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What to work on during the Django sprint

More than 100 people around the world have signed up for Friday's Django sprint. What should you work on, given that so many other people are contributing at the same time? This document attempts to help you answer that question.

How to prepare for the sprint

What to work on? The short answer

Work on whatever you like.

Our development process during the sprint will fundamentally be no different from standard Django development -- that is, contributors scratch their own itches, solve the problems they want to solve, and generally do what they want to do. The difference in the sprint, of course, is that a lot of people are going to be in more-or-less real-time contact, which makes it easier for more contributions to happen faster. (Some sprinters will be in the same physical location and the IRC channel will be available for more rapid feedback.)

What to work on? The concrete answer

See the suggestions at the bottom of this page.

What to work on? The longer answer

If you're in doubt about what to work on, consider these pieces of advice:

  • Fix existing bugs, rather than adding enhancements. Bugs are cases where we know something is not working correctly or as documented. Enhancements require a bit more of a judgment call from the maintainers about whether to include the feature, and one big goal of the sprint is to try and reduce the number of open tickets by getting patches committed and tickets closed.
  • Choose noncontroversial tickets. Some issues are intrinsically controversial, such as the question of how (or whether) to implement auto-escaping in templates. For the sake of your own sanity, avoid these tickets during the sprint.
  • Fix old bugs. There are any number of small, annoying bugs that have hung around for a long time. Some of them have patches, but the patches need to be updated. Start with the bug low numbers, and work up until you find something that interests you.
  • Zero in a particular component you're familiar/comfortable with. It's overwhelming to browse the full list of open tickets, so do yourself a favor and narrow it down by component. (Do this by selecting "Add filter" on the right side of the page.) Example components are "Documentation" or "RSS framework." The nice thing about this approach is that, once you've fixed one or two tickets, you'll get on a roll and will have learned enough about that particular component that subsequent tickets for the same component will be easier to fix.

How to handle "big" tickets

If you're going to work on a really big item, either individually or as a group, remember to respect normal practices. Post a summary of any big discussions you have to the django-developers mailing list, and leave a comment on the ticket with a link to the discussion.

Remember that not everybody is going to be online all the time, and those that are may well be busy on other things. Large changes or things requiring community input will have to go through the usual, archived channels. That being said, an online or in-person discussion can get a lot further quickly, and then you can post a more comprehensive plan and summary than normal. So there are advantages to doing some design work in a sprint setting.

Working on smaller items

The biggest contribution anybody can make during a sprint is to help confirm bug reports, write patches, review proposed solutions and help get the tickets closed.

Pick an area you're interested in or want to learn more about. The general procedure is choose a ticket, replicate the problem, write a test, write a fix, go back to start.

  • Search for tickets in that component in Trac (one of the search filters is on the component type).
  • Read through the ticket titles until you find something interesting and try to replicate the bug.
  • Once you've found a ticket that interests you, claim it, so that somebody else doesn't accidentally duplicate the work.
  • If possible, write a test to duplicate the problem. Django's tests are in the tests/ directory, and we have some documentation about them. Copy existing tests as a start. If possible, look for an appropriate file to add your new test to, rather than starting a new file. But if you are working on a totally untested area, start a new file.
  • Write a patch, whether that is code or documentation to fix the problem.
  • Attach the patch to the ticket.

If your patch is more than a few lines long, don't forget to include your name in the AUTHORS file as part of the patch. We order that file alphabetically by surname.

You might want to search for tickets that have the patch needs improvement flag set and try to improve the patch (there will be something in the comments suggesting what improvement is needed). Or look for tickets with needs tests or needs documentation and try to fill in those gaps.

Don't worry if it takes you longer than other people to write fixes initially. Some areas are genuinely harder than others. Some problems are disguised versions of something much bigger, so it might take a couple of attempts to get something that satisfies the maintainers. Not to worry; any serious patch is better than no patch because it gives us something to start from and incrementally improve.

Things for people not confident squishing bugs

If you're not confident fixing bugs in the core code, there are still other ways to contribute:

  • Triage the unreviewed tickets -- try to confirm them, or handle them according to the triage guidelines.
  • Confirm existing bugs or work out how to repeat them.
  • Look for tickets in the unreviewed state and see if you can repeat the problem.
  • If the explanation of the bug isn't clear, work out what the reporter is talking about and add that in a comment on the original ticket.
  • Look for tickets needing documentation or needing improved documentation and try to complete them.

Areas requiring caution

There are a few areas in Django that are undergoing some fairly major change. Have care if you are wanting to work in the following areas.

Admin interface

Joseph Kocherhans is leading the charge to finish the NewformsAdminBranch, which will replace the existing admin code as soon as possible.

Consequently, any tickets against the existing admin code that are not real showstoppers and having small impact are unlikely to be applied. We would rather develop the same patch against newforms-admin and fix the problem permanently over there.

By all means, pick some admin tickets to work on. However, read the ticket and try to repeat the problem on newforms-admin. Then write a patch against that branch, rather than trunk.

