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Telodendria is a fully open source project. As such, it welcomes contributions. There are many ways you can contribute, and any way you can is greatly appreciated. This document details the ways you can contribute, and how to go about contributing.

Sponsoring Telodendria

If you would like to sponsor Telodendria, see the Sponsorship section on the main project page. Donations of any size are greatly appreciated.

Reporting Issues

An important way to get involved is to just report issues you find with Telodendria during experimentation or normal use. To report an issue, go to IssuesNew Issue and follow the instructions.

Note: GitHub issues are not accepted. Issues may only be submitted to the official Gitea instance.

Feature Requests

Feature requests are allowed, but note that they are low-priority in comparison to existing issues and features. That being said, don't hesitate to submit feature requests. Just select the "Feature Request" option when submitting an issue.


If you want to write code for Telodendria, either to fix an issue or add a new feature, you're in the right place. Please follow all the guidelines in this document to ensure the contribution workflow goes as smoothly as possible.

Who can develop Telodendria?

Everyone is welcome to contribute code to Telodendria, provided that they are willing to license their contributions under the same license as the project itself.

The primary language used to write Telodendria code is ANSI C. Other languages you'll find in the Telodendria repository include shell scripts, mdoc, a little bit of HTML and CSS, and Makefiles. Experience with any of these is preferred, but if you want to use Telodendria to learn, that's okay too! Telodendria's code base should hopefully be a good learning tool, and if you are serious about submitting quality work, we'll guide you through the process and offer suggestions.

What do I need?

You'll need a couple of things to develop Telodendria:

  • A Unix-like operating system that provides standard POSIX behavior, or the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), Cygwin, or Msys2 if you are running Windows.
  • A C compiler capable of compiling ANSI C89 code (pretty much all of them do—pick your favorite, and if you find it doesn't work, open an issue!).
  • make for building the project.
  • git for managing your changes.
  • Cytoplasm, a simple C library written by the Telodendria developers for the purpose of supporting Telodendria in a modular way.

Optionally, you may also find these tools helpful:

  • indent for formatting code.
  • valgrind for debugging particularly nasty issues.

Getting The Code

Telodendria is developed using Git. The easiest way to contribute changes is to fork the main repository, and then creating a pull request to ask us to pull your changes into our repo.

  1. If you don't have an account on the Gitea instance, create one and sign in.

  2. Fork this repository.

  3. In your development environment, clone your fork:

    git clone[YOUR_USERNAME]/Telodendria.git
    cd Telodendria

    Please base your changes on the master branch. If you need help getting started with Git, that is beyond the scope of this document, but you can find many good tutorials on the web.

Building & Running

Telodendria uses the make build system. Because it aims at maximum portability, it targets POSIX make and should thus run on any POSIX system that provides a make, be it GNU, BSD, or something different entirely. To facilitate this, Telodendria provides a configure script which generates the Makefile, because the Makefile would be far too verbose and tedious to maintain in a POSIX-compatible way otherwise. This is similar to how other C programs and libraries are built, although note that Telodendria's configure script is not nearly as advanced as an autoconf script, for example.

Please follow the build and installation directions for Cytoplasm first before attempting to build Telodendria, because Telodendria depends on Cytoplasm and assumes it is installed in the standard location for your system. For the best results, it is recommended to take the time to enable TLS, unless you plan on running Telodendria behind a reverse proxy.

To build Telodendria, simply run configure, then make:

$ ./configure
$ make

You may find some of the following options for configure helpful:

  • --prefix=<path>: Set the install prefix to set by default in the Makefile. This defaults to /usr/local, which should be appropriate for most Unix-like systems.
  • --(enable|disable)-ld-extra: Control whether or not to enable additional linking flags that create a more optimized binary. For large compilers such as GCC and Clang, these flags should be enabled. However, if you are using a small or more obscure compiler, then these flags may not be supported, so you can disable them with this option.
  • --(enable|disable)-debug: Control whether or not to enable debug mode. This sets the optimization level to 0 and builds with debug symbols. Useful for running with a debugger.
  • --static and --no-static: Controls whether static binaries are built by default. On BSD systems, --static is perfectly acceptable, but on GNU systems, --no-static is often desirable to silence warnings about static binaries emitted by the GNU linker.

Telodendria can be customized with the following options:

  • --bin-name=<name>: The output name of the server binary. This defaults to telodendria. Common alternatives are matrix-telodendria or telodendria-server.
  • --version=<version>: The version string to embed in the binary. This can be used to indicate build customizations or non-release versions of Telodendria.

