Contributors’ Guide#

Bug reports, feature requests, patches, and other contributions are warmly welcomed. Contribution should be as easy and friendly as possible. Below are a few guidelines contributors should follow to facilitate the process.

Getting Started#

  • Create a GitHub account if you don’t have one already.

  • Search through the tracker to see if an issue or pull request has already been created for what you’re interested in. If so, feel free to add comments to it or just hit the “subscribe” button to follow progress. If not, you can join the chat room to discuss there, post in the GitHub Discussions forum, or go ahead and create a new issue:

    • Clearly describe the issue giving as much relevant context as possible.

    • If it is a bug, include reproduction steps, all known environments in which the bug is exhibited, and ideally a failing test case.

  • If you would like to contribute a patch, make sure you’ve created your own fork and have cloned it to your computer.

Making Changes#


You can now use to get an already-configured development environment inside your browser in which you can make, test, and submit your changes to bidict.


You can also work on bidict in a Visual Studio Code devcontainer environment which will install development dependencies and some helpful VS Code extensions for you.

Try Remote-Containers: Clone Repository in Container Volume... on this repository. You may need to reload your VS Code window after it finishes cloning and installing extensions, which it should prompt you to do.

In a devcontainer, you don’t need to worry about the below steps of making a virtualenv or configuring EditorConfig or pre-commit, those will be part of your development environment by default.

  • Before making changes, please (create a virtualenv and) install the extra packages required for development if you haven’t already: pip install -r requirements/test.txt -r requirements/lint.txt -r requirements/docs.txt

    We use EditorConfig and pre-commit to help achieve uniform style and quality standards across a diversity of development environments.

    pre-commit gets installed when you run the command above and ensures that various code checks are run before every commit (look in .pre-commit-config.yaml to see which hooks are run). Ensure the configured hooks are installed by running pre-commit install --install-hooks.

    EditorConfig allows us to provide a single .editorconfig file to configure settings like indentation consistently across a variety of supported editors. See to install the plugin for your editor.

  • Create a topic branch off of main for your changes: git checkout -b <topic> main

  • Make commits of logical units.

  • Match the existing code style and quality standards. If you’re adding a feature, include accompanying tests and documentation demonstrating its correctness and usage.

  • Run the tests locally with tox to make sure they pass for all supported Python versions (see envlist in tox.ini for the complete list). If you do not have all the referenced Python versions available locally, you can also push the changes on your branch to GitHub to automatically trigger a new GitHub Actions build, which should run the tests for all supported Python versions.

  • Create a concise but comprehensive commit message in the following style:

    Include an example commit message in CONTRIBUTING guide #9999
    Without this patch the CONTRIBUTING guide would contain no examples of
    a model commit message. This is a problem because the contributor is left
    to imagine what the commit message should look like and may not get it
    right. This patch fixes the problem by providing a concrete example.
    The first line is an imperative statement summarizing the changes with an
    issue number from the tracker. The body describes the behavior without
    the patch, why it's a problem, and how the patch fixes the problem.

Submitting Changes#

  • Push your changes to a topic branch in your fork of the repository: git push --set-upstream origin <topic>

  • Submit a pull request providing any additional relevant details necessary.

  • Acknowledgment should typically be fast but please allow 1-2 weeks for a full response / code review.

  • The code review process often involves some back-and-forth to get everything right before merging. This is typical of quality software projects that accept patches.

  • All communication should be supportive and appreciative of good faith efforts to contribute, creating a welcoming and inclusive community.


Sponsor through GitHub Sponsor through Gumroad Sponsor through PayPal Sponsors on GitHub

Bidict is the product of thousands of hours of my unpaid work over the ~15 years that I’ve been the sole maintainer.

If bidict has helped you or your company accomplish your work, please sponsor my work through GitHub, and/or ask your company to do the same.

Choose a tier and GitHub handles everything else. Your GitHub sponsorship will automatically go on the same bill you already have set up with GitHub, so after the one-click signup, there’s nothing else to do.

You can also sponsor my work through Gumroad or PayPal, or through a support engagement with my LLC. See Enterprise Support for details.

Code of Conduct#

All participation in this project should respect the Code of Conduct. [1]

By participating, you are expected to honor this code.