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Contribute to OSRD

Learn about the how we work, and how you can work with us

1 - Preamble

An introduction to contributing to OSRD

First off, thanks for taking the time to contribute!

The following chapters are a set of guidelines for contributing to OSRD. These guidelines are mostly not strict rules, it’s probably fine to do things slightly differently. If you have already contributed to open source projects before, you probably won’t be surprised. If you have not, it will probably help a lot!

Communicate

Chatting with other contributors is a great way to speed things up:

Inquire

Just like with any project, changes rely on past work. Before making changes, it is best to learn about what’s already there:

  • read technical documentation
  • read the existing source code related to your project
  • chat with developers who last worked on areas you are interested in

Continue towards initial set-up ‣

2 - License and set-up

How to set up your development environment? What does our license involve?

License of code contributions

The source code of OSRD is available under the LGPLv3 license. By contributing to the codebase, you consent to the distribution of your changes under the project’s license.

LGPLv3 forbids modifying source code without sharing the changes under the same license: use other people’s work, and share yours!

This constraint does not propagate through APIs: You can use OSRD as a library, framework or API server to interface with proprietary software. Please suggest changes if you need new interfaces.

Set things up

Get the source code

  • Install git.1
  • Open a terminal2 in the folder where the source code of OSRD will be located
  • Run git clone git@github.com:osrd-project/osrd

Launch the application

Docker is a tool which greatly reduces the amount of setup required to work on OSRD:

  • download the latest development build: docker compose pull
  • start OSRD: docker compose up
  • build and start OSRD: docker compose up --build
  • review a PR using CI built images: TAG=pr-XXXXX docker compose up --no-build --pull always

To get started:

Continue towards code contribution ‣


  1. Under Linux, use the package manager (such as apt↩︎

  2. Under Windows, open Git Bash ↩︎

3 - Contribute code

Integrate changes into OSRD

This chapter is about the process of integrating changes into the common code base. If you need help at any stage, open an issue or message us.

OSRD application is split in multiple services written in several languages. We try to follow general code best practices and follow each language specificities when required.

3.1 - General principles

Please read this first!
  • Explain what you’re doing and why.
  • Document new code with doc comments.
  • Include clear, simple tests.
  • Break work into digestible chunks.
  • Take the time to pick good names.
  • Avoid non well-known abbreviations.
  • Control and consistency over 3rd party code reuse: Only add a dependency if it is absolutely necessary.
  • Every dependency we add decreases our autonomy and consistency.
  • We try to keep PRs bumping dependencies to a low number each week in each component, so grouping dependency bumps in a batch PR is a valid option (see component’s README.md).
  • Don’t reinvent every wheel: as a counter to the previous point, don’t reinvent everything at all costs.
  • If there is a dependency in the ecosystem that is the “de facto” standard, we should heavily consider using it.
  • More code general recommendations in main repository CONTRIBUTING.md.
  • Ask for any help that you need!

Consult back-end conventions ‣

Consult front-end conventions ‣

Continue towards write code ‣

Continue towards tests ‣

3.2 - Back-end conventions

Coding style guide and best practices for back-end

Python

Python code is used for some packages and integration testing.

Rust

  • As a reference for our API development we are using the Rust API guidelines. Generally, these should be followed.
  • Prefer granular imports over glob imports like diesel::*.
  • Tests are written with the built-in testing framework.
  • Use the documentation example to know how to phrase and format your documentation.
  • Use consistent comment style:
    • /// doc comments belong above #[derive(Trait)] invocations.
    • // comments should generally go above the line in question, rather than in-line.
    • Start comments with capital letters. End them with a period if they are sentence-like.
  • Use comments to organize long and complex stretches of code that can’t sensibly be refactored into separate functions.
  • Code is linted with clippy.
  • Code is formatted with fmt.

Java

3.3 - Front-end conventions

Coding style guide and best practices for front-end

We use ReactJS and all files must be written in Typescript.

The code is linted with eslint, and formatted with prettier.

