Contributing Guide

User Contribution Guide

Contribution is not easy, so we created this document to describe how to get you setup so you can contribute back and make everyone’s life easier. All contributions will be made via pull request which goes through review process. We have disabled push to main branch, therefore all changes must go through pull request.

You must have a GitHub account to contribute back, if you don’t have one please register to create your account.

Default Branch

The default branch is master. This branch is protected to ensure no-one accidently deletes this branch. All PRs are sent to master branch.


Assuming you have forked the repo, you will want to clone your fork repo:

git clone\_GITHUB\_LOGIN/e4s.git

You might need to setup your SSH keys in your git profile if you are using ssh option for cloning. For more details on setting up SSH keys in your profile, follow instruction found in

SSH key will help you pull and push to repository without requesting for password for every commit. Once you have forked the repo, clone your local repo

Next let’s navigate to the directory and add the upstream repo endpoint as follows:

cd e4s
git remote add upstream

The upstream tag is used to sync your local fork with upstream repo.

Make sure you set your user name and email set properly in git configuration. We don’t want commits from unknown users. This can be done by setting the following:

git config "First Last"
git config ""

For more details see this article Getting Started - First Time Git Setup.

Sync your branch from upstream

The master from upstream will get Pull Requests from other contributors, in-order to sync your forked repo with upstream, you must sync your local master branch and push changes to your fork. This can be done by running the following commands:

git checkout master
git fetch upstream master
git pull upstream master

Once the changes are pulled locally you can push your changes to your fork by running:

git push origin main

Feature Branch

Please make sure to create a new branch when adding and new feature. Do not push to master branch on your fork or upstream.

Create a new feature branch from master as follows:

git checkout master
git checkout -b <BRANCHNAME>

Now you are ready to make any changes to your feature branch, once you are ready you can commit and push your changes to your fork. This can be done as follows:

git add <file1> <file2> <dir1> <dir2>
git commit -m <COMMIT_MESSAGE>
git push origin <BRANCHNAME>

Once the branch is created in your fork, you can issue a Pull Request to master branch for upstream repo (

Please check the CI actions reported in your pull request and make sure they pass. The urlchecker workflow is responsible for checking urls, this is using github action urlstechie/urlchecker-action. If the CI check reports a failure on url that is valid please exclude the url in the check. For more details on urlchecker-action see the documentation.

ReadTheDocs Integration

The E4S project is built via readthedocs platform and the project is hosted at If you need access to readthedocs project please contact wspear or shahzebsiddiqui. You must create an account at in order to gain access.

We have enabled a webhook integration between readthedocs and Github project ( so that incoming Pull Request are built on the platform. In addition, we have enabled Pull Request Builds so one can see the rendered documentation before merging to main branch.

Building Docs Locally

If you want to build the user docs locally, please have a python 3.x environment and install the dependencies via pip as follows:

pip install -r docs/requirements.txt

Next, you should navigate to the docs directory and build the docs as follows:

cd docs
make html

Shown below is a preview of the documentation build if done correctly

(e4s) bash-3.2$ make html
Running Sphinx v4.1.2
loading pickled environment... done
building [mo]: targets for 0 po files that are out of date
building [html]: targets for 1 source files that are out of date
updating environment: 0 added, 1 changed, 0 removed
reading sources... [100%] contributing
looking for now-outdated files... none found
pickling environment... done
checking consistency... done
preparing documents... done
writing output... [100%] index
generating indices... genindex done
writing additional pages... search done
copying images... [100%] ../logos/E4S-dark-green.png
copying static files... done
copying extra files... done
dumping search index in English (code: en)... done
dumping object inventory... done
build succeeded.

The HTML pages are in _build/html.

The documentation is built via sphinx via the Makefile which will generate the html pages under _build/html directory. You can view the docs locally by opening the page in your browser or run the following:

open _build/html/index.html

The .readthedocs.yml configuration file is responsible for configuring readthedocs setting during documentation build. This file can be found in the root of the repo. For more details please see