Database query construction

There are a lot of tickets concerning bad SQL constructs from the ORM. Malcolm Tredinnick is working in the QuerysetRefactorBranch to fix a lot of these. Right now, that branch is not in a usable state for any serious code; large pieces remain to be ported.

Any tickets having to do with SQL constructs will generally be fixed in that branch and merged into trunk. Malcolm has been putting the qs-rf keyword on tickets that are of this nature. The qs-rf-fixed keyword is being used for tickets that are fixed on that branch (eventually, all qs-rf tickets will move to qs-rf-fixed).

If you come across a ticket that looks like a QuerySet problem and has to do with SQL construction, add that keyword.

Suggestions

So you've joined the sprint and don't know where to start? Try one of these tasks!

  • Whilst working on a task, assign it to yourself so other people know that it's yours.
  • If you complete a task, edit this page and remove the task
  • If you make progress on a task and then leave it, edit this page leaving a note of what you've done.
  • do #4223 - Document how to create tests for Django framework itself
  • #3961 refactorise Luhn function in za-localflavor and add tests
  • #4036 implement Malcolm's ideas in es-localflavor
  • #4092 implement a "missing option" in localflavor widgets
  • #1028 Add more elements to the high-level RSS Framework.
  • #3594 Javascript setlang bug (with proposed patch) needs tests, please implement and double-check the patch
  • #4030 Review the suggested patch for enabling auto-translation of language names
  • #4094 databrowse calendars do not translate the month back to english resulting in an error
  • #4692 write up some documentation about the required database permissions
  • add unit tests and docs to #2539 - Custom tags and filters can be restricted by namespace
  • #5418 - Add assertNoBrokenLinks() to test system
  • #5415 - Every SQL query should send a signal if possible
  • confirm #2493 - Error "reset"ing app with self-referencing ForeignKey
  • confirm #2549 - django.db.models.fill_table_cache will dead loop if with circular Foreign Keys
  • confirm #4609 (Content type names are not translated in Recent Actions listing) exists on newforms-admin
  • is #4515 (django.views.static.serve() redirects (HTTP code 302) to the wrong location when the path to the static file is "normalized") still an issue? It may have been fixed incidentally with #987
  • GeoDjango tasks

Results

If you believe you've successfully dealt with a ticket, post it here so a code dev can have a look at it. Please order by ticket ID. Note: Don't close the tickets until they've been checked in.

  • #899 old small patch which needed tests, added regression tests
  • #1282 minor improvements to patch and tests added
  • #2612 Updated css to float multiline fields with help text.
  • #2675 patched django.utils.timesince and template docs, and added tests
  • #2684 Backwards relations (ie. xxx_set) across different apps needs voodoo magic to work
  • #3036 Added patch to fix a few doctests
  • #3055 Invalid ticket as model in GenericRelation requires content_type/object_id fields.
  • #3088 Filter parameters are not translated in blocktrans
  • #3221 unhelpful error message when include() set incorrectly
  • #3360 One Django badge on community page is cut off.
  • #3485 Initial SQL fails when data contains a % in it when settings.DEBUG = True
  • #3502 TTL-Option for RSS 2.0+
  • #3997 small note in the docs about fields being required by default in an instance
  • #4067 "Validation of IPAddressField don't work with newforms" - Added a IPAddressField for newforms
  • #4115 Thumbnail contrib. Updated with effbot's comments. Has tests and docs. Should be good to go.
  • #4193 Not a bug, but a design decision is required to determine if ordering should be implemented.
  • #4415 PositiveIntegerField in models.py does not get validation in form_for_model
  • #4485 Can't set nullable DecimalField to null
  • #4561 dispatch refactoring
  • #4604 Message Passing For Anonymous Users
  • #4724 added SESSION_COOKIE_PATH setting
  • #4824 Enforce a check for duplicate named url patterns
  • #4879 post_create signal
  • #4913 need permissions to add a links to wiki Resources and Tutorials from the main page
  • #4944 mentioned that unique might cause save() to throw IntegrityError in model-api.txt
  • #4982 {% blocktrans %} does not escape % in text
  • #5047 max-age set by cache_page is overwritten by cache_middleware
  • #5203: Performance improvement for sqlite3 database flush
  • #5264 Work out which version of Flup Django likes best
  • #5298 The extra_context keyword argument should be available in the auth app views
  • #5364 mentioned form_for_model().save(commit=false) in the docs
  • #5454 - Using a user-built DB backend
  • #5457 move permission checking to the auth backends.
  • #5468 (direct_to_template uses literal dict in keyword arg)
  • #5355 patch and tests for forms.DecimalField.clean() raising when not given a string

Other branches

GeoDjango

Open GeoDjango tickets

Task list (in order of importance):

  • A patch to work with the QuerySet refactor changes -- but this depends on the status of that branch,
  • Distance queries: we want an API with something like distance_lte, etc. and be able to take a Distance object (django.contrib.gis.measure) as a parameter. This is difficult because the differences between spatial reference systems
  • #5472 Add OpenLayers support in django.contrib.gis.maps
  • Fill out the documentation stubs and fix inconsistencies between the documentation and the code