5: PostGIS Committer Guidelines

Version: 1.00000012
Author: Regina Obe <lr at pcorp dot us>
Last Edited: 2011/09/07
Status: Under Review

Changes to this file

This RFC should be only changed by PostGIS PSC members. All PSC members must agree to the terms of the changes before the change is considered final except in the case of wording changes and formatting that do not alter the terms of the guidelines.


To formalize source tree access, and specify some guidelines for source committers and patch submitters.

Election to Commit Access

Permission for commit source tree access shall be provided to new developers only if accepted by the PostGIS Project Steering Committee. A proposal should be written to the PSC for new committers and voted on normally. It is not necessary to write an RFC document for these votes, a proposal to postgis-dev is sufficient.

Removal of commit access should be handled by the same process.

The new committer should have demonstrated commitment to PostGIS and knowledge of the PostGIS source code and processes to the committee's satisfaction, usually by reporting bugs, submitting patches, and/or actively participating in the PostGIS mailing list(s).

The new committer should also be prepared to support any new feature or changes that he/she commits to the PostGIS source tree in future releases, or to find someone to which to delegate responsibility for them if he/she stops being available to support the portions of code that he/she is responsible for.

All committers should also be a member of the postgis-dev mailing list so they can stay informed on policies, technical developments and release preparation.

New committers are responsible for having read, and understood this document.

Code and Documentation Conventions

  • C code should follow our designated Style Guidelines to the best of your abilities
  • All source code in SVN should be in Unix text format as opposed to DOS text mode.
  • Each new/changed function should be documented in the official docs following our Documentation Guidelines

SVN Administrator

One member of the Project Steering Committee will be designated the SVN Administrator. That person will be responsible for giving SVN commit access to folks, updating the CREDITS and authors.svn file, and other SVN related management. That person will need login access on the SVN server of course.

Initially Paul Ramsey will be the SVN Administrator.

SVN Commit and Bug, Feature Tracking Practices

The following are considered good source commit and tracking practices for the PostGIS project.

  1. Use meaningful descriptions for commit log entries.
  2. Add a bug reference like "#1232" at the beginning or end of SVN commit log entries when committing changes related to a ticket in Trac. The '#' character enables Trac to create a hyperlink from the changeset to the mentioned ticket.
  3. When new enhancements are added or breaking changes are made and completed the related ticket should have in keywords section of ticket the word history. This will better ensure it is not forgotten when preparing the news release and official doc release notes.
  4. After committing changes related to a ticket in Trac, write the tree and revision in which it was fixed in the ticket description. Such as "Fixed in trunk r12345 and in branches/1.7 r12346". The 'r' character enables Trac to create a hyperlink from the ticket to the changeset.
  5. Changes should not be committed in stable branches without a corresponding bug id. Any change worth pushing into the stable version is worth a bug entry.
  6. Never commit new features to a stable branch without permission of the PSC or release manager. Normally only fixes should go into stable branches.
  7. New features go in the main development trunk.
  8. Only bug fixes should be committed to the code during pre-release code freeze, without permission from the PSC or release manager.
  9. Significant changes to the main development version should be discussed on the postgis-dev list before you make them, and larger changes will require an RFC approved by the PSC.
  10. Do not create new branches (except for spike branches) without the approval of the PSC. Release managers are assumed to have permission to create a branch.
  11. spike branch (those in the spike/username area are to be used for experimentation or for major code refactoring that will destabilize the trunk. After such experimentation is deemed stable, this can then be merged into the trunk after approval from PSC members.
  12. When committing new features or significant changes to existing source code, the committer should take reasonable measures to insure that the source code continues to build and work on the most commonly supported platforms (currently Linux and Windows), either by testing on those platforms directly, running Buildbot tests, or by getting help from other developers working on those platforms. If new files or library dependencies are added, then the, and related documentations should be kept up to date.
  13. In the event of broken build (build bot fail notification), the person who broke the build must fix the break before working on anything else

Committer Tracking

A list of all project committers will be kept in the main postgis directory in a file called (CREDITS) listing for each SVN committer. This will be the responsibility of the PSC to ensure:

  • Userid: the id that will appear in the SVN logs for this person.
  • Full name: the users actual name.
  • Email address: A current email address at which the committer can be reached. It may be altered in normal ways to make it harder to auto-harvest.
  • A brief indication of areas of responsibility.
  • The name of key developers and their area of responsibility should also be prominently shown in latest release of manual in the doc/introduction.xml file. This will be the responsibility of the documentation lead to ensure.

