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Guidelines, overview of maintenance process, etc.

“Thou shall GPG-sign.”

Git config

GPG signing

While contributors are suggested to use GPG, as a maintainer you are required to use GPG to sign commits & merges.

If you don't have GPG signing set up yet, now is the moment to do it.

Config, etc.


Preferably use SSH.

There are quite a few articles about that:

Useful aliases

Check whether commits are GPG-signed with git logs

git config --global alias.logs 'log --show-signature'


  • always use commit message format
  • always GPG-sign your commits.
  • it's preferable to make a PR with changes that you're about to commit.

Yes, there might be a situation where something has to be fixed "right now" on master..

Perhaps a security fix, who knows what future holds. If it's not that important, you're still better off making a PR. Even when you'll just fast-forward commits from PR onto the master branch.

Reasoning for it is that it's always hard to catch bugs/mistakes that you create, while someone else who just briefly looked at the changeset possibly can see a problem :)

Pull requests

  • do not push any Merge, Squash & Merge, etc. buttons on the website! The only allowed way of merging is locally, since otherwise merge will not be signed, and websites can fairly well mess things up.
  • always test PR that is being merged.
  • always GPG-sign PR that you're merging.

Commits that are about to be merged don't have to be signed, but the merge-commit must be signed. To simplify the process, and ensure that things are done "right", it's preferable to use the script, which does that for you automatically.

  • use script to merge PRs, e.g. ./ 1234.

You don't have to use it, but then you're running into risk of breaking travis build of master & other PRs, since it verifies all commit messages, indlucing merge messages.

Risk, that can be avoided when one doesn't type manually merge message :wink:

  • might want to use
  • give a PR some "breathing space" right after it's created – i.e. merging something right away can lead to bugs & regressions suddenly popping up, thus it's preferable to wait at least a day or so, to let people test & comment on the PR before merging.
    • with trivial changes, like fixing typos or something along those lines, feel free to merge right away.
  • if PR requires some changes, comment what parts need to be adjusted, and assign the PR-needs-changes label – after requested changes are done, remove the label.
  • if PR doesn't apply properly on top of current master (when using script), request a rebase and tag PR with PR-needs-rebase.
  • if a PR requires changes but there has been no activity from the PR submitter for more than 2 months, close the PR.


  • tag issues
    • up for grabs tag should be used whenever no one is currently working on the issue, and you're not going to work on it in foreseeable future (hours, day or two).
    • when you request more info to be provided in the issue, tag it with I-need-info. Remove tag once needed info has been provided.
    • sometimes there are issue with only one comment, and no reply to query for more info. Those issues usually can be closed after some period, preferably after a month or more with no reply. To search for them, you can specify time period when issue with a given tag was last updated, e.g.: label:I-need-info updated:<2016-03-01.
  • if you're going to fix the issue, assign yourself to it.
  • when closing an issue, preferably state the reason why it was closed, unless it was closed automatically by commit message.
  • when issue is a duplicate, tag it with duplicate, and issue that it was a duplicate of, tag with higher duplicates:#

Translations from Weblate

Weblate provides an easy way for people to translate qTox. On one hand, it does require a bit more attention & regular checking whether there are new translations, on the other, it lessened problems that were happening with "manual" way of providing translations.

To get translations into qTox:

  1. Add Weblate: git remote add weblate
  2. Fetch newest: git fetch weblate
  3. Check what has been changed compared to master: git log --no-merges master..weblate/master
  4. Cherry-pick from the oldest commit.

    • check if there are multiple commits from the same author for the same translation. If there are, cherry-pick them accordingly:

      git cherry-pick <commit1> <commit2>
  5. If there were multiple commits, squash them into a single one, leaving only a single feat(l10n): … line in the commit message.

  6. Get rid of Weblate's formatting and amend the commit using ./tools/, i.e.:

  7. For translations that haven't yet been cherry-picked repeat steps 4-6.

  8. Once done with cherry-picking, update all translation files, so that Weblate would get newest strings that changed in qTox:

    ./tools/ ALL
  9. Once PR with translation gets merged, Reset Weblate to current master, since without reset there would be a git conflict that would prevent Weblate from getting new strings.

It's a good idea to lock translations on Weblate while they're in merge process, so that no translation effort would be lost when resetting Weblate.

Adding new translations

Files to edit when adding a new translation:

  • CMakeLists.txt
  • src/widget/form/settings/generalform.cpp
  • translations/
  • translations/i18n.pri
  • translations/translations.qrc

Follow steps for adding translations from Weblate up to step 5. Next:

  1. Edit files to add translation to qTox.
  2. Before committing, clean up translation from Weblate and commit the change:

    ./tools/ translations/$TRANSLATION.ts
    git commit --amend translations/$TRANSLATION.ts
  3. Commit the changes to other files adding language to qTox.


Tagging scheme

  • tag versions that are to be released, make sure that they are GPG-signed, i.e. git tag -s v1.8.0
  • use semantic versions for tags: vMAJOR.MINOR.PATCH
    • MAJOR – bump version when there are breaking changes to video, audio, text chats, groupchats, file transfers, and any other basic functionality. For other things, MINOR and PATCH are to be bumped.
    • MINOR – bump version when there are:
    • new features added
    • UI/feature breaking changes
    • other non-breaking changes
    • PATCH – bump when there have been only fixes added. If changes include something more than just bugfixes, bump MAJOR or MINOR version accordingly.
  • bumping a higher-level version "resets" lower-version numbers, e.g. v1.7.1 → v2.0.0

Steps for release

Before tagging

  • Update version number for windows/osx packages using the ./tools/ script, e.g. ./tools/ 1.11.0
  • Generate changelog with clog.
    • In a MAJOR/MINOR release tag should include information that changelog is located in the file, e.g. For details see
  • To release a PATCH version after non-fix changes have landed on master branch, checkout latest MAJOR/MINOR version and git cherry-pick -x commits from master that you want PATCH release to include. Once cherry-picking has been done, tag HEAD of the branch.
    • When making a PATCH tag, include in tag message short summary of what the tag release fixes, and to whom it's interesting (often only some OSes/distributions would find given PATCH release interesting).

After tagging

  • Create and GPG-sign tarball using ./tools/ script, and upload the tarball to the github release that was created by a Travis OSX release job.

How to become a maintainer?

Contribute, review & test pull requests, be active, oh and don't forget to mention that you would want to become a maintainer :P

Aside from contents of you should also know the contents of this file.

Once you're confident about your knowledge and you've been around the project helping for a while, ask to be added to the qTox organization on GitHub.