Nomenclature

Infrastructure diagram

The applications (osrd eex, osrd stdcm, infra editor, rolling-stock editor) offer views (project management, study management, etc.) linked to modules (project, study, etc.) which contain the components.

These views are made up of components and sub-components all derived from the modules. In addition to containing the views files for the applications, they may also contain a scripts directory which offers scripts related to these views. The views determine the logic and access to the store.

Modules are collections of components attached to an object (a scenario, a rolling stock, a TrainSchedule). They contain :

  • a components directory hosting all components
  • an optional styles directory per module for styling components in scss
  • an optional assets directory per module (which contains assets, e.g. default datasets, specific to the module)
  • an optional reducers file per module
  • an optional types file per module
  • an optional consts file per module

An assets directory (containing images and other files).

Last but not least, a common directory offering :

  • a utils directory for utility functions common to the entire project
  • a types file for types common to the entire project
  • a consts file for constants common to the entire project

Implementation principles

Routing & SLUG

In progress

projects/{nom du projet}/studies/{nom de l'étude}/scenarios/{nom du scenario}

Styles & SCSS

WARNING: in CSS/React, the scope of a class does not depend on where the file is imported, but is valid for the entire application. If you import an scss file in the depths of a component (which we strongly advise against), its classes will be available to the whole application and may therefore cause side effects.

It is therefore highly recommended to be able to easily follow the tree structure of applications, views, modules and components also within the SCSS code, and in particular to nest class names to avoid edge effects, as the compiler will take care of making the necessary hierarchy.

If, for example, we have a rollingStockSelector component which proposes a list of rolling stock rollingStockList represented by rollingStockCard containing an image representing the rolling stock rollingStockImg we should have the following SCSS structure:

.rollinStockSelector {
  .rollingStockList {
    .rollingStockCard {
      .rollingStockImg {
        width: 5rem;
        height: auto;
      }
    }
  }
}

This ensures that the image contained in the rolling stock card inherits the correct css properties .rollinStockSelector.rollingStockList.rollingStockCard.rollingStockImg.

CSS Modules

CSS modules allow scoping CSS styles to a specific component, thereby avoiding conflicts with global class names.

Vite natively supports CSS modules. Ensure that your CSS file has the .module.css extension, for example, styles.module.css.

Using CSS Modules in Components
  1. Create an SCSS file with the .module.scss extension:
/* MyComponent.module.scss */
.container {
  background-color: white;
}

.title {
  font-size: 24px;
  color: #333;
}
  1. Use the classes in your React component:

Vite transforms classes into objects that contain hashed classes (e.g., _container_h3d8bg) and uses them during bundle generation, making the classes unique.

import React from "react";
import styles from "./MyComponent.module.scss";

export function MyComponent() {
  return (
    <div className={styles.container}>
      <h1 className={styles["title"]}>My Title</h1>
    </div>
  );
}

For more information, you can refer to the Vite.js documentation.

Class names, using cx().

Classes are normally added one after the other, in the className="" property.

However, when necessary - class usage tests, concatenation, etc. - we use the classnames library, which recommends the following usage:

<div className="rollingStockSelector">
  <div className="rollingStockList">
    <div className="rollingStockCard w-100 my-2">
      <img
        className={cx("rollingStockImg", "m-2", "p-1", "bg-white", {
          valid: isValid(),
          selected: rollingStockID === selectedRollingStockID,
        })}
      />
    </div>
  </div>
</div>

Classes are separated each in a string and Boolean or other operations are performed in an object that will return - or not - the property name as the class name to be used in CSS.

Store/Redux

Everything that is selector is managed by the view and passed as props to components and sub-components.

Consequently, read and write calls to the store must be made at view level, irrigating the components proposed by the view with props and states.

RTK

Use generated endpoints from openapi.yaml files to consume the backend.

Operation of RTK Query cache

When the data is retrieved from the back, RTK is caching it into the store. If the same endpoint is called again with same parameters, RTK will use the cache data instead of making a new call to the back.

In the store, you will see the editoastApi key containing the cached data of all editoast endpoints:

store Redux

Here for example, the getProjects endpoint is called.