Relationship with other Projects

Some parts of the PostGIS code base are dependent on other upsteam projects or other projects rely heavily on functionality in PostGIS. Changes in those areas should go first into those upstream projects and then applied to PostGIS. In event of major changes to PostGIS, said projects should be regression tested (before a PostGIS release) to ensure the latest version still works with the latest RTM version of PostGIS.

Currently the list of those areas is :

GIS FOSS suites that need testing before PostGIS major release:

Committers are the front line gatekeepers to keep the code base clear of improperly contributed code. It is important to the PostGIS users, developers and the OSGeo foundation to avoid contributing any code to the project without it being clearly licensed under the project license.

Generally speaking the key issues are that those providing code to be included in the repository understand that the code will be released under the original GPL license, and that the person providing the code has the right to contribute the code. For the committer themselves understanding about the license is hopefully clear. For other contributors, the committer should verify the understanding unless the committer is very comfortable that the contributor understands the license (for instance frequent contributors).

If the contribution was developed on behalf of an employer (on work time, as part of a work project, etc) then it is important that an appropriate representative of the employer understand that the code will be contributed under the GPL license. The arrangement should be cleared with an authorized supervisor/manager, etc.

The code should be developed by the contributor, or the code should be from a source which can be rightfully contributed such as from the public domain, or from an open source project under a compatible license.

All unusual situations need to be discussed and/or documented.

Committers should adhere to the following guidelines, and may be personally legally liable for improperly contributing code to the source repository:

  • Make sure the contributor (and possibly employer) is aware of the contribution terms.
  • Code coming from a source other than the contributor (such as adapted from another project) should be clearly marked as to the original source, copyright holders, license terms and so forth. This information can be in the file headers, but should also be added to the project licensing file if not exactly matching normal project licensing.
  • Existing copyright headers and license text should never be stripped from a file. If a copyright holder wishes to give up copyright they must do so in writing to the foundation before copyright messages are removed. If license terms are changed it has to be by agreement (written in email is ok) of the copyright holders.
  • Code with licenses requiring credit, or disclosure to users should be added to /postgis/trunk/LICENSE.TXT.
  • When substantial contributions are added to a file (such as substantial patches) the author/contributor should be added to the list of copyright holders for the file.
  • If there is uncertainty about whether a change is proper to contribute to the code base, please seek more information from the project steering committee, or the foundation legal counsel.
  • New contributors and company contributors should be added to the credits in doc/introduction.xml of the latest release of the PostGIS manual.
  • It is the responsibility of the document lead to insure when new enhancements are added or breaking changes are made, these are noted in the trunk/NEWS or relevant branch/NEWS as soon as conveniently possible. The note should include the trac # (unless a major feature with many tickets) and contributors to the feature/change.


The following existing committers will be considered authorized PostGIS committers as long as they each review the committer guidelines, and agree to adhere to them. The SVN administrator will be responsible for checking with each person. Current committers are listed in alphabetical order with (P) to denote current Project Steering Committee members

  • Jorge Arévalo
  • Nicklas Avén
  • Mark Cave-Ayland (P)
  • Olivier Courtin
  • Chris Hodgson (P)
  • Mark Leslie
  • Mateusz Loskot
  • Kevin Neufeld
  • Regina Obe (P) Documentation Lead
  • Bborie Park
  • Pierre Racine
  • Paul Ramsey (P) SVN Administrator
  • Sandro Santilli (P)
  • David Zwarg