Contributing with GitHub via its interface
How can I contribute to an open-source project with GitHub and its interface
Edit a file via GitHub interface
Create a pull request
Update a pull requestTime estimation: 20 minutesSupporting Materials:Published: Jun 12, 2018Last modification: Nov 3, 2023License: Tutorial Content is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The GTN Framework is licensed under MITpurl PURL: https://gxy.io/GTN:T00065rating Rating: 5.0 (0 recent ratings, 2 all time)version Revision: 25
All the training material which you find on https://training.galaxyproject.org/training-material/ is stored on a GitHub repository (https://github.com/galaxyproject/training-material), a code hosting platform for version control and collaboration. GitHub interface is quite intuitive and simplifies the contributions from anyone.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to use GitHub interface to contribute to the training material:
The GitHub repository for the training material is: https://github.com/galaxyproject/training-material.
Hands-on: Familiarization with GitHub
Go on the GitHub repository: https://github.com/galaxyproject/training-material
View the file
You should see something like:
CONTRIBUTORS.yaml file is where we collect the information (name, email, etc) about the different contributors to display them on our Hall of Fame. You will add your information there. But first you need to sign in to GitHub to be able to change this file.
Hands-on: Sign in to GitHub
Edit a file
You can now modify the
CONTRIBUTORS.yaml file to add your information there
Hands-on: Edit a file
- Open the
CONTRIBUTORS.yamlfile on GitHub
Click on hands_on icon (top right of the file)
A new page will open:
CONTRIBUTORS.yamlby adding yourself
You should use your GitHub username and add it followed by
:is important) at the correct position given the alphabetical order.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the file
Fill the Propose file change form
It can also be named Commit changes for the ones with write accesses to the repository
Fill the box “Update CONTRIBUTORS.yaml” with “Add < GitHub username > as contributor” (replace < GitHub username > by your GitHub username)
This a commit message: a description explaining why a particular change was made. Theses messages capture the history of the changes, so other contributors can understand what have been done and why
Leave “Add an optional extended description…” empty
Click on Propose file change
Without realizing it, GitHub let you create your first branch (named here
patch-1) and add a changement on this branch.
Branching is the way to work on different versions of a repository at one time. By default your repository has one branch named
mainwhich is considered to be the definitive branch. When you create a branch off the main branch, you’re making a copy, or snapshot, of
mainas it was at that point in time.
By changing a file in this branch, it will diverge from the
mainbranch. It will contain data that is only on this new branch.
Open a Pull Request
Then the addition of your information in the
CONTRIBUTORS.yaml file is currently only on your branch
patch-1. Not on the
main branch and so not only on the Hall of Fame. You can’t add or push directly to the
main branch, so you need to create what we call a pull request.
The GitHub interface guides you through this process: after clicking on Propose file change, a new page opens:
Hands-on: Edit a file
- Open and read the CONTRIBUTING.md file
- Come back to the pull request
Fill in the pull request description
- Add a title for the Pull Request
Add a message explaining the changes you made
This message is a good way to introduce yourself and to explain the message you made. Be kind and descriptive. It helps the reviewers to understand why you did your changes and if it should be intergrated into the
mainbranch (and then website).
GitHub uses Markdown, a simple Markup language, to render the Pull request messages. You can then add bold test, lists, images, etc.
Scroll down and check the changes you made
- In green with
+: what you added
- In red with
-: what you deleted
Click on Create pull request or switch to Create draft pull request from the dropdown menu
Creating a pull request as a draft serves as an indication that you are still working on the content. Reviewers may comment on the current state and give general feedback, but they will know that they are not looking at the final version of your contribution.
In the Galaxy Training Material repository we have also disabled the computationally most expensive automated tests on draft pull requests, and we encourage you to use the draft stage as a small contribution to sustainable computing.
You have created your first pull request!
Your pull request will be reviewed. There are two possible outcomes:
- Your pull request is accepted. Congratulations! Your changes will be merged into the main branch of the original repository. The website will be re-built and you will be in the Hall of Fame
- Your pull request needs modifications: the reviewers will ask for some changes, possibly because the automatic tests are failing.
Update a Pull Request
One of the reviewers of your pull request asked you to add your name after your GitHub username in the
Hands-on: Update a Pull Request
- Go to the list of pull request tab on GitHub
Click on your pull request
You can see here the comments the reviewers left you
Click on Files changed tab and see the changes you made
- Click on hands_on icon
Add your name below your GitHub username
It should look like:
bebatut: name: Bérénice Batut
- Navigate to the bottom of the file
- Fill the Commit changes form, similarly to the Propose file change form before
Make sure the Commit directly to the
patch-1branch is selected
Click on Commit changes
The pull request should be automatically updated
- Check that the new changes are added to the pull request on GitHub
Close the Pull Request
Great! You now know how to make pull request on GitHub, and how to make changes after a review. Reviewers can now approve and merge your pull request.
Because this was just a practice pull request, let’s close it again.
Hands-on: Close the Pull Request
Once you have run through all these steps, please close the pull request again.
- Go to the list of pull request tab on GitHub
- Click on your pull request
- Scroll to the bottom of the page
- Click on “Close pull request” button
Whenever you add your first real contribution, you can add yourself to the
CONTRIBUTORS.yamlfile in that PR.
With this tutorial, you learn how to use GitHub to change a file, create a pull request and then contribute to the training material. What you have learned here can be applied to any file.
Via the GitHub interface, you can also go further: create file, branch directly, etc. To learn that, we recommend you to read the GitHub guide