How to Submit Tiki Code Changes
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to submit Tiki code changes under two different situations: when using a hosted server and when using your own PC as a server for development purposes. How to get commit access and Where to commit are recommended reading before starting these instructions.
Although the process is a little different for each situation, the basic idea is the same. First, you check out the developer version you wish to make changes to. Checking out means downloading the entire developer version from the repository (SourceForge.net) to your server using an SVN program. An SVN program is used because it will keep track of the changes you make and allow you to upload only the changed files to the repository. The entire Tiki program is downloaded (not just the files you want to change) so that you can install and test the Tiki version with your changes. After making and testing your changes, you commit them to the repository using the SVN program, which means your changed files are uploaded into the repository, creating a new Tiki development version that includes your changes.
Below, the processes for both situations (hosted server and PC as server) are described.
In Either Situation
The following are must-haves in order to commit whether you are using a hosted server or your own PC as the server:
- SourceForge Account: You will need to have an account at SourceForge.net - click here to register for one.
- Project Administrator Permission: A Tiki Project Administrator will need to grant you permission to write to the code repository by adding your SourceForge username to the Tiki project as developer. Project Administrators are listed at http://sourceforge.net/projects/tikiwiki/develop.
- Decide Version: There are different developer versions that changes can be made to. Before you begin, decide or get advice on which version you should download and make changes to. See Where to commit for more information. Which version you intend to change affects the path you will need to specify when checking out and downloading those files. The paths for the different versions can be found at SourceForge.net at https://svn.code.sf.net/p/tikiwiki/code/.
With a Hosted Server
The following are must-haves in order to commit on a hosted server in addition to the general prerequisites noted above:
- SSH/Shell Access: You will need to access your server using shell access. This may be available from your web host (or you may be able to request it). If so, it will show up on the cPanel (if you have one) in the Security section. Otherwise there are free third-party programs that do the same thing (like PuTTy - and here's a list of such programs).
Linux and MacLinux and Mac machines already include a system utility called Terminal that provides shell access.
- SVN: Your server will need to have SVN installed. If it's not installed, try typing
apt-get install subversionwhile connected through shell access to install it.
With Your PC as Server
In addition to the must-haves noted above for either situation, here are additional must-haves in order to commit when using your PC as a server:
- Third-Party SVN Program: You will need to install a third-party SVN program. A list of such programs can be found on this Wikipedia page, or see the Create an IDE page on this site which links to pages documenting how create a development environment.
- Third-Party source code editor: You will need to download and install a third-party code editor to make the changes you wish to make. Do not use a plain text editor (like Word). A list of code editors can be found on this Wikipedia page, or see the Create an IDE page on this site for some tips.
WarningIt's very important to set your code editor to:
(1) use Unix-style line breaks (LF) and not Windows style breaks (CF + LF), and
(2) encode documents with UTF-8 without BOM (the "without BOM" is important).
Using a Hosted Server
Overview of Steps
Here's an overview of the steps for committing using a hosted server:
- Get onto your server through SSH/Shell Access
- Run the svn command to download the development version you want to change onto your server
- Make the code changes you want to make and save them
- Run the svn command to check your changes
- Test your the Tiki install that you just changed to see if it functions
- Run the svn command to commit your changes
- End the SSH/Shell Access connection
These steps are described in detail below.
NoteThese instructions assume you are using a standard shell on a Linux machine (i.e., your server is running Linux). If the server is using Windows, please make sure to run something like dos2unix before you commit.
Step 1: Get on Your Server Using SSH/Shell Access
- Access the server you want to download to through SSH/Shell Access (through cPanel or third-party software). You will need to enter the following at a minimum:
- The server's host name or IP Address
- Your username on that server
- The related password
ssh firstname.lastname@example.org enter password
You can accept message about RSA key fingerprint.
- Once on your server, move to the web directory
- Create an empty directory on your server to download to like you would for a normal install of Tiki
- Move to the directory you want to download to. For example, if you want to download to tiki, then type the following and hit enter:
Step 2: Checkout Files via SVN
svn checkout (path) . and hit enter to check out a development version. The (path) in the command is the path on SourceForge.net to the version you wish to make changes to.
