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There are many ways to contribute to the ongoing development of the pointblank package. Some contributions can be rather easy to do (e.g., fixing typos, improving documentation, filing issues for feature requests or problems, etc.) whereas other contributions can require more time and patience (like answering questions and submitting pull requests with code changes). Just know that that help provided in any capacity is very much appreciated. :)

Filing Issues

If you believe you found a bug, create a minimal reprex for your posting to the pointblank issue tracker. Try not to include anything unnecessary, just the minimal amount of code that constitutes the reproducible bug. We will try to verify the bug by running the code in the reprex provided. The quality of the reprex will reduce the amount of back-and-forth communication in trying to understand how to execute the code on our systems.

Answering questions

A great way to help is by simply answering questions. It’s amazing how a little conversation could lead to better insights on a problem. Don’t quite know the answer? That’s okay too. We’re all in this together.

Where might you answer user questions? Some of the forums for Q&A on pointblank include the RStudio community, on Twitter (a good search term is pointblank #rstats), and on Stack Overflow. Good etiquette is key during these interactions: be a good person to all who ask questions.

Making Pull Requests

Should you consider making a pull request (PR), please file an issue first and explain the problem in some detail. If the PR is an enhancement, detail how the change would make things better for package users. Bugfix PRs also requre some explanation about the bug and how the proposed fix will remove that bug. A great way to illustrate the bug is to include a reprex. While all this upfront work prior to preparing a PR can be time-consuming it opens a line of communication with the package authors and the community, perhaps leading to better enhancement or more effective fixes!

Once there is consensus that a PR based on the issue would be helpful, adhering to the following process will make things proceed more quickly:

  • Create a separate Git branch for each PR.
  • Look at the GitHub Actions build status badges before and after making changes; these badges are available in the package README.
  • The pointblank package follows the tidyverse style guide so please adopt those style guidelines in your submitted code as best as possible.
  • The internal documentation uses roxygen2; if your contribution requires new or revised documentation ensure that the roxygen comments are added/modified (do not modify any .Rd files in the man folder).
  • We use testthat for code coverage; those contributions with test cases included are helpful easier to accept.
  • Add a bullet to the top of NEWS.md below the current development version header describing any user-facing changes made; include your GitHub username, and links to relevant issue(s)/PR(s).