Access to add and change pages is restricted. See:

"Being a committer does not [only (wink)] mean you commit code, it means you are committed to the project."

Repositoy structure

After the svn tag "beforeSvnRestructuring" the repository structure has changed, please refer to history for information before this tag

The committers of OFBiz are those contributors who have the ability to commit changes into the OFBiz source code repository. As the project has grown over the years, there have been more committers of projects, so we thought it would be a good idea to define what the roles and responsibilities of the committers are. These points below are based on discussions we recently had on the developers' list:

Apache Software Foundation Committer Information

Because OFBiz is a project of the Apache Software Foundation all OFBiz committers are Apache committers.

Once we have invited you to become a committer we need the following from you:

  • An Individual Contributor License Agreement (iCLA) on file with the ASF (see iCLA text document)
  • If you are employed we may also need a Corporate CLA in addition to the iCLA (see cCLA text document)
  • Once we have these filed it will be time to get your account created on, for this we need from you:
    • your preferred userid, plus an alternative or two
    • your full name, as listed on your iCLA
    • your forwarding email address, needs to be the same as on your iCLA

As you get into the swing of things, and get things initially setup for yourself, the following pages are helpful:

General Responsibilities of Committers

OFBiz is a community driven project, and the point of a community-driven project is to build software that would work in a large variety of situations with a large group of other people. Because of this it is really important that the project is written in a way which would benefit many potential users, and that the community works together towards that goal.

This is especially important for the commiters of the project to remember, since they would be making decisions not just for your own organization or your own clients, but for all current and future users of OFBiz as well. Thus, commit privileges carry with them a responsibility for "the greater good" of the project.

Rule #1 for a committer is the same as for a doctor: first do no harm. Nothing should be committed that breaks existing functionality without replacing it either before or in the same commit. Whatever you are working with someone developed it and chances are someone is using it, and possibly MANY people. This is especially true if the change is just to make something easier for a particular client or customization effort. This means, in particular, that if some progress is made on a certain effort but you can't finish it in the time you have available, then don't commit it if it breaks anything that was there, just keep it local or attach it to a Jira issue or something if you want others to be able to get involved (or just get it to the point where the stuff it broke works again, then commit it).

Rule #2 for a committer is the same as for a scientist: read before you write. When you're getting started a good time ratio for read to write is around 20 to 1. Once you're a total OFBiz pro who knows as much as any living person about the project, you can probably reduce that to about 3 to 1. This relates to respecting precedent. It doesn't mean that existing things can't or shouldn't be changed, but it does mean that things that already exist must be understood before they are changed. This also relates to recognizing that whatever you are doing chances are there are best practices or patterns already established. So, this means you should look for those and try to understand them and if necessary ask about them explaining what you are trying to do before you seek to establish your own pattern.

To avoid code ownership, anyone can work on anything, but please be sensitive to areas where you are not familiar with the code and check with others who have worked in the area before doing something. A good practice is to ask someone who is more familiar with something to review it before you commit it, and if they have objections respect it and find a compromise that works for everyone.

Becoming a Committer

To become a committer, you should be highly familiar with OFBiz and should be actively involved in

If someone has stopped making new contributions for a while, we will contact them to find out why.

Committers are added by invitation only and that starts with a nomination from a OFBiz PMC (Project Management Committee) member. In order to be accepted as a committer the normal ASF voting pattern is followed. This basically means that 3 PMC members must vote in favor, and should there be any major objections they need to be addressed first.

So, as a prospective committer, how do I get invited, and what can I do in the mean time? Fortunately the answer to both of those questions is the same. Even if you are not a committer you can be actively involved in the development of OFBiz as a contributor. Here are some examples of things you can do to help out that will help the PMC notice you, and that will help you learn about OFBiz and get ready to become a committer:

  1. Subscribe to the dev mailing list, try to read the majority of the messages, and participate in discussions there
  2. Review and comment on issues in the Jira issue tracker
  3. Apply patches from Jira locally and test them and comment on the results
  4. Create patches to fix issues reported in Jira
  5. Get to know OFBiz and submit patches to fix problems or annoyances you find
  6. Follow the advice and do all of this according to the recommendations in the Contributors Best Practices document

Committing Changes

Committers responsibility

The OFBiz project will next release 2 products: the framework (which for now includes applications) and the plugins. It is the responsibility of committers to maintain both products. So committers should checkout the framework and include the plugins using the Gradle pullAllPluginsSource.

It is the also responsibility of committers to help fellow contributors to achieve a successful resolution of issues in JIRA.

Committers should try, as much as possible, to avoid that patch files submitted to issues grow stale. It is a waste of effort and precious time on the part of a fellow contributor when patches grow stale, as rework needs to be done. Timely evaluation of patch files prevents the need for rework and re-evaluation. Showing interest in the work of fellow contributors builds better relationships and a healty community.

