[android-devel] Contributing to Xamarin Open Source SDKs

Miguel de Icaza miguel at xamarin.com
Fri May 6 16:29:52 UTC 2016

Hello team,

We have gotten some questions on how to contribute to the various Xamarin
open sourced SDKs as they are different from other open source projects.

I wanted to do a quick introduction to the process.

The open source SDKs are part of our commercial products, and as such, we
treat binary and source compatibility very seriously.   We are very
inflexible when it comes to breaking this contract with our users.

We are firm believers in finding engineering solutions that allow us to
have our cake and eat it too.   So often, we will introduce alternative
methods and classes that provide a better experience than the other ones.

In general, we want to encourage the use of the mailing list to discuss
technical topics about the architecture and design of the SDKs, and the use
of gitter for casual conversations, or for those cases where you want some
immediate feedback.

One of the principles that we have had for many years is to not kill baby
ideas.   We want to nurture ideas and experiments and see where they might
lead, and possible incorporate those ideas into the product in ways that
will bring more joy to our users [1].

We want to use the mailing lists as part of our "Xamarin Evolution"
process.   Once an idea has reached a point of maturity we want to put
together an actual proposal that can act as the specification that might be
used to document, implement and verify for correctness.     For this, we
use the github.com/xamarin/xamarin-evolution repository.   Use that to
submit a formal request for evolving the product.

Small bug fixes and small additions might not require any of this, and can
go quickly from discussion to implementation in a pull request.

We are not using GitHub issues to track bugs for these products (mac/ios,
android and forms) as we have already an existing bug tracking system that
our QA team uses.  We are using Bugzilla for them.  So bug reports go there.


[1] Joy also includes not breaking their code :-)
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