RTK stores the endpoint’s name, as well as the call’s parameters, to form an unique key nomDuEndpoint({ paramètres }). (here getProjects({"ordering":"LastModifiedDesc","pageSize":1000})).

{
  'getProjectsByProjectIdStudiesAndStudyId({"projectId":13,"studyId":16})': {
    status :"fulfilled",
    etc
  },
  'getProjectsByProjectIdStudiesAndStudyId({"projectId":13,"studyId":14})': {
    
  }
}

In this second example, the same endpoint has been called with the ssame projectId parameter, but a different studyId parameter.

Serialization of keys in the cache

The strings used as keys in the cache are essentially the parameter object passed through the JSON.stringify function, which converts a JS object into a string (thus serialized).

Normally, serialization does not preserve the order of object keys. For example, JSON.stringify will not produce the same string with these two objects: { a: 1, b: 2 } and { b: 2, a: 1 }.

RTK will optimize caching by ensuring that the result of a call with {"projectId":13,"studyId":16} or {"studyId":16, "projectId":13} is stored under the same key in the cache.

To see the detailed operation, here is the code for this serialization function:

RTK Serialization Function
const defaultSerializeQueryArgs: SerializeQueryArgs<any> = ({
    endpointName,
    queryArgs,
  }) => {
    let serialized = ''

    const cached = cache?.get(queryArgs)

    if (typeof cached === 'string') {
      serialized = cached
    } else {
      const stringified = JSON.stringify(queryArgs, (key, value) =>
        isPlainObject(value)
          ? Object.keys(value)
              .sort() // keys are reordered here
              .reduce<any>((acc, key) => {
                acc[key] = (value as any)[key]
                return acc
              }, {})
          : value
      )
      if (isPlainObject(queryArgs)) {
        cache?.set(queryArgs, stringified)
      }
      serialized = stringified
    }
    // Sort the object keys before stringifying, to prevent useQuery({ a: 1, b: 2 }) having a different cache key than useQuery({ b: 2, a: 1 })
    return `${endpointName}(${serialized})`
  }
Data subscription

In RTK Query terminology, when a React component calls an endpoint defined in RTK Query, it subscribes to the data.

RTK counts the number of references to the same pair (endpoint, {parameters}). When two components subscribe to the same data, they share the same key in the cache.

import { osrdEditoastApi } from "./api.ts";

function Component1() {
  // component subscribes to the data
  const { data } = osrdEditoastApi.useGetXQuery(1);

  return <div>...</div>;
}

function Component2() {
  // component subscribes to the data
  const { data } = osrdEditoastApi.useGetXQuery(2);

  return <div>...</div>;
}

function Component3() {
  // component subscribes to the data
  const { data } = osrdEditoastApi.useGetXQuery(3);

  return <div>...</div>;
}

function Component4() {
  // component subscribes to the *same* data as ComponentThree,
  // as it has the same query parameters
  const { data } = osrdEditoastApi.useGetXQuery(3);

  return <div>...</div>;
}

Here, Component3 and Component4 will generate only one call to the backend. They subscribe to the same data (same endpoint and same parameter 3). They will share the same key in the cache.

In total, there will be three calls to the backend here, with parameters 1, 2, and 3.

As long as at least one mounted React component calls the osrdEditoastApi.endpoints.getProjectsByProjectId.useQuery hook, for example, the data will be retained in the cache.

Once the last component is unmounted, the data is removed from the cache after 60 seconds (default value).

Translation

Application translation is performed on Transifex. The default language is French. If you add a new translation key, it can be added directly to the code, in all available languages. Please note that if you need to correct a translation, we recommend that you use Transifex, to avoid any conflict.

Rules and important elements

No component should be responsible for updating the data it uses

Only views contain the store selectors, which are then given as props to the components of the module linked to the view.

SCSS is not scoped

A .scss file buried in the tree structure doesn’t guarantee that the classes it contains can only be accessed there, even by importing react (formally forbidden by the way: you must use SCSS import), all declared classes are accessible everywhere.