When doing so, an efficient rule of thumb for productivity is the Ten minutes rule: if you can commit a patch in less than 10 minutes then just do it! Of course don't do that all the day long. (wink)

Another important responsibility of a committer is participating in voting, especially the ones for new releases..

When committing changes, all committers should follow these general guidelines:

  1. Use a SVN 1.8 or newer client. Because we use repo dictated config and no longer need the official OFBIZ Subversion client configuration file, at least for OFBiz (you might need it for other purposes...)
  2. When a committer adds a new file type, it must be put it as a svn:auto-prop at the OFBiz root level in ASF Subversion repo. Here is a commit example:
  3. Committers should review contributions to ensure that they follow good coding standards, are well-commented and understandable, and follow our coding conventions
  4. The commit message should follow the general Commit message template.
    1. Committers should write a meaningful description of the feature being committed in the commit log so other developers and committers could understand what is happening.

      Here are some commit comments examples of badness taken from an Adam's message in dev ML

      • Fixed bug (reported by $user)? from $location.
        When reading history, the full discussion leading up to a proper bug fix is not important. But a description of the bug, and the solution, are necessary.
        Quite often, when trying to find a bug, the original sources are not available. All you have at your disposable is the installed system image. The changelog describing the software installed very often accompanies the installation. It's quite possible that no outside access is available. Embedded system deployments do this quite frequently.
        When scanning a changelog for possible hints into why something is/isn't working, if I have to switch back and forth from the target system, and an external system, to figure out what is going on, then it will leave a sour taste in my mouth. Going forward, I would be reluctant to recommend the software again.
        Additionally, no one is you. There are 6 billion other people on this planet, and you are the only one who knows what you are thinking. We can't read minds. It becomes even more difficult to do so, 2-3(or more) years in down the road. So, describe what you have done at the time you have done it.
        Also, not everone knows how jira works. Or confluence. Or AutoConfigMaintenceWidgetApplication. What you may thing as a sensible cross-reference(OFBIZ-####, debbugs ####) may mean nothing to the person reading your changelog.
      • I did some things in FooClass, FooImpl, some more stuff in BarWidget, and yet more interesting tidbits in YellowSubmarine; basically, stuff all over the place.
        This bad changelog is not about poor descriptions of the changes. It's about listing multiple, 100% completely separate improvements/fixes into a single commit.
        If there were 10 lines changed, and 1 line was not related, it's possible that you could still notice that 1 extra line. But if you have 1000 lines changes, and there are 3 groups of changes, and they are all intermingled, it becomes very difficult to verify that each separate change was actually implemented correctly.
        It's much better to split up such changes, and commit them separately. There are several ways to do this. svk/hg/git can be used to mirror svn, have local changes, then push when you are done. You can use multiple svn checkouts, and redo your changes, one step at a time.

No patches when moving files

Patches should never be used to move files. The diff and patch commands (even "svn di" and "svn patch") are unable to keep the information about moved files, only deleted and created.

So we must not apply patches with files relocations. We not only lose history when doing so, but also annotations

All committers must do the following to ensure licensing compliance

  1. Make sure the contribution is posted publicly on the Apache OFBIZ JIRA issue tracker. Please do not commit changes that were sent to you privately. If you receive a patch, open a JIRA issue and then ask the submitter to post his patch there. This way, we can avoid having to get an iCLA for the contributor, as well as let everybody in the community view and comment on the contribution.
  2. If it is a new file, the file must have the Apache 2.0 license header.
  3. The commit log must identify the name of the contributor and, if relevant, the JIRA issue for it.

Type of changes and where should they go

There are roughly 3 main types of changes:

  1. New features
  2. Improvements
  3. Bug fixes

Bug fixes should normally go in the release branches, as much as they can. Security fixes must trigger a new released packages.
New features and Improvements should never get into a release branch. Exceptions may occur, but they need a consensus, and as ever can be vetoed (only by committers, though this rule can be adapted by the community)

How should committers handle backporting?

  1. Only bugfixes should be backported to active release branches (if they happen also there).
  2. Bugfixes should be backported by the committer who did the bugfix in trunk, if possible.
  3. If the committer does not, for a reason, backport the bugfix, he should leave the original issue open with a remark that a backport is needed and a short explanation why he does not do the backport.
  4. Issues that need a backport should be labelled as "backport-needed". In this way we are able to spot issues to be backported, especially before a release is on it's way. 
  5. In no case should the Jira issue be closed without doing 1. or 2.
  6. When you backport something, if you know that it should not be backported in older releases, please pass the information.

Christian Carlow asked

Should committers download the entire ofbiz repository to help with backporting?