TipSee Where to commit for guidelines on deciding the appropriate version to commit to.
Below, two alternatives are shown: checking out a branch and checking out the trunk. In both cases, assume we found a bug in the last_mod plugin and therefore want to change the
- Example: Checking out Branch 12.x (see Get code for available Versions)
svn checkout https://svn.code.sf.net/p/tikiwiki/code/branches/12.x .
- Example: Checking out Trunk
svn checkout https://svn.code.sf.net/p/tikiwiki/code/trunk .
ImportantIn both cases the last space and period at the end is very important - it causes the download to be made to here, in the directory where you are at when the command is made.
After hitting enter, you should see the file names scrolling up the screen as the files are downloaded. At the end, you should see a message telling which revision has been checked out, as in this screenshot:
Step 3: Make Your Changes
You can make changes either using your normal edit interface or through the shell access.
Using Normal Edit Interface
The easiest way to make changes is usually through whatever interface you normally use, for example by going through cPanel > File Manager and opening the file with your server's code editor. After you've made and saved your changes, go to Step 4.
Expand the instructions below if you're making changes through the shell access instead.
Use Shell Access to Make Changes[+]
Step 4: Check Your Changes
- Go back to the SSH/shell access screen and make sure you are in the top level tiki directory, www/tiki in our example
- In the SSH/shell access screen type
svn diffto view your changes:
All changes you have made to all files will be shown as in the following screenshot:
As you can see, only one line was changed here (actually one character, an O was changed to a Z). Since this was the intention, we will move on to test the change.
Step 5: Test Your Tiki Install
- If you haven't already, install the developer version you have downloaded and changed by following the normal Installation procedures through an internet browser.
NoteIf you get a server error, you may need to set the permissions for all of the files you downloaded to 755.
- Once installed, test Tiki to ensure that your changes work properly.
Step 6: Commit Your Changes
- Type the
svn commitcommand which consists of 3 parts:
- The svn command:
svn commit -m
- A note describing the change:
[FIX] (short description of fix)for example
Each description should begin with one of the following tags which identify the type of change
- [NEW] for additions of new features
- [ENH] is an enhancement; not really new but makes things work better (e.g. look and feel, performance...)
- [MOD] is a change in how things work, which may disrupt user habits, for example changing the default value of an option
- [FIX] for bug fixes of any sort
- [SEC] for security fix operations (implies [FIX])
- [DB] for changes in the database
- [REM] for feature removals
- [KIL] for removals of unused or obsolete files (has been used in the sense of [REM] prior to Tiki 6)
- [REF] for refactoring; changes the structure of the code (to make it cleaner or clearer), without changing its actual behaviour.
- [REL] for the release process
- [DOC] for improvements in the tips or contextual documentation provided to the user/admin
If there is a wish related to this, add "Ref: http://dev.tiki.org/wish426"
In case of a "backport," (committing a change already made in trunk to an earlier version), a backport reference should be added in front. For example,
[bp/r28500] [FIX]...in a commit message to the branch branches/5x, means this fix is a backport of trunk revision 28500 to the next version of Tiki 5x. Depending on the period, backports are subject to an extra level of review so please read Quality Team and Where to commit first or ask on the mailing list or IRC if unsure.
- The file path: filepath
- You can leave the filepath off, in which case all changes shown in svn diff will be committed (even if more than one file has been changed)
Following our example, this would be:
svn commit -m "[FIX] Fixed display of time zone, which was showing as %O" lib/wiki-plugins/wikiplugin_lastmod.php
Here's a screenshot (with a slightly different description):
- The svn command:
- You will get a message indicating that your commit was successful
Step 7: Disconnect Shell Connection
Step 8: Be Proud of Yourself
Tiki is the collective work of hundreds of people. It works because volunteers, like you, take the time to make it better.
Notice of your commit will appear in the Tiki IRC chat channel. Go here to see it in the logs or, better yet, log on to the actual chat channel just before you commit to see the notice pop up live!
See next page for instructions when using your own PC as a development server.