Last updated: January 19th 2020 ( Improve this guide )

Contributing to Embark

We would love for you to contribute to Embark and help make it even better than it is
today! As a contributor, here are the guidelines we would like you to follow:

Code of Conduct

Help us keep Embark open and inclusive. Please read and follow our Code of Conduct.

Got a Question or Problem?

Do not open issues for general support questions as we want to keep GitHub issues for bug reports and feature requests. You’ve got much better chances of getting your question answered on Stack Exchange where the questions should be tagged with tag embark.

Stack Exchange is a much better place to ask questions since:

  • there are thousands of people willing to help
  • questions and answers stay available for public viewing so your question / answer might help someone else
  • Stack Exchange’s voting system assures that the best answers are prominently visible.

To save your and our time, we will systematically close all issues that are requests for general support and redirect people to Stack Exchange.

If you would like to chat about the question in real-time, you can reach out via our gitter channel.

Found a Bug?

If you find a bug in the source code, you can help us by
submitting an issue to our GitHub Repository. Even better, you can
submit a Pull Request with a fix.

Missing a Feature?

You can request a new feature by submitting an issue to our GitHub
Repository. If you would like to implement a new feature, please submit an issue with
a proposal for your work first, to be sure that we can use it.
Please consider what kind of change it is:

  • For a Major Feature, first open an issue and outline your proposal so that it can be
    discussed. This will also allow us to better coordinate our efforts, prevent duplication of work,
    and help you to craft the change so that it is successfully accepted into the project.
  • Small Features can be crafted and directly submitted as a Pull Request.

Submission Guidelines

Submitting an Issue

Before you submit an issue, please search the issue tracker, maybe an issue for your problem already exists and the discussion might inform you of workarounds readily available.

We want to fix all the issues as soon as possible, but before fixing a bug we need to reproduce and confirm it. In order to reproduce bugs, we will systematically ask you to provide steps to reproduce your issue.

You can file new issues by filling out our new issue form.

Submitting a Pull Request (PR)

Before you submit your Pull Request (PR) consider the following guidelines:

  1. Search GitHub for an open or closed PR
    that relates to your submission. You don’t want to duplicate effort.

  2. Fork the embarklabs/embark repo.

  3. Make your changes in a new git branch:

    git checkout -b my-fix-branch master
  4. Create your patch, including appropriate test cases.

  5. Run the QA suite, by running $ npm run qa and ensure that all steps succeed.

  6. Commit your changes using a descriptive commit message that follows our
    commit message conventions. Adherence to these conventions
    is necessary because release notes are automatically generated from these messages.

    git commit -a

    Note: the optional commit -a command line option will automatically “add” and “rm” edited files.

  7. Push your branch to GitHub:

    git push origin my-fix-branch
  8. In GitHub, send a pull request to embark:master.

  • If we suggest changes then:

    • Make the required updates.

    • Re-run the test suites to ensure tests are still passing.

    • Rebase your branch and force push to your GitHub repository (this will update your Pull Request):

      git rebase master -i
      git push -f

That’s it! Thank you for your contribution!

After your pull request is merged

After your pull request is merged, you can safely delete your branch and pull the changes
from the main (upstream) repository:

  • Delete the remote branch on GitHub either through the GitHub web UI or your local shell as follows:

    git push origin --delete my-fix-branch
  • Check out the master branch:

    git checkout master -f
  • Delete the local branch:

    git branch -D my-fix-branch
  • Update your master with the latest upstream version:

    git pull --ff upstream master

Coding Rules

To ensure consistency throughout the source code, keep these rules in mind as you are working:

  • All public API methods must be documented.

Commit Message Guidelines

We have very precise rules over how our git commit messages can be formatted. This leads to more
readable messages
that are easy to follow when looking through the project history. But also,
we use the git commit messages to generate the Embark change log.

Commit Message Format

Each commit message consists of a header, a body and a footer. The header has a special
format that includes a type, a scope and a subject:

type(@embark|@cockpit/<SCOPE>): <subject>

The header is mandatory and the scope of the header is optional.

Any line of the commit message cannot be longer 100 characters! This allows the message to be easier
to read on GitHub as well as in various git tools.

The footer should contain a closing reference to an issue if any.


docs(changelog): update changelog to beta.5
fix(release): need to depend on latest rxjs and zone.js

The version in our package.json gets copied to the one we publish, and users need the latest of these.


If the commit reverts a previous commit, it should begin with revert:, followed by the header of the reverted commit. In the body it should say: This reverts commit <hash>., where the hash is the SHA of the commit being reverted.


Must be one of the following:

  • build: Changes that affect the build system or external dependencies (example scopes: gulp, broccoli, npm)
  • ci: Changes to our CI configuration files and scripts (example scopes: Travis, Circle, BrowserStack, SauceLabs)
  • docs: Documentation only changes
  • feat: A new feature
  • fix: A bug fix
  • perf: A code change that improves performance
  • refactor: A code change that neither fixes a bug nor adds a feature
  • style: Changes that do not affect the meaning of the code (white-space, formatting, missing semi-colons, etc)
  • test: Adding missing tests or correcting existing tests


The scope should be the name of the npm package affected (as perceived by the person reading the changelog generated from commit messages.

The following is the list of supported scopes:

  • @embark/cli - Embark command line interface
  • @embark/core - Embark core
  • @embark/<module> - Embark core module (any folder name under packages/embark/src/lib/modules), ie @embark/console or @embark/debugger
  • @embark/<package> - Embark package in the mono repo (any folder name under packages), ie @embark/embarkjs or @embark/embark-compiler
  • @embark/<section> - Cockpit site section, ie @cockpit/explorer

There are currently a few exceptions to the “use package name” rule:

  • packaging: used for changes that change the npm package layout in all of our packages, e.g. public path changes, package.json changes done to all packages, d.ts file/format changes, changes to bundles, etc.
  • changelog: used for updating the release notes in
  • none/empty string: useful for style, test and refactor changes that are done across all packages (e.g. style: add missing semicolons)


The subject contains a succinct description of the change:

  • use the imperative, present tense: “change” not “changed” nor “changes”
  • don’t capitalize the first letter
  • no dot (.) at the end


Just as in the subject, use the imperative, present tense: “change” not “changed” nor “changes”.
The body should include the motivation for the change and contrast this with previous behavior.

The footer should contain any information about Breaking Changes and is also the place to
reference GitHub issues that this commit Closes.

Breaking Changes should start with the word BREAKING CHANGE: with a space or two newlines. The rest of the commit message is then used for this.