7.1. Contribute#

7.1.1. Support questions#

If you have questions, you can use

We prefer that you ask questions via these routes rather than creating Github issues. The issue tracker is intended to address bugs, feature requests, and code changes.

7.1.2. Reporting issues#

Issues can be posted at our Github issue page.

We distinguish between the following types of issues:

  • Bug report: you encountered broken code

  • Feature request: you want something to be added

  • Change request: there is a something you would like to be different but it is not considered a new feature nor is something broken

  • Security vulnerabilities: you found a security issue

Each issue type has its own template. Using these templates makes it easier for us to manage them.


Security vulnerabilities should not be reported in the Github issue tracker as they should not be publically visible. To see how we deal with security vulnerabilities read our policy.

See the Security vulnerabilities section when you want to release a security patch yourself.

We distibute the open issues in sprints and hotfixes. You can check out these boards here:

When a high impact bug is reported, we will put it on the hotfix board and create a patch release as soon as possible.

The sprint board tracks which issues we plan to fix in which upcoming release. Low-impact bugs, new features and changes will be scheduled into a sprint periodically. We automatically assign the label ‘new’ to all newly reported issues to track which issues should still be scheduled.

If you would like to fix an existing bug or create a new feature, check Submitting patches for more details on e.g. how to set up a local development environment and how the release process works. We prefer that you let us know you what are working on so we prevent duplicate work.

7.1.3. Security vulnerabilities#

If you are a member of the Vantage6 Github organization, you can create an security advisory in the Security tab. See Table 7.1 on what to fill in.

If you are not a member, please reach out directly to Frank Martin and/or Bart van Beusekom, or any other project member. They can then create a security advisory for you.

Table 7.1 Advisory details#




Set to pip

Package name

Set to vantage6

Affected versions

Specify the versions (or set of verions) that are affected

Patched version

Version where the issue is addessed, you can fill this in later when the patch is released.


Determine severity score using this tool. Then use table Table 7.2 to determine the level from this score.

Common weakness enumerator (CWE)

Find the CWE (or multiple) on this website.

Table 7.2 Severity#











Once the advisory has been created it is possible to create a private fork from there (Look for the button Start a temporary private fork). This private fork should be used to solve the issue.

From the same page you should request a CVE number so we can alert dependent software projects. Github will review the request. We are not sure what this entails, but so far they approved all advisories.

7.1.4. Community sprints#

We organize community sprints to work on new features and bug fixes. In cycles of four weeks, we work across multiple organizations to improve the vantage6 infrastructure. We work [sprint boards](https://github.com/orgs/vantage6/projects/1) where we track the progress of the issues that are scheduled for the sprint. Each sprint starts with a planning meeting where we decide which issues we will work on. At the end of the sprint, we have a review meeting where we discuss the progress.

The sprints are open to any developer who wants to contribute significantly to the infrastructure during that period. It is possible to decide per sprint whether you want to participate or not. Please reach out on Discord if you want to join one or more sprints.

7.1.5. Community Meetings#

We host bi-monthly community meetings intended for aligning development efforts. Anyone is welcome to join although they are mainly intended for infrastructure and algorithm developers. There is an opportunity to present what your team is working on an find collaboration partners.

Community meetings are usually held on the third Thursday of the month at 11:00 AM CET on Microsoft Teams. Reach out on Discord if you want to join the community meeting.

For more information and slides from previous meetings, check our website.

7.1.6. Submitting patches#

If there is not an open issue for what you want to submit, please open one for discussion before submitting the PR. We encourage you to reach out to us on Discord, so that we can work together to ensure your contribution is added to the repository.

The workflow below is specific to the vantage6 infrastructure repository. However, the concepts for our other repositories are the same. Then, modify the links below and ignore steps that may be irrelevant to that particular repository.

Setup your environment#

  • Make sure you have a Github account

  • Install and configure git and make

  • (Optional) install and configure Miniconda

  • Clone the main repository locally:

    git clone https://github.com/vantage6/vantage6
    cd vantage6
  • Add your fork as a remote to push your work to. Replace {username} with your username.

    git remote add fork https://github.com/{username}/vantage6
  • Create a virtual environment to work in. If you are using miniconda:

    conda create -n vantage6 python=3.10
    conda activate vantage6

    It is also possible to use virtualenv if you do not have a conda installation.

  • Update pip and setuptools

    python -m pip install --upgrade pip setuptools
  • Install vantage6 as development environment:

    make install-dev


First, create a branch you can work on. Make sure you branch of the latest main branch:

git fetch origin
git checkout -b your-branch-name origin/main

Then you can create your bugfix, change or feature. Make sure to commit frequently. Preferably include tests that cover your changes.