The following recipes are available in the generated Makefile:

  • all: This is the default target. It builds everything.
  • telodendria: Build the telodendria binary. If you specified an alternative --bin-name, then this target will be named after that.
  • docs: Generate the header documentation as man pages.
  • tools: Build the supplemental tools which may be useful for development.
  • clean: Remove the build and output directories. Telodendria builds are out-of-tree, which greatly simplifies this recipe compared to in-tree builds.

If you're developing Telodendria, these recipes may also be helpful:

  • format: Format the source code using indent. This may require a BSD indent because last time I tried GNU indent, it didn't like the flags in Your mileage may vary.
  • license: Update the license headers in all source code files with the contents of the LICENSE.txt.

To install Telodendria to your system, the following recipes are available:

  • install: This installs Telodendria under the prefix set with ./configure --prefix=<dir> or with make PREFIX=<dir>. By default, the make PREFIX is set to whatever was set with configure --prefix.
  • uninstall: Uninstall Telodendria from the same prefix as specified above.

After a build, you can find the object files in build/ and the output binary in out/bin/.

Pull Requests

Note: Telodendria does not accept GitHub pull requests at this time. Please submit your pull requests via Gitea.

Telodendria follows the standard pull request procedures. Once you have made your changes, committed them, and pushed to your fork, you should be able to open a pull request on the main repository. When you do, you will be prompted to write a description. Be sure to include the related issue that you are closing in your description.

Code Style

In general, these are the conventions used by the code base. This guide may be slightly outdated or subject to change, but it should be a good start. The source code itself is always the absolute source of truth, so as long as you make your code look like the code surrounding it, you should be fine.

  • All function, enumeration, structure, and header names are CamelCase. This is preferred to snake_case because it is more compact.
  • All variable names are lowerCamelCase. This is preferred to snake_case because it is more compact. One exception to this rule is if a variable name, such as a member of a struct, directly represents a JSON key in an object specified by the Matrix specification, which may be in snake_case.
  • Enumerations and structures are always typedef-ed to their same name. The typedef should occur in the public API header, and the actual declaration should live in the implementation file, unless the enumeration or structure is intended to be made fully public.
  • A feature of the code base lives in a single C source file that has a matching header. The header file should only export public symbols; everything else in the C source should be static.
  • Except where absolutely necessary, global variables are forbidden to prevent problems with threads and whatnot. Every variable a function needs should be passed to it either through a structure, or as a separate argument.
  • Anywhere that C allows curly braces to be optional, there still must be curly braces. This makes it easier to read the code by making it less ambiguous, and it makes it easier to add on to the code later.

As far as actually formatting the code goes, such as where to put brackets, and whether or not to use tabs or spaces, use indent to take care of that. The repository contains a that should automatically be loaded by indent to set the correct rules. If you don't have a working indent, then just indicate in your pull request that I should run my indent on the code.


This project places a strong emphasis on documentation. Well-documented code is fundamental to a successful project, so when you are writing code, please also make sure that it is documented appropriately.

  • If you are adding a header, make sure you add the necessary comments detailing the header and the functions in it.
  • If you are adding a function, make sure you add the necessary comments to the appropriate header.

If your pull request does not also include proper documentation, it will likely be rejected.

Be Recognized!

If your pull request gets approved, you should be recognized for your contributions to the project!

To have your work recognized, add your information to the CONTRIBUTORS.txt file in the root of the Telodendria repository if it isn't there already. You should do this as a part of your pull request so that when it is merged, your information will be automatically added to the repository.

The CONTRIBUTORS.txt file loosely follows the Linux kernel's CREDITS file format. It is designed to be human-readable, but also parsable by scripts.

The following fields are available:

  (N) Name
  (E) Email
  (M) Matrix ID
  (W) Website
  (D) Description of contribution
  (L) Physical location

Here are the rules:

  • All fields are optional. If you don't want to include a field, that's okay, simply omit it.
  • All fields identify you however you wish. The goal is to recognize you for your contribution, but if you wish to remain anonymous, you don't have to use your real information.
  • All fields can be specified multiple times. For example, if you have multiple email addresses, websites, or Matrix IDs and you want to include all of them, you absolutely may. Likewise, if you have made multiple contributions, you can add multiple description entries.
  • You can make up your own fields if you want. Just add their description above.
  • Leave exactly one blank like between entries in this file.