Contributing to Open Source Documentation

Ian Turton, Astun Technology [email protected]





Found a typo? Simple spelling error? Other simple fix?

Click the "edit" or "edit on github" button, or go directly to

Navigate to the file and press the edit button:

You can now make a change

When you are finished, "propose the change"

Create the pull request

Watch the Pull Request list

OK, so quick was a slight exaggeration

But not too long

Larger changes

Need to sign contribution agreement (in most cases) - this keeps copyright and licensing straight (and keeps the lawyers off everyone's backs).

It is not really that hard, so please do it.

It is a one off process (per project).

Install Git

Set up your git workflow

git clone [email protected]:ianturton/geoserver.git

Make Your changes

Build the docs

Uses Python, sphinx and latex


Writing Restructured Text

A plain text format, that uses "markup" to tell the "compiler" how to format the text. So it is easy to see changes (just the way we do with program code).

Also makes it easier to produce differently formatted outputs depending on need (HTML, PDF, etc).


Check the project documentation to see how to build the docs.

Look for and fix any errors

Push the changes back

Create a Pull Request

Go to GitHub and follow the prompts.


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