Material for MkDocs is a powerful tool for creating beautiful and functional documentation. With more than 20,000 users, we understand that our project serves a wide range of use cases, which is why we have created the following guide.
Put yourself in our shoes – with a project of this size, it can be challenging to maintain existing functionality while constantly adding new features at the same time. We highly value every idea or contribution from our community, and we kindly ask you to take the time to read the following guidelines before submitting your change request in our public issue tracker. This will help us better understand the proposed change and how it will benefit our community.
This guide is our best effort to explain the criteria and reasoning behind our decisions when evaluating change requests and considering them for implementation.
Before creating an issue¶
Before you invest your time to fill out and submit a change request, we kindly ask you to do some preliminary work by answering some questions to determine if your idea is a good fit for Material for MkDocs and matches the project's philosophy and tone.
Please do the following things before creating an issue.
It's not a bug, it's a feature¶
Change requests are intended to suggest minor adjustments, ideas for new features, or to kindly influence the project's direction and vision. It is important to note that change requests are not intended for reporting bugs, as they're missing essential information for debugging.
If you want to report a bug, please refer to our bug reporting guide instead.
Look for sources of inspiration¶
If you have seen your idea implemented in another static site generator or theme, make sure to collect enough information on its implementation before submitting, as this allows us to evaluate potential fit more quickly. Explain what you like and dislike about the implementation.
Connect with our community¶
Our discussion board is the best place to connect with our community. When evaluating new ideas, it's essential to seek input from other users and consider alternative viewpoints. This approach helps to implement new features in a way that benefits a large number of users.
Keep track of all search terms and relevant links, you'll need them in the change request.1
Now that you have taken the time to do the necessary preliminary work and ensure that your idea meets our requirements, you are invited to create a change request. The following guide will walk you through all the necessary steps to help you submit a comprehensive and useful issue:
A good title is short and descriptive. It should be a one-sentence executive summary of the idea, so the potential impact and benefit for our community can be inferred from the title.
|Index custom front matter in search
|Add a feature where authors can define custom front matter to be indexed in search
Before describing your idea, you can provide additional context for us to understand what you are trying to achieve. Explain the circumstances in which you're using Material for MkDocs, and what you think might be relevant. Don't write about the change request here.
Why this might be helpful: some ideas might only benefit specific settings, environments, or edge cases, for example, when your documentation contains thousands of documents. With a little context, change requests can be prioritized more accurately.
Next, provide a detailed and clear description of your idea. Explain why your idea is relevant to Material for MkDocs and must be implemented here and not in one of its dependencies:2
Explain the what, not the why – don't explain the benefits of your idea here, we're getting there. Focus on describing the proposed change request as precisely as possible.
Keep it short and concise – be brief and to the point when describing your idea, there is no need to over-describe it. Maintainers and future users will be grateful for having to read less.
One idea at a time – if you have multiple ideas that don't belong together, please open separate change requests for each of those ideas.
Stretch goal – if you have a customization or another way to add the proposed change, you can help other users by sharing it here before we maintainers can add it to our code base.
Why we need this: To understand and evaluate your proposed change, we need to have a clear understanding of your idea. By providing a detailed and precise description, you can help save you and us time spent discussing further clarification of your idea in the comments.
Please provide any relevant links to issues, discussions, or documentation sections related to your change request. If you (or someone else) already discussed this idea with our community on our discussion board, please include the link to the discussion as well.
Why we need this: Related links help us gain a comprehensive understanding of your change request by providing additional context. Additionally, linking to previous issues and discussions allows us to quickly evaluate the feedback and input already provided by our community.
Explain how your change request would work from an author's and user's perspective – what's the expected impact, and why does it not only benefit you, but other users? How many of them? Furthermore, would it potentially break existing functionality?
Why we need this: Understanding the use cases and benefits of an idea is crucial in evaluating its potential impact and usefulness for the project and its users. This information helps us to understand the expected value of the idea and how it aligns with the goals of the project.
We now have a clear and detailed description of your idea, including information on its potential use cases and relevant links for context. If you have any visuals, such as sketches, screenshots, mockups, or external assets, you may present them in this section.
You can drag and drop the files here or include links to external assets.
Additionally, if you have seen this change, feature, or improvement used in other static site generators or themes, please provide an example by showcasing it and describing how it was implemented and incorporated.
Why this might be helpful: Illustrations and visuals can help us maintainers better understand and envision your idea. Screenshots, sketches, or mockups can create an additional level of detail and clarity that text alone may not be able to convey. Also, seeing how your idea has been implemented in other projects can help us understand its potential impact and feasibility in Material for MkDocs, which helps us maintainers evaluate and triage change requests.
Thanks for following the guide and creating a high-quality change request – you are almost done. The checklist ensures that you have read this guide and have worked to your best knowledge to provide us with every piece of information to review your idea for Material for MkDocs.
We'll take it from here.
Your change request got rejected? We're sorry for that. We understand it can be frustrating when your ideas don't get accepted, but as the maintainers of a very popular project, we always need to consider the needs of our entire community, sometimes forcing us to make tough decisions.
We always have to consider and balance many factors when evaluating change requests, and we explain the reasoning behind our decisions whenever we can. If you're unsure why your change request was rejected, please don't hesitate to ask for clarification.
The following principles (in no particular order) form the basis for our decisions:
- Alignment with vision and tone of the project
- Compatibility with existing features and plugins
- Compatibility with all screen sizes and browsers
- Effort of implementation and maintenance
- Usefulness to the majority of users
- Simplicity and ease of use
But that's not the end of your idea – you can always implement it on your own via customization. If you're unsure about how to do that or want to know if someone has already done it, feel free to get in touch with our community on the discussion board.
We might be using terminology in our documentation different from yours, but we mean the same. When you include the search terms and related links in your change request, you help us to adjust and improve the documentation. ↩
Sometimes, users suggest ideas on our issue tracker that concern one of our upstream dependencies, including MkDocs, Python Markdown, Python Markdown Extensions or third-party plugins. It's a good idea to think about whether your idea is beneficial to other themes, upstreaming change requests for a bigger impact. ↩