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Contributing to the Handbook

Front matter

The Handbook has a special contacts front matter variable for pages:

  - name-of-slack-channel
  - text: The text to display

It is optional, and can contain one or more Slack channel name, email address, and/or link.

What cannot be included

  • TTS staff should not include information that shouldn’t be public.
  • Information that can easily go out of date and is already published somewhere else in a useful format. This includes:
    • People’s phone numbers, even if public information (such as their GSA work number). Link to the public GSA staff directory or the access-controlled 18F contact spreadsheet instead of including phone numbers in the handbook
    • Information that is already well-covered on GSA InSite - link there instead of reproducing it
    • Specific TTS org chart info (such as lists of names of supervisors and facilitators). Link to the TTS org chart, the internal 18F org chart, or the internal Office of Solutions org chart instead

A few things to remember

Fork or branch?

Forking and branching are two ways of submitting pull requests to edit the Handbook.

If you are using the GitHub website built-in editing features, you do not have to choose: GitHub will make the correct choice for you.

If you are using your Terminal / local git to edit:

  • TTS teammates: Please use branching to submit pull requests. Federalist Preview sites will only be built from a branch, and continuous integration can only succeed for PRs created from branches.

  • External contributors: Please use forking to submit pull requests, since non-TTS contributors do not have write access. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to run Federalist Preview sites for your pull request; please build and serve the site locally to test instead.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in #tts-handbook.

Thank you so much for your contributions! :tada:

How to update the handbook

Everyone, inside and outside TTS, can submit contributions to as a pull request or open an issue with a suggestion. If you’re part of TTS, you can also chat about ideas in #tts-handbook or #wg-onboarding.

There is no dedicated staff for the handbook; maintenance is done by TTS staff who are interested in helping.

For long or important chunks of writing, consider asking the 18F Writing Lab to review and edit before you propose significant changes to the handbook.

We use Prettier to enforce a standard formatting for all Markdown files. If code is pushed to GitHub and is not well-formatted via Prettier, it will automatically be fixed by a bot; you have the option to run Prettier locally before pushing to avoid this extra commit, but it is not required.

Pull requests (PRs)

Each pull request should be reviewed by at least one other TTS staff member before merging. Once a PR is approved, anyone can merge it (including the original submitter).

If you make a pull request that’s best reviewed by a specific person, tag or assign it to that person. It can also help to ping them in Slack to ask for review.

How to review and merge pull requests

Any TTS staff member can review a pull request. If it’s not your area of expertise, ask somebody who has expertise in that area (for instance, by commenting to tag a person or sharing the PR in Slack). If the author of the pull request added a specific person as a reviewer, hold off merging the pull request until at least one specified reviewer has had a chance to review it.

A note to submitters: If you need multiple people to see your PR before it’s merged, please add a comment letting reviewers know!

If you’re not sure, ask for a second opinion in #tts-handbook first.

Using repo specific labels

  • do not merge yet: Delay merging this pull request until the label has been removed
  • help wanted: Need additional assistance
  • In progress: Currently being worked on
  • info is incorrect/outdated: The current information that is there needs tending to
  • new content needed: There is information that is not present that should exist
  • <2 hours: Easy peazy, lemon squeezy
  • 2-4 hours: Hold my callz
  • >4 hours: Ooph, its a doozy!

Content and accessibility

The handbook follows the 18F content guide, and all content should follow web accessibility best practices. Remember to use descriptive link text.

Public domain

This project is in the public domain within the United States, and copyright and related rights in the work worldwide are waived through the CC0 1.0 Universal public domain dedication.

All contributions to this project will be released under the CC0 dedication. By submitting a pull request, you are agreeing to comply with this waiver of copyright interest.