How to participate

If you found some bug in the codebase or documentation, or you want some improvement in ‘Polemarch’ project, you can easily inform us about it. Here is how to proceed:

  1. Create (or find if it already exists) an issue for problem you want to solve. Maybe somebody is already working on it or maybe during discussion becomes clear that it is not a problem at all.

  2. To investigate problem, you probably must be able to run cloned project. To do so install required dependencies. See “Install from PyPI” for more detailed explanation, which dependencies and why they are needed. System packages (example for Ubuntu 20.04):

    sudo apt-get install python3-virtualenv python3.8 python3.8-dev gcc libffi-dev libkrb5-dev libffi7 libssl-dev libyaml-dev libsasl2-dev libldap2-dev default-libmysqlclient-dev sshpass git tox


    Your patch must work at Python 3.8 because older Python may not work correctly with Polemarch.

  3. Make fork of our repository and clone it to your local development machine.

    git clone
  4. Create a branch for your work named with number of issue:

    cd polemarch
    git checkout -b issue/1
  5. Create and activate virtualenv:

    tox -e contrib
    source env/bin/activate
  6. Initialize empty database with all required stuff (tables and so on) for Polemarch:

    python -m polemarch migrate
  7. For your comfort you can edit polemarch/main/settings.ini, but make sure that changes in that file won’t go to your commit. Or you can copy polemarch/main/settings.ini to /etc/polemarch/settings.ini (default settings location for Polemarch).

    • First of all you can enable debug in settings.ini. Set debug = true in section [main]. Otherwise there will be no available static files and debug features when you start development web-server.

    • You may also want to change log_level in section [main] for easy debugging.

    • If you want to see console output of Polemarch webserver during it work, you need to add following option daemon = false in section [uwsgi].

  8. Run Polemarch GUI with web-server and investigate with your debugger how it works to find out what need to be changed:

    # run web-server
    python -m polemarch webserver

    This command also starts worker, if you have added worker options in /etc/polemarch/settings.ini. More about worker section you can find in “Install from PyPI”.

  9. Write tests for your changes (we prefer TDD approach). Execute those tests with all other Polemarch’s tests by:


    This command do PEP8 check of codebase and static analyzing with pylint and flake and run main python tests. Make sure that your code meets those checks.


    Some tests linked to git may fail because local file:// clones are considered unsafe by default. For more information please see this topic. If you are encountered this problem, one of the solutions might be:

    git config --global protocol.file.allow always

    Keep in mind that this command allows file clone globally at git level for all your projects.

  10. Reflect your changes in documentation (if needed). Build documentation, read what you have changed and make sure that all is right. To build documentation use:

    tox -e builddoc
  11. Make commit. We prefer commit messages with briefly explanations of your changes. Unacceptable: “issue #1” or “fix”. Acceptable: “fix end slashes for GET in docs”.

  12. Create pull request and refer it in issue.


You must agree to our contributor agreement to prevent any license problems to project in future with your contribution.

We prefer to format requests as follows:

  • Title should start with a description of your changes and follow these rules:

    • Feature - if you added new functionality for the user;

    • Chore - if you refactored the code or optimized performance, but nothing changed for the user;

    • Fix - if you fixed some bug and didn’t add new independent functionality.

    • Docs - if you add some documents and didn’t make any changes to the code.

  • Description should contain structured information about the work done:

    • BREAKING CHANGES - list of changes that break backward compatibility;

    • Changelog - list of common changes;

    • Closes/WIP - link to the issue you were working on.

    • Add screenshots for easy review of your changes.

That’s it. Thank you for your contribution.