Finally, push your commits to your fork on Github and create a pull request.

git push --set-upstream fork your-branch-name

Code style#

We use black to format our code. It is important that you use this style so make sure that your contribution will be easily incorporated into the code base.

Black is automatically installed into your python environment when you run make install-dev. To automatically enable black, we recommend that you install the Black Formatter extension from Microsoft in the VSCode marketplace. By enabling the option ‘format on save’ you can then automatically format your code in the proper style when you save a file.

Alternatively, or additionally, you may install a pre-commit hook that will automatically format your code when you commit it. To do so, run the following command:

pre-commit install

You may need to run pre-commit autoupdate to update the pre-commit hook.

Unit tests & coverage#

You can execute unit tests using the test command in the Makefile:

make test

If you want to execute a specific unit test (e.g. the one you just created or one that is failing), you can use a command like:

python -m unittest tests_folder.test_filename.TestClassName.test_name

This command assumes you are in the directory above tests_folder. If you are inside the tests_folder, then you should remove that part.

Verifying local code changes#

While working on a new feature, it can be useful to run a server and/or nodes locally with your code changes to verify that it does what you expect it to do. This can be done by using the commands v6 server and v6 node in combination with the options --mount-src and optionally --image.

  • The --mount-src /path/to/vantage6 option will overwrite the code that the server/node runs with your local code when running the docker image. The provided path should point towards the root folder of the vantage6 repository - where you have your local changes.

  • The --image <url_to_docker_image> can be used to point towards a custom Docker image for the node or server. This is mostly useful when your code update includes dependency upgrades. Then, you need to build a custom infrastructure image as the ‘old’ image does not contain the new depencey and the --mount-src option will only overwrite the source code and not re-install dependencies.


If you are using Docker Desktop (which is usually the case if you are on Windows or MacOS) and want to setup a test environment, you should use http://host.docker.interal for the server address in the node configuration file. You should not use http://localhost in that case as that points to the localhost within the docker container instead of the system-wide localhost.

Pull Request#

Please consider first which branch you want to merge your contribution into. Patches are usually directly merged into main, but features are usually merged into a release branch (e.g. release/4.1 for version 4.1.0) before being merged into the main branch.

Before the PR is merged, it should pass the following requirements:

  • At least one approved review of a code owner

  • All unit tests should complete

  • CodeQL (vulnerability scanning) should pass

  • Codacy - Code quality checks - should be OK

  • Coveralls - Code coverage analysis - should not decrease


Depending on the changes you made, you may need to add a little (or a lot) of documentation. For more information on how and where to edit the documentation, see the section Documentation.

Consider which documentation you need to update:

  • User documentation. Update it if your change led to a different expierence for the end-user

  • Technical documentation. Update it if you added new functionality. Check if your function docstrings have also been added (see last bullet below).

  • OAS (Open API Specification). If you changed input/output for any of the API endpoints, make sure to add it to the docstrings. See API Documenation with OAS3+ for more details.

  • Function docstrings These should always be documented using the numpy format. Such docstrings can then be used to automatically generate parts of the technical documentation space.

7.1.7. Roles in the vantage6 community#

As an open-source community, vantage6 is open to constructive development efforts from anyone. Developers that contribute regularly may at some point become official members and as such can get more permissions. This section outlines the rules that we follow as a community to govern this process.

Community access tiers#

A few levels of access are discerned within the vantage6 community:

  • Contributors: people that have opened pull requests which have been merged

  • Members: members of the vantage6 Github organization

  • Administrators: administrators of the vantage6 Github organization

Contributor access is available to anyone that wants to contribute to vantage6. They can create their own forks of the vantage6 repository and create pull requests from there.

Membership gives developers more extensive access, for instance to create branches within the official repository and view private repositories within the vantage6 Github organization. Membership may be given to anyone that requests it and will be granted if the majority of the vantage6 members approves of this. There are no hard requirements for membership: usually, making several contributions helps in receiving membership, but someone may also attain membership if they are, for instance, an employee of a trusted organization that plans to invest in vantage6.

Administrator level access gives developers access to merge pull requests into the main branch and execute other sensitive actions within the repositories. This level of access will only be granted to a small number of developers that have demonstrated their knowledge of vantage6 extensively. Administrator access will only be given if all administrators agree unanimously that it should be granted. In rare cases, administrator access may also be revoked if the other administrators unanimously agree that it should be revoked.

Voting for membership and administrator access may be done in the community meetings, but can also be done asynchronously via email.