Committer How to

How to become a committer

  • Send good patches to ruby-core list. Send patches, send patches and send patches. Someday the core team will say "OK, commit it by yourself" and you will be granted commit right.
  • Port Ruby to a non-POSIX platform. The core team will grant you to the permission so that you can maintain Ruby for that platform.
  • Write a great library. If the core team wanted to add the library to Ruby's standard library, you will be granted the right so that you can maintain it.
    • This way is very hard because RubyGems made it easy for users to installing a new library.
  • Citing from Linus Torvalds - Part II : Open Voices: The Linux Foundation Podcast:
    • Jim Zemlin: Any final advice for an organization or an individual that wants to get involved in working on the Linux front?
    • Linus Torvalds: I get the question of “Where should I start?” fairly often and my advice is just don’t even ask that question. It’s more like if you’re not interested enough in one particular area that you already know what you want to try to do, don’t do it. Just let it go and then when you hit something where you say, “I could do this better” and you actually feel motivated enough that you go from saying that to doing that, you will have answered that question yourself.

What to do for registering you as a committer

Get the approval of matz about getting a commit right.

After the approval, Send a mail with the following information to <cvs-admin AT>. [[ruby-dev:23675]], [[ruby-dev:24652]]

  • Your PGP public key.
  • Account name you want to use. This is for
    • Subversion
  • Your SSH2 public key.
  • Where to forward your mail from

You must sign that mail with PGP. [[ruby-dev:25599]]

What is necessary

  • Development environment for your platform
  • Another ruby - 1.9 series of ruby needs a ruby binary to bootstrap itself. (BASERUBY)
    • BASERUBY can be Ruby 1.8
  • subversion
  • SSH client
  • GnuPG
  • MUA
  • IRC client
  • autoconf (2.60 or later)
  • bison
  • (gperf)
  • (git)

How to use GPG

How to generate your PGP keys

How to sign a mail with PGP

How to generate your SSH keys

You might already have your keys when you have OpenSSH. See (~/.ssh/id_rsa or ~/.ssh/id_dsa. You can use them if you have.

Otherwise generate one with ssh-keygen(1).

$ ssh-keygen -b 2048 -f ruby_key
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:
Your identification has been saved in ruby_key.
Your public key has been saved in
The key fingerprint is:

Then you will have your private key ruby_key and public key Keep your private key secret. Pass the public key to the cvs-admin.


IRC clients

  • LimeChat - for win, mac
  • XChat (X), XChat-gnome (Gnome)
  • riece (Emacs)

IRC proxy bot

What to do after you become a committer

  • Always build Ruby outside of $(srcdir)
    • e.g. Suppose that there are source codes in /path/to/somewhere/src and building at /path/to/somewhere/obj. Then, at obj, do ../src/configure
  • Always build Ruby inside of $(srcdir) too, using ./configure.
  • Subscribe to ruby-core and ruby-cvs.
    • subscribe to ruby-dev if you read Japanese.
  • Sign up to the redmine.
    • Sign up with your mail address that you use for sending to ruby-core.
    • Tell the mail address to another committer and ask him/her to add you as a member of ruby-core group. (HowToManage).
  • Keep contact to #ruby-core@freenode.
    • #ruby-ja@ircnet or #ruby-ja@freenode too if you read Japanese.
  • Sign up to Coverity.
    • Ask how to sign up to another committer at an IRC channel.
  • Get your GPG key signed.
    • Let other committer sign your key.
    • Print your GPG fingerprints on your business card.
  • If you have github account, add your-svn-account@b2dd03c8-39d4-4d8f-98ff-823fe69b080e to your email addresses. Then you will see your icon in and so on.
  • Add your entry to and send a pull request.

What to do when you commit


  • Never add a new feature or change a spec without discussion on the mailing list nor maintainer's permission.
  • Especially on interpreter, VM, GC or such core of core, get matz's approval.
  • Feel free to commit trivial changes, e.g. typo fix.
  • Gradually learn what needs discussion and what you can commit without discussion. You will do a mistake and the maintainer will complain against it, but don't worry too much.
  • Never commit without compiling ruby. Compiling miniruby is not sufficient.
    1. Do make test too. (better than just building)
    2. Do make test-all too. (better than just test)
    3. Do make test-rubyspec too. (better than just test-all)

Contact to a maintainer

  • Some libraries are maintained on their own repository. On those libs the ones in the ruby's repository are just copy.
    • Send a mail to the maintainer after commit.
    • Send a patch to ruby-core and the maintainer instead of committing it directly if possible.
  • minitest
  • rdoc
  • rubygems
  • rake
  • soap (1.8)
  • wsdl (1.8)


  • Configuration for subversion

    • [[ruby-dev:30043]] (English)
  • Configuration for ssh

    • Learn how to use ssh-agent. Don't repeat yourself.
    • Read ssh_config(5).
  • Branching

    • /trunk is for development.
    • Each branch for stable versions. (e.g. ruby_1_8, ruby_1_8_7)
  • Never commit two or more changesets as one commit.

