This page collects a checklist for people contributing code or documentation to Derby.




When attaching a patch to a JIRA issue, be sure to mark the checkbox that cedes license rights to Apache.


If you are attaching a large patch, you should sign an ICLA, generally granting Apache license rights over your Derby contributions. Evidence that you filed an ICLA is supposed to appear in the Contributors list. However, since Apache updates this list only sporadically, you may need to resubmit your ICLA or pester Apache to notice it. For more information, see the Apache licensing info.

Source license header

Every source file (including java and DITA) in your patch must start with the Apache license header. See the existing Derby source files for examples.

No copyright notice

Copyright notices must be removed before any file is committed to Derby's SVN. Note that only the copyright owner or their agent can remove such notices. See



Don't forget to include regression tests with your code patch.

Coding Standards

The Derby community has not approved a common body of coding standards. Individual contributors have found the following standards useful: Java Coding Standards and Geronimo Coding Standards. For example, not including @author tags and limiting line lengths to 80 characters is encouraged by several Derby committers.


Make sure you comment your code. Pay special attention to @param and @return tags in method Javadocs. How to Write Doc Comments for the Javadoc Tool may be a good source of reference if you are not sure how to write Javadoc.


Most of the existing code that has tabs expect tab-width to be set to 4 spaces. This was the original Cloudscape convention. With this setting your code should look readable. When editing existing code with tabs, use tabs and set your tab-width to 4. After editing, set tabs back to 8 or view with a simple text editor to make sure the code indentation is consistent.

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