Prefer a judicious choice of root class name for a given module, and use the tree structure available in the SCSS file.

Imports must follow a specific order

ESLint is setup to automatically sort imports in four import groups, each of them sorted in alphabetical order :

  • React
  • External libraries
  • Internal absolute path files
  • Internal relative path files

Each of these groups will be separated by an empty line.

ESLint will trigger a warning if you don’t follow these guidelines.

You must use the full path for all your imports.

Import links can be relative only if the file to be imported is in the same directory.

TypeScript

import & export

ESLint and Typescript are setup to enforce typed imports for an exported type.

This current setup allows to :

  • Auto typing the import when using a type in a file with autocompletion.
  • Getting 2 errors from each package asking to use type import if you didn’t.

When an import or export contains only types, indicate it with the type keyword.

export type { Direction, DirectionalTrackRange as TrackRange };
import type { typedEntries, ValueOf } from "utils/types";

When an import contains not only types, it will be structured like below, in alphabetical order.

import {
  osrdEditoastApi,
  type ScenarioCreateForm,
} from "common/api/osrdEditoastApi";

This allows to:

  • Improve the performance and analysis process of the compiler and the linter.
  • Make these declarations more readable; we can clearly see what we are importing.
  • Avoid dependency cycles:

dependency cycle

The error disappears with the type keyword

dependency cycle

  • Make final bundle lighter (all types disappear at compilation)

3.4 - Write code

Integrate changes into OSRD
  1. If you are not used to Git, follow this tutorial

  2. Create a branch
    If you intend to contribute regularly, you can request access to the main repository. Otherwise, create a fork.

  3. Add changes to your branch
    Before you start working, try to split your work into macroscopic steps. At the end of each stop, save your changes into a commit. Try to make commits of logical and atomic units. Try to follow style conventions.

  4. Keep your branch up-to-date

    git switch <your_branch>
    git fetch
    git rebase origin/dev
    

Continue towards commit style ‣

3.5 - Commit style

A few advises and rules about commit messages

The overall format for git commits is as follows:

component1, component2: imperative description of the change

Detailed or technical description of the change and what motivates it,
if it is not entirely obvious from the title.
  • the commit message, just like the code, must be in english (only ASCII characters for the title)
  • there can be multiple components separated by : in case of hierarchical relationships, with , otherwise
  • components are lower-case, using -, _ or . if necessary
  • the imperative description of the change begins with a lower-case verb
  • the title must not contain any link (# is forbidden)

Ideally:

  • the title should be self-explanatory: no need to read anything else to understand it
  • the commit title is all lower-case
  • the title is clear to a reader not familiar with the code
  • the body of the commit contains a detailled description of the change

Counter-examples of commit titles

To be avoided entirely:

  • component: update ./some/file.ext: specify the update itself rather than the file, the files are technical elements welcome in the body of the commit
  • component: fix #42: specify the problem fixed in the title, links (to issue, etc.) are very welcome in commit’s body
  • wip: describe the work (and finish it)

Welcome to ease review, but do not merge:

  • fixup! previous commit: an autosquash must be run before the merge
  • Revert "previous commit of the same PR": both commits must be dropped before merging

Continue towards sharing your changes ‣

3.6 - Share your changes

How to submit your code modifications for review?

The author of a pull request (PR) is responsible for its “life cycle”. He is responsible for contacting the various parties involved, following the review, responding to comments and correcting the code following review (you could also check dedicated page about code review).

In the case of a large PR, don’t hesitate to ask several reviewers to organize themselves, or even to carry out the review together, reviewers and author.

  1. Open a pull request
    Once your changes are ready, you have to request integration with the dev branch.

    If possible:

    • Make PR of logical and atomic units too (avoid mixing refactoring, new features and bug fix at the same time).
    • Add a description to PRs to explain what they do and why.
    • Help the reviewer by following advice given in mtlynch article.
    • Add tags area:<affected_area> to show which part of the application have been impacted. It can be done through the web interface.
  2. Take feedback into account
    Once your PR is open, other contributors can review your changes:

    • Any user can review your changes.
    • Your code has to be approved by a contributor familiar with the code.
    • All users are expected to take comments into account.
    • Comments tend to be written in an open and direct manner. The intent is to efficiently collaborate towards a solution we all agree on.
    • Once all discussions are resolved, a maintainer integrates the change.

