Contributing to Jina

Thanks for your interest in contributing to Jina. We’re grateful for your initiative! ❤️

I’m Alex C-G, Open Source Evangelist for Jina. I’m all about getting our new contributors up-to-speed, and that’s what we’ll do below.

Join Us on Slack!

The best way to know more about contributing and how to get started is to join us on Slack and ask questions in our public channels.

In this guide we’re going to go through the steps for each kind of contribution, and good and bad examples of what to do. We look forward to your contributions!

🏁 Before you Start

Make sure you’ve read through our README, Jina 101, and example tutorials so you have a good understanding of what Jina is and how it works.

Not a coder but still want to contribute?

We’re happy for any contributions, code or not. If you’d like to write a blog post, record a podcast, organize a meetup, or anything else to contribute to Jina, we’d love to hear from you!

🐞 Bugs and Issues

Submitting Issues

We love to get issue reports. But we love it even more if they’re in the right format. For any bugs you encounter, we need you to:

  • Describe your problem: What exactly is the bug. Be as clear and concise as possible

  • Why do you think it’s happening? If you have any insight, here’s where to share it

There are also a couple of nice to haves:

  • Environment: You can find this with jina --version-full

  • Screenshots: If they’re relevant

Fixing and Discussing Issues

Right now we’re working on a list of things we want help with and easy-to-fix bugs suitable for first-time contributors. Stay tuned to:

🥇 Making Your First Submission

  1. Associate your local git config with your github account. If this is your first time using git you can follow the steps.

  2. Fork the Jina repo and clone onto your computer. By default, git won’t clone jina/hub as it is a submodule maintained at jina-ai/jina-hub. Please follow the steps for details.

  3. Create a new branch, for example fix-jina-typo-1.

  4. Work on this branch to do the fix/improvement.

  5. Check if your code changes follow the code review guidelines.

  6. Commit the changes with the correct commit style.

  7. Make a pull request.

  8. Submit your pull request and wait for all checks to pass.

  9. Request reviews from one of the code owners.

  10. Get a LGTM 👍 and PR gets merged.

Note: If you’re just fixing a typo or grammatical issue, you can go straight to a pull request.

Associate with github account

git config "YOUR GITHUB NAME"
git config "YOUR GITHUB EMAIL"
  • (Optional) Reset the commit author if you made commits before you set the git config.

git commit --amend --author="YOUR-GITHUB-NAME <YOUR-GITHUB-EMAIL>" --no-edit
git log  # to confirm the change is effective
git push --force

What happens after the merge? Understand the development stage and release cycles here.

Check out jina/hub submodule

By default, git clone won’t clone anything under jina/hub as it is a Git submodule maintained at jina-ai/jina-hub. If you want to contribute to jina-hub, please move to jina-ai/jina-hub repo and make your contribution.

Most cases when you work on jina-ai/jina, you don’t need jina-hub. But just in case for some reason you wish to work with files under jina/hub (e.g. some integration test), you can use:

git clone
git submodule update --init --remote

At any time, if you want to sync your local files jina/hub with master@jina-ai/jina-hub, you can always use:

git submodule update --remote

If you are unfamiliar with git submodule, this blog post from Github nicely explains it.

☑️ Naming Conventions

For branches, commits, and PRs we follow some basic naming conventions:

  • Be descriptive

  • Use all lower-case

  • Limit punctuation

  • Include one of our specified types

  • Short (under 70 characters is best)

  • In general, follow the Conventional Commit guidelines

Note: If you don’t follow naming conventions, your commit will be automatically flagged to be fixed.

Specify the correct types

Type is an important prefix in PR, commit message. For each branch, commit, or PR, we need you to specify the type to help us keep things organized. For example,

feat: add hat wobble
^--^  ^------------^
|     |
|     +-> Summary in present tense.
+-------> Type: chore, docs, feat, fix, refactor, style, or test.
  • build: Changes that affect the build system or external dependencies (example scopes: gulp, broccoli, npm)

  • ci: Changes to our CI configuration files and scripts (example scopes: Travis, Circle, BrowserStack, SauceLabs)

  • docs: Documentation only changes

  • feat: A new feature

  • fix: A bug fix

  • perf: A code change that improves performance

  • refactor: A code change that neither fixes a bug nor adds a feature

  • style: Changes that do not affect the meaning of the code (white-space, formatting, missing semi-colons, etc)

  • test: Adding missing tests or correcting existing tests

  • chore: updating grunt tasks etc; no production code change

Naming your Branch

Your branch name should follow the format type-scope(-issue_id):

  • type is one of the types above

  • scope is optional, and represents the module your branch is working on.

