Contributing to VinylDNS

The following are a set of guidelines for contributing to VinylDNS and its associated repositories.

Table of Contents

Code of Conduct

This project and everyone participating in it are governed by the VinylDNS Code Of Conduct. By participating, you agree to this Code.


Work on VinylDNS is tracked by GitHub Issues. To contribute to VinylDNS, you can join the discussion on an issue, submit a Pull Request to resolve the issue, or make an issue of your own. VinylDNS issues are generally labeled as bug reports, feature requests, or maintenance requests.

Working on an Issue

If you would like to contribute to VinylDNS, you can look through good first issue and help wanted issues. We keep a list of these issues around to encourage participation in building the platform. In the issue list, you can chose “ Labels” and choose a specific label to narrow down the issues to review.

  • Beginner issues: only require a few lines of code to complete, rather isolated to one or two files. A good way to get through changing and testing your code, and meet everyone!
  • Help wanted issues: these are more involved than beginner issues, are items that tend to come near the top of our backlog but not necessarily in the current development stream.

Besides those issues, you can sort the issue list by number of comments to find one that may be of interest. You do not have to limit yourself to only good first issue or help wanted issues.

When resolving an issue, you generally will do so by making a Pull Request, and adding a link to the issue.

Before choosing an issue, see if anyone is assigned or has indicated they are working on it (either in comment or via Pull Request). If that is the case, then instead of making a Pull Request of your own, you can help out by reviewing their Pull Request.

Submitting an Issue

When submitting an issue you will notice there are three issue templates to choose from. Before making any issue, please go search the issue list (open and closed issues) and check to see if a similar issue has been made. If so, we ask that you do not duplicate an issue, but feel free to comment on the existing issue with additional details.

  • Bug report: If you find a bug in the project you can report it with this template and the VinylDNS team will take a look at it. Please be as detailed as possible as it will help us recreate the bug and figure out what exactly is going on. If you are unsure whether what you found is a bug, we encourage you to first pop in our discussion board, and we can help determine if what you’re seeing is unexpected behavior, and if it is we will direct to make the bug report.
  • Feature request: Use this template if you have something you wish to be added to the project. Please be detailed when describing why you are requesting the feature, what you want it to do, and alternative solutions you have considered.

Discussion Process

Some issues may require discussion with the community before proceeding to implementation. This can happen if the issue is a larger change, for example a big refactoring or new feature. The VinylDNS maintainers may label an issue for ** Discussion** in order to solicit more detail before proceeding. If the issue is straightforward and/or well documented, it can be implemented immediately by the submitter. If the submitter is unable to make the changes required to address the issue, the VinylDNS maintainers will prioritize the work in our backlog.

Pull Requests

Contributions to VinylDNS are generally made via Github Pull Requests. Most Pull Requests are related to an issue, and will have a link to the issue in the Pull Request.

General Flow

We follow the standard GitHub Flow for taking code contributions. The following is the process typically followed:

  1. Create a fork of the repository that you want to contribute code to
  2. Clone your forked repository to your local machine
  3. In your local machine, add a remote to the “main” repository, we call this “upstream” by running git remote add upstream Note: you can also use ssh instead of https
  4. Create a local branch for your work git checkout -b your-user-name/user-branch-name. Add whatever your GitHub user name is before whatever you want your branch to be.
  5. Begin working on your local branch
  6. Be sure to add necessary unit, integration, and functional tests, see the Testing section of the Developer Guide.
  7. Make sure you run all builds before posting a Pull Request! It’s faster to run everything locally rather than waiting for the build server to complete its job. See for information on local development.
  8. When you are ready to contribute your code, run git push origin your-user-name/user-branch-name to push your changes to your own fork
  9. Go to the VinylDNS main repository (or whatever repo you are contributing to) and you will see your change waiting and a link to “Create a Pull Request”. Click the link to create a Pull Request.
  10. Be as detailed as possible in the description of your Pull Request. Describe what you changed, why you changed it, and give a detailed list of changes and impacted files. If your Pull Request is related to an existing issue, be sure to link the issue in the Pull Request itself, in addition to the Pull Request description.
  11. You will receive comments on your Pull Request. Use the Pull Request as a dialog on your changes.

Pull Request Requirements

Commit Messages

  • Limit the first line to 72 characters or fewer.
  • Use the present tense (“Add validation” not “Added validation”).
  • Use the imperative mood (“Move database call” not “Moves database call”).
  • Reference issues and other pull requests liberally after the first line. Use GitHub Auto Linking to link your Pull Request to other issues.
  • Use markdown syntax as much as you want


When making changes to the VinylDNS codebase, be sure to add necessary unit, integration, and functional tests. For specifics on our tests, see the Testing section of the Developer Guide.

Documentation Edits

Documentation for the VinylDNS project lives in files such as this one in the root of the project directory, as well as in modules/docs/src/main/mdoc for the docs you see on Many changes, such as those that impact an API endpoint, config, portal usage, etc, will also need corresponding documentation edited to prevent it from going stale. The VinylDNS gh-pages branch README has information on how to run and edit the documentation page.

Style Guides

  • For Scala code we use Scalastyle. The configs are scalastyle-config.xml and scalastyle-test-config.xml for source code and test code respectively
    • We have it set to fail builds if the styling rules are not followed. For example, one of our rules is that all lines must be <= 120 characters, and a build will fail if that is violated.
  • For our python code that we use for functional testing, we generally try to follow PEP 8

License Header Checks

VinylDNS is configured with sbt-header. All existing scala files have the appropriate header. To add or check for headers, follow these steps:


You can check for headers in the API in sbt with:

> ;project api;headerCheck;test:headerCheck;it:headerCheck

If you add a new file, you can add the appropriate header in sbt with:

> ;project api;headerCreate;test:headerCreate;it:headerCreate

You can check for headers in the Portal in sbt with:

> ;project portal;headerCheck;test:headerCheck;checkJsHeaders

If you add a new file, you can add the appropriate header in sbt with:

> ;project portal;headerCreate;test:headerCreate;createJsHeaders

Contributor License Agreement

Before Comcast merges your code into the project you must sign the Comcast Contributor License Agreement (CLA).

If you haven’t previously signed a Comcast CLA, you’ll automatically be asked to when you open a pull request. Alternatively, we can send you a PDF that you can sign and scan back to us. Please create a new GitHub issue to request a PDF version of the CLA.

Modifying your Pull Requests

Often times, you will need to make revisions to your Pull Requests that you submit. This is part of the standard process of code review. There are different ways that you can make revisions, but the following process is pretty standard.

  1. Sync with upstream first. git checkout master && git fetch upstream && git rebase upstream master && git push origin master
  2. Checkout your branch on your local git checkout your-user-name/user-branch-name
  3. Sync your branch with latest git rebase master. Note: If you have merge conflicts, you will have to resolve them
  4. Revise your Pull Request, making changes recommended in the comments / code review
  5. Stage and commit these changes on top of your existing commits
  6. When all tests pass, git push origin your-user-name/user-branch-name to revise your commit. Note: If you rebased or altered the commit history, you will have to force push with a -f flag. GitHub automatically recognizes the update and will re-run verification on your Pull Request!

Pull Request Approval

A pull request must satisfy our pull request requirements

Afterwards, if a Pull Request is approved, a maintainer of the project will merge it. If you are a maintainer, you can merge your Pull Request once you have the approval of at least 2 other maintainers.

Note: The first time you make a Pull Request, add yourself to the authors list here as part of the Pull Request