For large PRs that are bound to evolve over time, keeping corrections during review in separate commits helps reviewers. In the case of multiple reviews by the same person, this can save full re-review (ask for help if necessary):

  1. If you believe somebody forgot to review / merge your change, please speak out, multiple times if needs be.

Suggested workflow

Here’s a suggested workflow.

It can be useful to communicate via instant messaging (Matrix, Slack, etc.) in order to guarantee the smooth flow of PR validation.

sequenceDiagram
  actor A as PR author
  actor R as Reviewer/Maintainer
  
  A->>R: Asks for a review, notifying some people
  R->>A: Answers yes or no
  
  loop Loop between author and reviewer
    R-->>A: Comments, asks for changes
    A-->>R: Answers to comments or requested changes
    A-->>R: Makes necessary changes in dedicated "fixups"
    R-->>A: Reviews, tests changes, and comments again
    R-->>A: Resolves requested changes/conversations if ok
  end
 
  A->>R: Rebase and apply fixups
  R->>A: Checks commits history
  R->>A: Approves or closes the PR
  Note left of R: & Merges if maintainer

Finally continue towards tests ‣

3.7 - Tests

Recommandations for testing purpose

Back-end

  • Integration tests are written with pytest in the /tests folder.
  • Each route described in the openapi.yaml files must have an integration test.
  • The test must check both the format and content of valid and invalid responses.

Front-end

The functional writing of the tests is carried out with the Product Owners, and the developers choose a technical implementation that precisely meets the needs expressed and fits in with the recommendations presented here.

We use Playwright to write end-to-end tests, and vitest to write unit tests.

The browsers tested are currently Firefox and Chromium.

Basic principles

  • Tests must be short (1min max) and go straight to the point.
  • Arbitrary timeouts are outlawed; a test must systematically wait for a specific event. It is possible to use polling (retry an action - a click for example - after a certain time) proposed in the Playwright’s API.
  • All tests must be parallelizable.
  • Tests must not point to or wait for text elements from the translation, prefer the DOM tree structure or place specific id.
  • We’re not testing the data, but the application and its functionality. Data-specific tests should be developed in parallel.

Data

The data tested must be public data. The data required (infrastructure and rolling stock) for the tests are offered in the application’s json files, injected at the start of each test and deleted at the end, regardless of its result or how it is stopped, including with CTRL+C.

This is done by API calls in typescript before launching the actual test.

The data tested is the same, both locally and via continuous integration.

Atomicity of a test

Each test must be atomic: it is self-sufficient and cannot be divided.

A test will target a single feature or component, provided it is not too large. A test will not test an entire module or application; it will necessarily be a set of tests, in order to preserve test atomicity.

If a test needs elements to be created or added, these operations must be carried out by API calls in typescript upstream of the test, as is done for adding data. These elements must be deleted at the end of the test, regardless of the result or how it is stopped, including by CTRL+C.

This allows tests to be parallelized.

However, in certain cases where it is relevant, a test may contain several clearly explained and justified test subdivisions (several test() in a single describe()).

Example of a test

The requirement: “We want to test the addition of a train to a timetable”.

  1. add the test infrastructure and rolling stock to the database by API calls.
  2. create project, study and scenario with choice of test infrastructure by API calls.
  3. start the test, clicking on “add one or more trains” until the presence of the trains in the timetable is verified
  4. the test passes, fails or is stopped, the project, study and scenario are deleted, along with the test rolling stock and infrastructure by API calls.

NB: the test will not test all the possibilities offered by the addition of trains; this should be a specific test which would test the response of the interface for all scenarios without adding trains.

Continue towards write code ‣

4 - Review process

How to give useful feedback

The reviewer/maintainer undertakes to carry out the review quickly, and is also responsible for closing request changes, check commit history and quickly merge the pull request if allowed.