  • Commit log

    • Write exactly what you have written in ChangeLog, with the addition of the original revision number in case of a backport. (Without header, no tabs) Note that to mention about related tickets are good manner. Redmine automatically insert the commit to the tickets. Example is like following:
    • filename.c (rb_xxx_yyy): short description of this commit. fixes [Bug #XXXX] [ruby-core:XXXX]. (rb_zzz_aaa): yet another part.
    • filename.h (MACRO_NAME): value changed. see [Feature #XXXX]
    • Write as fix GH-XXXX to refer tickets in Github. Do not write as [Github fixes #XXXX], it means redmine's ticket.
    • Write as [skip ci] to skip Travis CI, if the commit only changes documents and you are sure.
    • Fold by 80 columns (copy from ChangeLog without tabs)
    • You can command the Redmine in a commit message.
      • [[redmine:VersionControlSystem]]
    • `make change` will write change.log which you can fill in and copy to ChangeLog.
  • svn mail

    • [[redmine:MailingList]]
  • Using git-svn? See here


GNU Coding Standards : Change Logs

Thu Jan 1 00:00:00 2004 Your Name

* filename (function): short description of this commit.
  This should include your intention of this change.
  [bug:#number] [mailinglist:number]

* filename2 (function2): additional description for this file/function.</pre>
  • Timestamps must be in JST (+09:00), in the style as above.
  • Two whitespaces between the timestamp and your name. Two whitespaces between your name and your mail address.
  • One blank line between the timestamp and the description.
  • Indent the description with TAB. 2nd line should begin with TAB+2SP.
  • Write a entry (*) for each change.
  • Refer to redmine issue or discussion on the mailing list.
  • One blank line between entries.
  • Do as other committers do.
  • What to write and what need not: [[ruby-talk:120515]]
    • No need for an entry on fixing typo.
    • Referring a contributor/reporter.
      • Respect contributors [[ruby-dev:24936]]
    • Write one when you are not sure if you should write or not.

I have a JST timestamp function which appends my name and email in ChangeLog format for vim that may be helpful:

fu! Jstdate()
let date = system("TZ=Japan date +'%a %b %e %T %Y'")
return substitute(date, "\\n", "", "")
fu! ChangeLogStamp()
return Jstdate() . " Your Name your@email"
imap =Jstdate()
imap =ChangeLogStamp()

With this you can use C-J for JST date and C-T for full ChangeLog timestamp (when in insert mode).


Thu Jan 1 03:03:03 2004 Your Name

* filename.c (rb_xxx_yyy): short description of this commit.
  Fixes [ruby-dev:XXXX].
  (rb_zzz_aaa): yet another part.

* filename.h (MACRO_NAME): value changed.

Thu Jan 1 02:02:02 2004 Your Name

* filename.rb (XXXX#yyyy): short description of this commit.
  Patch by Foo Bar <foo-bar AT>.

Thu Jan 1 01:01:01 2004 Your Name

* filename.c (rb_aaa_bbb): short description of this commit.
  See [ruby-core:XXX].
  Reported by Baz Qux <baz-qux AT>.</pre>


Writing RDocs is preferred

Reference manual



  • You can edit any wiki page. (login required)
  • Feature request or bug report on redmine
  • Send an email to <its-admin AT> for administration request.
  • You can incorporate mails in ruby-core and ruby-dev ML by Mail to issue.


  • Open: a new ticket
  • Assigned: some people are considered qualified (this doesn't mean they are working on the ticket; you can take over it)
  • Feedback: waiting a reaction of the reporter (or someone who can solve deadlock)
  • Third Party's Issue: the ticket is completed because the issue is not Ruby's; Ruby itself is not changed
  • Rejected: the ticket is completed because the issue is invalid or some reason; Ruby itself is not changed
  • Closed: the ticket is completed; Ruby is fixed and maybe it needs to be backported

Backport field

This is advanced field.
If you want to know the detail, see HowToBackport.


  • Tools for compilation
    • autoconf (2.60 or later)
    • bison
    • (gperf)
    • (ruby) (building the 1.9 needs ruby)
  • Test cases
    • Adding test cases (bootstraptest / test)
    • Testing test cases
      • make test
      • make test-all
      • "make check" executes both test and test-all.
  • Integration with ruby/spec
    • make update-rubyspec for retrieving specs.
      • git required
    • make test-rubyspec for checking
  • diff format
    • unified diff (-u)
    • -p
  • ViewVC
  • ML : ruby-dev, ruby-list, ruby-core, ruby-talk
  • commit mail (ruby-cvs)
  • IRC channel
    • IRCnet: #ruby:*.jp (Japanese)
    • freenode: #ruby-core (English)
  • CIA Open Source Notification System
  • .document
  • NEWS
    • Add an entry when you add a feature or change a spec.

See also