  • issue_id is the GitHub issue number. Having the correct issue number will automatically link the Pull Request on this branch to that issue.

Good examples:


Bad examples:

Branch name Feedback
FIXAWESOME123 Not descriptive enough, all caps, doesn't follow spec
NEW-test-1 Should be lower case, not descriptive
mybranch-1 No type, not descriptive

Writing your Commit Message

A good commit message helps us track Jina’s development. A Pull Request with a bad commit message will be rejected automatically in the CI pipeline.

Commit messages should stick to our naming conventions outlined above, and use the format type(scope?): subject:

  • type is one of the types above.

  • scope is optional, and represents the module your commit is working on.

  • subject explains the commit, without an ending period .

For example, a commit that fixes a bug in the executor module should be phrased as: fix(executor): fix the bad naming in init function

Good examples:

fix(indexer): fix wrong sharding number in indexer
feat: add remote api

Bad examples:

Commit message Feedback
doc(101): improved 101 document Should be docs(101)
tests(flow): add unit test for flow exception Should be test(flow)
DOC(101): Improved 101 Documentation All letters should be in lowercase
fix(pea): i fix this pea and this looks really awesome and everything should be working now Too long
fix(pea):fix network receive of the pea Missing space after :
hello: add hello-world Type hello is not allowed

What if I Mess Up?

We all make mistakes. GitHub has a guide on rewriting commit messages to they can adhere to our standards.

You can also install commitlint onto your own machine and check your commit message by running:

echo "<commit message>" | commitlint

Naming your Pull Request

We don’t enforce naming of PRs and branches, but we recommend you follow the same style. It can simply be one of your commit messages, just copy/paste it, e.g. fix(readme): improve the readability and move sections.

💥 Testing Jina Locally and on CI

You need to build a local docker image tagged ‘jinaai/jina:test-pip’ for all the tests to run as in the CI, via:

docker build --build-arg PIP_TAG="[devel]" -f ${PATH_TO_JINA}/Dockerfiles/pip.Dockerfile -t jinaai/jina:test-pip ${PATH_TO_JINA}

Locally you can do unittest via:

pip install ".[test]"
pytest -v -s --ignore-glob='tests/integration/hub_usage/dummyhub*' tests

When you add an executor or a driver, you may introduce new dependencies to Jina. You can verify the dependencies via:

jina check

, and via Docker container:

docker run jinaai/jina:my-local-version check

It prints a list of components the current version of Jina supports, and then exits. Make sure yours are not in red.

Once you submit the PR, your code will be tested in the environment of Python 3.7 and 3.8 with full exta dependencies (pip install .[all]) installed.

📖 Contributing Documentation

Good docs make developers happy, and we love happy developers! We’ve got a few different types of docs:

  • General documentation

  • Tutorials/examples

  • Docstrings in Python functions in RST format - generated by Sphinx

General Documentation

This covers files like Jina 101, Input and Output Functions, etc.

These are typically written in Markdown, though some may be in RestructuredText.

If you’re just correcting a typo, feel free to make a pull request. For bigger ones, check out our getting support section to get in touch and discuss more.

Tutorials and Examples

This is anything under the Jina Examples repo.

If you’re submitting a new example, be sure to get a good grounding in Jina, go through our previous examples, and test your code.

If you’re making small tweaks to an existing example, make a pull request. For bigger ones, check out our getting support section to get in touch and discuss more.


Docstrings are how we document Jina’s functions. This is suitable for more experienced documentation writers who understand Python functions, docstring formatting, and RestructuredText format.

Building Documentation Locally

To build documentation locally, you need Docker installed. Clone this repository and run the following command:

bash ./scripts/ serve 8080

The documentation is then available in your browser at

💬 Getting Support

We’re always happy to lend a hand, answer questions, or listen to feedback. You find us here:

We’re also looking at starting online developer hangouts, so you can catch up with us over chat and video, and get to meet your fellow Jina contributors.

🙏 Thank You

Once again, thanks so much for your interest in contributing to Jina. We’re excited to see your contributions!