Community spirit: How to contribute to Session’s development
February 17, 2020 / Technical
Session is fully open-source — every line of code in the app, on all supported platforms, is publicly available on our GitHub (iOS; Android; Desktop). This has some serious security benefits: if you want to verify our security and anonymity claims, you can inspect the code yourself. And if you’re particularly security-conscious, you can even download the code and compile it on your computer, so you know exactly what code is running on your machine.
But by far the biggest benefit of open-source software is collaboration.
Open-source software is built by the community, for the community. Developers from different projects work together to solve problems, introduce new features, and fix bugs. For example: The Loki Project team (the team behind Session) collaborated with the developers of the Monero blockchain to give Monero IPv6 support. Open-source means more than just being able to look at the code; it means everyone can work together to build better software.
So what does this mean for you? If you run into a bug, or if Session is doing something you don’t think it should be, you can head to Session’s GitHub page for your platform (see links above) and open an issue. GitHub’s Issues section is a handy way for our developers to track problems that users are having, and if you open an issue, you can be sure one of our devs will take a look at it as soon as they can.
Opening an issue is simple: just click the link for your respective platform(s) above, sign in (or sign up) to GitHub, navigate to the Issues tab, and click ‘New Issue’. Make sure to fill out all the requested information (a description of the problem, and info about your device and platform).
Note: Make sure you have a quick look through existing open issues to see if someone has already reported the problem you’re having — avoiding double-ups helps our devs work through the issues list faster.
If you have feature suggestions, or just want to have some input without needing to make a GitHub account, you can join the official Session Feedback open group (join https://feedback.getsession.org in the app). There is almost always someone from the team active in the group, so you know your feedback will be heard.
If you’re a developer and want to contribute directly to Session’s code, it’s as simple as forking the repo for the platform(s) you want to contribute to, making your changes or improvements to the code, and creating a pull request for our devs to review and merge — you know the drill. Session clients are written in:
Open-source software is the backbone of a free and open internet, and Session is proud to be a part of the open-source development community. Got other questions, comments, or suggestions? Hop into the official Session public chat (join the open group https://chat.getsession.org in Session), join the Session Feedback open group (see above), or send the Session team an email at [email protected].
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