This guide describes how we, the team of developers that makes changes to Piwik Core, operate and how others can participate in our work.
Read this guide if
This guide makes no assumptions. You do not need to know how to code or know how Piwik works in order to understand this guide.
We use trac to keep track of all bugs, feature requests and other tasks concerning Piwik, the website and all documentation.
We make sure all tickets contain enough information, including:
We are rather obsessed with keeping trac an organized place. Tickets are generally prioritized tickets by severity. Tickets are either of the type 'Bug', 'New feature' or 'Task'. All Bugs are moved to the current roadmap because of our no-bug policy. Developers (Piwik team members or external contributors) decide for themselves which features they would like to work on.
Trac, Piwik's official issue tracker, has been used since the beginning of the project. All opened tickets are grouped in Roadmaps. Click the menu link 'Roadmap' in trac. The Current roadmap is listed at the very top and contains all the most important tickets to fix in accordance with our mission and vision for the Piwik analytics platform.
All other important and exciting tickets are moved to The Great Piwik 2.x Backlog. This roadmap is our active Tickets Backlog. From time to time, we move one ticket from the Great Piwik 2.x Backlog to the current roadmap.
Other ideas and suggestions which we are not planning to implement in the future are moved to the Future Releases roadmap.
We generally publish a new Piwik release about once a month. A release is ready when the following release conditions are met. Our continuous integration tests must be green. Generally we will release several beta releases to give early access and ensuring continuous testing of Piwik. All critical tickets to the corresponding roadmap must be closed. All officially supported plugins (built by Piwik) available on the Marketplace must be compatible.
To publish a new Piwik version, the release manager will tag the new version in git (see all release tags). A shell script is then run to generate the archives (zip and tar.gz) which are copied to the build server builds.piwik.org. The file builds.piwik.org/LATEST is updated with the latest stable release number. Within hours, Piwik installations will be updated by users via the one click upgrade mechanism – or by manual upgrades.
Releases that contain the string "alpha", "beta", "rc", are built for testing purposes and are not advertised on piwik.org. They are, however, made available on the build server and the builds.piwik.org/LATEST_BETA is updated to contain the release's version string. You can enable Piwik to use the latest Beta release automatically if you want to test the latest features (see this faq to learn how).
In case Github goes down, we maintain a backup Git Mirror at: git.piwik.org.
As of 2014, we are managing over twenty repositories at Github. This includes the main repository for Piwik and several plugins, themes, and toolsets to make the most out of Piwik, such as Piwik clients for software development in Python, Ruby, C#, SDKs for iOS, debian packages and useful Piwik developer tools.
All developers from the Piwik team can push to all git repositories.
All code committed to git is reviewed by at least one other developer in the team. Very often, Piwik developers themselves will send bigger changes by pull request for review before committing. All pull requests or patches submitted by external developers are extensively reviewed.
It is highly recommended that code committed in the master branch respects the Piwik coding standards, does not cause tests to fail, and does not create regessions in the UI or the platform. It is also highly recommended that the UI be manually tested if the user interface is affected by the change. Finally, the commit message should reference a ticket number in almost all cases; for example,
fixes #159 - changed patch to use wrapInner() instead of wrap()
This message will automatically close the ticket #159 in trac. You can also use the magic keyword
and a comment will be automatically added to the ticket #159 with a link to the commit on Github.
All Piwik team members have contributed major improvements to the project. They have contributed their talent towards our common goal of building the best open analytics platform. Some of these achievements were feats of engineering, as documented on our blog posts over the last few years.
To gain push access to our git repository, and be an official Piwik team member, one must make positive changes in the project, such as contributing pull requests, bringing new ideas, code, marketing, product visions. When a certain amount of work has been achieved, when we trust your skills and judgement, we will invite you to join us in the core team. Most of us also meet once a year in a beautiful European city for brainstorming the future of analytics, open source, privacy and Piwik.
There are other useful ways to participate to Piwik without joining the team, learn more: How do I get involved?.
Join us in the forums at forum.piwik.org
Discover our vibrant Piwik community where analytics tips are shared, suggestions on how to make the most out of Piwik, or general questions. Several team members visit the forums regularly, as well as active members of the community.
You can contact the team by email hello (at) piwik.org.
There are three mailing lists you can subscribe to and use to communicate with core team members:
This mailing list is used to discuss Piwik internals, ask questions about the architecture, discuss new ideas, etc.
This mailing list notifies all the commits to our Git repository.
This mailing list notifies all the changes to tickets in Trac (new ticket, closed, modifications, new comments, etc.)
There are many ways you can make a difference in the project and influence the overall goodness of Piwik, most of which do not include coding. Read on to learn all the ways you can contribute to Piwik:
If you find a new feature request very exciting or important, or if you experience a particular bug, the best way to be heard by the Piwik team is to comment on the ticket. This will help us schedule with higher priority the features that are most often requested and commented on.
One way to help core development is to submit a report when you find a bug.
If you believe you have found a bug in Piwik, please do the following:
Another way to contribute is to submit a feature request when you realize there is something you need that is missing in Piwik.
When submitting a significant new feature, it is recommended to be as descriptive as possible when creating a ticket. The ticket should contain
Please put as much information as possible as it will help in estimating the effort of the task and in determining how doable it would be (by the Piwik core team or a Piwik consultant). We will help with any technical details and questions outlined in the ticket.
And of course if you can code and want to directly help Piwik development, you can contribute changes. To learn about contributing code changes, read our Contributing to Piwik Core guide.
If you've already developed a plugin that you think should be included in Piwik Core, you can offer it for inclusion. The adoption of a plugin into the Piwik core requires that we consider such criteria as (but not limited to):
In most cases, it should be enough for your plugin to be available on the marketplace.