Here is Jacopo Cappellato's answer:

It is easier if you keep the trunk and the release branches in different svn folders (i.e. different checkouts); for example:

mkdir ofbiz
cd ofbiz
svn co
svn co
svn co
svn co
svn co

You will end up with the following folder layout:


Is there a standard procedure new committers should follow for backporting?

Here is a simple workflow to backport a commit to a branch. 

1) commit the fix to trunk and note down the commit id; e.g. rev 12345
2) go to the release branch you want to backport to; e.g. cd ofbiz/release14.12
3) run the following script (the script will apply the commit to your local release branch): ./tools/ merge 12345
4) run the tests with: ./tools/ test
5) it is also a good idea to start the instance and test manually
6.a) if tests are unsuccessful, abort the process and clean your local release branch: ./tools/ abort
6.b) if tests are successful, and you want to commit the backport: ./tools/ commit

Handling deprecated services

We tag deprecated services as a part of a release branch using the "<deprecated" element. Deprecated services will be removed from the next release branch when this new branch is created.

Lets say we set a service as deprecated for release branch R18. This service will be part of R18 and will be removed in next release branch R19.

For instance, imagine we decide to create a next to be released R19 branch.
We have on trunk :

  • addCatalogMember deprecated since="Upcoming Branch"
  • deleteWorkEffortAssignment deprecated since="18.12"

When we create the R19 release branch, we change on trunk :

  • addCatalogMember deprecated since="19.xx"
  • deleteWorkEffortAssignment deprecated since="18.12"

Before creating the new R19 branch we remove the services deprecated since R18. So the trunk contains only:

  • addCatalogMember deprecated since="19.xx"

On this basis we create the R19 branch.

An so on...

Following changes

Manage JIRA's issues

To avoid confusion with other committers, when you take in charge a JIRA with a ready patch (Provide Patch button has been pushed) you should assign it to you and push the Start Progress button.

Please take the time to correctly fill the different Jira fields we now use for our releases change logs.

  • Specifiy in Priority: much of the time you can pick what seems to fit. Beware that the default is Major and it does not always fit. As a committer don't hesitate to change the priority if it was set by a contributor and does not respect the rules below.
    • The Blocker priority can be used when something really blocks OFBiz to start, so it should rarely be used. There are certainly other cases where it can be used, notably when an issue blocks a release.
    • Critical - A feature of critical importance is faulty. A workaround is possible, or a quick fix could be applied after release. While you usually would not release with a critical fault present, it's conceivable.

  • Specifiy in Resolution :
    • Improvements : use either Done or Implemented Status as you feel right
    • New features : use the Implemented Status
    • Bug : use the Fixed Status
    • Of course you might also use other status (like duplicate, won't fix, invalid, etc.) when needed...
  • Specify in Affects Version/s: pick the version/s which is/are affected
  • Specify in the Fix Version/s the codebase(s) to which you have committed the patch/fix. Please don't set the "Fix Version/s" before closing, only the "Affects Version/s".
    •  you can select from the dropdown one or more of the items under the "Unreleased Versions" group in the top part of the drop down box;
    •  you should never use one of the items in the "Released Versions"  section (bottom part);
    •  if the commit is only done on "Trunk" (ie not backported) then select "Upcoming Release". For an improvement or a new feature only the "Upcoming Release" version must be used because it's the only possibility offered to you. I think it's good to set even before closing so that nobody will use a wrong version there see this thread;
    •  if you are backporting/committing to a release branch then select the latest (next) release version in that branch available in the dropdown. No needs then to put also "Upcoming Release", it's implied.

For example at the moment the valid items for the Fix Version/s field are :

  • 16.11.05 (for commits to the branch named release16.11)
  • 17.12.01 (for commits to the branch named release17.12)
  • Upcoming Branch (only for commits only done to trunk, ie when not backporting)

Closing issue

As per our conventions, when the reporter or the assignee, or even another person who has reviewed, decides the issue is implemented, done or fixed (or any other resolution type) the issue should be CLOSED.

After some time the following Jira reports will contain very useful information :

  • Road Map (what is expected in upcoming releases) :
  • Change Log (what is available in released packages available from the Download page, this is not to be confused with the information given in our monthly blog posts)


    If the svn commits comments are correctly done, with a reference to the Jira issue number, we can then get to the commits in Fisheye from the Development section of the Jira issue. These can take a few days though...
    Also, please put the revision number in the Jira issue. That helps others doing research on changes.

Complete the documentation

Using Buildbot

Here is a small documentation whith most aspects to know

Code of conduct

The ASF has a Code of conduct, it's good to know and remember it. Though for miscellaneous reason you become a committer for life, please note this:  "When somebody leaves or disengages from the project they should tell people they are leaving and take the proper steps to ensure that others can pick up where they left off."

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