We propose you a few tips and recommendations that we think are relevant to a human, relevant and rewarding code review for all contributors:

Here’s a suggested workflow.

It can be useful to communicate via instant messaging (Matrix, Slack, etc.) in order to guarantee the smooth flow of PR validation.

sequenceDiagram
  actor A as PR author
  actor R as Reviewer/Maintainer
  
  A->>R: Asks for a review, notifying some people
  R->>A: Answers yes or no
  
  loop Loop between author and reviewer
    R-->>A: Comments, asks for changes
    A-->>R: Answers to comments or requested changes
    A-->>R: Makes necessary changes in dedicated "fixups"
    R-->>A: Reviews, tests changes, and comments again
    R-->>A: Resolves requested changes/conversations if ok
  end
 
  A->>R: Rebase and apply fixups
  R->>A: Checks commits history
  R->>A: Approves or closes the PR
  Note left of R: & Merges if maintainer

If the reviewer is not maintainer, the PR’s author has the responsability to contact a maintainer to merge the PR. In special cases (especially near feature freeze), maintainer should be found early.

The code review pyramid

5 - Report issues

Report a bug or suggest an enhancement

Please report anything you deem significant!

Our bug tracking platform is github, so you have to register to report bugs.

Follow this link and pick whatever template fits the best.

Bugs

  • Bug must have a correct description and the bug’s issue template must be filled carefully.
  • Bug must be tagged with (for team members):
    • kind:bug
    • one or several area:<affected_area> if possible, if the affected area is not known leave it blank it will be added later by another team member.
    • one severity:<bug_severity> if possible, if severity is not known leave it blank it will be added later by another team member.
      • severity:minor: User can still use the feature.
      • severity:major: User sometimes can’t use the feature.
      • severity:critical: User can’t use the feature.
  • OSRD team members can change issues’ tags (severity, area, kind, …). You may leave a comment to explain changes.
  • If you are working on a bug or plan to work on a bug, assign yourself to the bug.
  • PRs solving bugs should add a regression tests to ensure that bug will not be back in the future.

6 - Install docker

Regardless of your operating system, docker requires linux to operate. When used on a different operating system, docker relies on virtual machines to build and run images.

There are two main types of docker installations:

  • docker engine is the usual docker command line application
  • docker desktop is a GUI app that also manages virtualization

Here’s what we suggest:

Docker on WSL

This install option is very useful, as it allows having a perfectly normal linux install of docker engine inside WSL, which can still be reached from windows.

MacOS colima

This procedure allows installing docker without relying on docker desktop. It uses colima for virtualizing linux.

  1. Install homebrew
  2. brew install docker docker-compose colima
  3. Configure colima:
  • for apple silicon (M1/M2) macbooks: colima start --cpu 2 --memory 6 --arch aarch64 --vm-type=vz --vz-rosetta --mount-type=virtiofs
  • for small infrastructures: colima start --cpu 2 --memory 4
  • for big infrastructures: colima start --cpu 2 --memory 6
  1. brew services start colima to automatically start colima on startup
  2. Exit your terminal, open a new one
  3. You can now use docker CLI

7 -

Here’s a suggested workflow.

It can be useful to communicate via instant messaging (Matrix, Slack, etc.) in order to guarantee the smooth flow of PR validation.

sequenceDiagram
  actor A as PR author
  actor R as Reviewer/Maintainer
  
  A->>R: Asks for a review, notifying some people
  R->>A: Answers yes or no
  
  loop Loop between author and reviewer
    R-->>A: Comments, asks for changes
    A-->>R: Answers to comments or requested changes
    A-->>R: Makes necessary changes in dedicated "fixups"
    R-->>A: Reviews, tests changes, and comments again
    R-->>A: Resolves requested changes/conversations if ok
  end
 
  A->>R: Rebase and apply fixups
  R->>A: Checks commits history
  R->>A: Approves or closes the PR
  Note left of R: & Merges if maintainer