Contributing to Thorntail

We welcome contributions of any kind to Thorntail from everyone.

We expect all contributors and users to follow our Code of Conduct when communicating through project channels. These include, but are not limited to: irc, issues, code, Google Group discussions.

Building Thorntail requires Java 8 or newer and Maven 3.3.3 or newer.

One time setup

Create a GitHub account

If you don't have one already, head to

Setup your IDE for the code style format of the project

Currently we have code styles defined for Intellij. Please follow the steps in the README on how to set them up.

Download commit message template

We have defined a template for commit messages to help with clarity of any change that is made, thus making it easier for anyone not familiar with existing code to understand the impacts of a change.

Run the following:

curl -o ~/.thorntail-gitmessage.txt

An alternative with wget:

wget -O ~/.thorntail-gitmessage.txt

Per repository setup

Fork a repository

Fork a Thorntail repository, such as, or whichever repository contains the code/docs that you wish to change, into your GitHub account.

Clone your newly forked repository onto your local machine

git clone[your username]/thorntail.git
cd thorntail

Add a remote reference to upstream

This makes it easy to pull down changes in the project over time

git remote add upstream git://

Setup commit message template

Run the following:

git config commit.template ~/.thorntail-gitmessage.txt

Development Process

This is the typical process you would follow to submit any changes to our GitHub repositories.

Pulling updates from upstream

git pull --rebase upstream master

Note that --rebase will automatically move your local commits, if you have any, on top of the latest branch you pull from. If you don't have any commits it is safe to leave off, but for safety it doesn't hurt to use it each time just in case you have a commit you've forgotten about!

Discuss your planned changes (if you want feedback)

Make sure there is a JIRA for the work

Either assign an existing JIRA to yourself, or create a new one at

git checkout -b my_cool_feature

If working on several changes it once, it may be beneficial to use the JIRA issue as the branch name.

Make the changes

Make whatever code changes, including new tests to verify your change, are necessary and ensure that the build and tests pass:

mvn clean install

If you're making non code changes, the above step is not required.

Commit changes

Add whichever files were changed into 'staging' before performing a commit:

git commit

During the commit process you will need to replace the various parts of the template that we added as part of the one time setup.

Here is some information to help:

  • Subject - Short and concise, preferably less than 50 characters
  • Motivation - Describe the purpose of the commit, along with any associated JIRA issue
  • Modifications - What code has changed, and why?
  • Result - How does this commit affect the behaviour or usage

Rebase changes against master

Once all your commits for the issue have been made against your local topic branch, we need to rebase it against master in upstream to ensure that your commits are added on top of the current state of master. This will make it easier to incorporate your changes into the master branch, especially if there has been any significant time passed since you rebased at the beginning.

git pull --rebase upstream master

Push to your repo

Now that you've sync'd your topic branch with upstream, it's time to push it to your GitHub repo.

git push origin my_cool_feature

Getting your changes merged into upstream, a pull request

Now your updates are in your GitHub repo, you will need to notify the project that you have code/docs for inclusion.

  • Send a pull request, by clicking the pull request link while in your repository fork
  • Copy the URL of the pull request
  • In the associated JIRA, click on the "Workflow" menu item and choose "Link Pull Request". Paste the previously copied link and supply any additional comments.
  • As part of the review you may see an automated test run comment on your pull request.
  • After review a maintainer will merge your pull request, update/resolve associated JIRAs, and reply when complete
  • Lastly, switch back to master from your topic branch and pull the updates
git checkout master
git pull upstream master
  • You may also choose to update your origin on GitHub as well
git push origin

Some tips

Here are some tips on increasing the chance that your pull request is accepted:

  • Include tests that fail without your code, and pass with it
  • Update any associated documentation, or add new documentation. This will require a separate pull request as the documentation is in a separate repository
  • Follow the existing code style of the project
  • Ensure that required license headers are in place by running mvn verify -Plicense