Contributing to Orekit

Orekit is free software, which means you can use the source code as you wish, without charges, in your applications, and that you can improve it and have your improvements included in the next mainstream release.

If you are interested in participating in the development effort, thank you very much! Here are the steps you will need to follow:

  1. If not already done, create an account on the Orekit forge
  2. Fork the Orekit project using the link on the main page of the forge (red rectangle on the following image). fork
  3. Pull the develop branch of Orekit.
  4. Create a new branch on your fork. The branch must:
    • have develop branch as source branch.
    • have a name related to the future contribution. For instance, if you want to correct an issue, the name must be issue-XXX where XXX represents the issue number.
  5. Be sure to activate checkstyle (use the checkstyle.xml file at the root of the project) to help you follow the coding rules of Orekit.
  6. Perform your developpement and validation.
  7. Update the changes.xml file in src/changes/ directory (see former entries to help you).
  8. Run all Orekit tests to ensure everything work.
  9. Commit your code on your branch.
  10. Submit a merge request on the forge (click on the green item). Be sure to submit it on the develop branch. By default, GitLab will propose you to submit it on the master branch. merge requests
  11. Wait for one of the developers to merge your code on the repository.

If your contribution consists of adding or changing a lot of code lines or class architectures, we invite you to discuss the contribution before on the Orekit forum. Indeed, a developer can be currently working on the code you want to modify. Moreover, the forum is a good place to discuss future additions to Orekit.

If you have any question during your contribution you can also visit the forum and ask them. The larger the community is, the better Orekit will be. The main rule is that everything intended to be included in Orekit core must be distributed under the Apache License Version 2.0.