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Contributor Guide

Getting started

Machine setup

To work with the FAST monorepo you'll need Git, Node.js, Yarn, and Lerna setup on your machine.

FAST uses Git as its source control system. If you haven't already installed it, you can download it here or if you prefer a GUI-based approach, try GitHub Desktop.

Once Git is installed, you'll also need Node.js, which FAST uses as its JavaScript runtime, enabling its build and test scripts. Node.js instructions and downloads for your preferred OS can be found here.

Because the FAST repository is structured as a monorepo, we'll need a couple of tools to manage that. The first is Yarn, which can be installed by executing the following command at the terminal:

npm install -g yarn

The second tool you'll need is Lerna, which can be installed with this command:

yarn global add lerna

The above steps are a one-time set up for your machine and do not need to be repeated after the initial configuration.

Cloning the repository

Now that your machine is setup, you can clone the FAST repository. Open a terminal and run this command:

git clone

Cloning via SSH:

git clone

Installing and building

From within the fast folder where you've cloned the repo, install all package dependencies and build all workspaces (local dependencies) with this command:


After the initial install, you can re-build all workspaces in the future with:

lerna run prepare

Developing in fast-components

If you're interested in contributing changes to the fast-component design system, start by navigating to the fast-components directory and starting the Storybook local server there.

cd packages/web-components/fast-components
yarn start

Storybook will automatically open in a browser window at localhost:6006.


To run all tests for all packages, use the following command:

lerna run test

This command can also be run from within individual package folders to execute only tests from that package.


Packages are located within the packages folder of the repository. Each package has a package.json file with a scripts section that defines the commands available to you for common tasks such as build, test, lint, etc.

Submitting a pull request

If you'd like to contribute by fixing a bug, implementing a feature, or even correcting typos in our documentation, you'll want to submit a pull request. Before submitting a pull request, be sure to rebase your branch (typically from master) or use the merge button provided by GitHub.


For additional details on branch management, read the branch guide documentation.

Change Files

Any pull request which includes changes within the packages/* directory requires a corresponding change file. Before pushing your changes to create a pull request, be sure you have included the necessary change file(s). To generate a change file, run yarn change in the root of the repository. The generated file will be checked into the repo automatically for you as part of the process.


When working across feature branches, you'll need to target the branch using the following command: yarn change --branch origin/{branch-name}.

Example: Generated change file:

"type": "minor",
"comment": "add fancy new feature for foundation",
"packageName": "@microsoft/fast-foundation",
"email": "",
"dependentChangeType": "minor",
"date": "2021-03-01T19:10:06.323Z"

Running yarn change will walk you through a CLI process for generating change files. The process will walk you through selecting the type of change as well as ask you to provide a description of any changes. As a convenience, the utility looks to provide recent commit messages for use in the description. For changes that do not affect the published package(s), please use "none" when selecting the change type.

More information on the change process and change types can be found on the Beachball website.


If you are addressing multiple issues which are unrelated, consider either doing multiple pull requests, or generating separate change files to ensure accurate generation of changelogs and versioning of packages.


If you are finding that your changes are either breaking changes or require multiple pull requests, open a discussion to discuss this.

Merging a pull request

If you are merging a pull request, be sure to use the pull request title as the commit title. The title should follow the conventional commit guidelines. It is recommended that if you are merging in pull requests regularly that you add a browser extension that will auto-correct the title for you. A few that should do this are Refined GitHub and Squashed Merge Message.

Documenting breaking changes

Make sure to document the migration strategy in a file in the package(s) that has breaking changes, eg. packages/web-components/fast-foundation/

Example of how to format

# Migrating from previous versions

## v1 to v2

- Export `Foo` has been renamed to `Bar`.
- `Bat` has been updated to use the new API [`BatConfig`](link/to/api).

You can use any code editor you like when working with the FAST monorepo. One of our favorites is Visual Studio Code. VS Code has great autocomplete support for TypeScript and JavaScript APIs, as well as a rich ecosystem of plugins.

Default VS Code settings for this project are configured as Workspace settings in the .vscode directory. These settings override user settings for the workspace and are configured to ensure consistent code formatting across different environments. We also include a list of Workspace recommended extensions for VS Code for syntax highlighting and code linting.

Contribution policy

A “Contribution” is work voluntarily submitted to a project. This submitted work can include code, documentation, design, answering questions, or submitting and triaging issues.

Many contributions require you to agree to a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) declaring that you have the right to grant and do grant the rights to use your contribution. For details, visit

When you submit a pull request, a CLA-bot automatically determines if you need to provide a CLA and decorates the pull request appropriately (e.g., label, comment). Follow the instructions provided by the bot. You only need to do this once across all repositories using our CLA.

Guiding principle

Owners, the steering committee, collaborators, code owners, and contributors work in concert with one another on behalf of the FAST community and prioritize the community's interests over their own.

The development, release, and work management processes must reflect this principle. Accepting contributions to the project requires a review by collaborators.



Owners have admin access and are responsible for the management, maintenance, and operations of the FAST repository.

Steering committee

Steering committee members are key collaborators who have demonstrated design or technical expertise critical to driving the FAST project and community forward.


Collaborators have write access and have an active and sustained impact on the project and participate in triaging issues, reviewing code, mentoring, and working to improve the architectural quality.

Code owners

As subject matter experts, code owners approve pull requests on the packages they own. There is a required minimum of one code owner for each package. Code owners are listed in CODEOWNERS.


Contributors have read access and can be anyone who has contributed a completed pull request to the project.

Nominations & appointments

  • To become a contributor, a community member must have a pull request approved and merged into the FAST project master branch.
  • To become a collaborator, a contributor will petition the steering committee, who will approve or deny the request.
  • To become a code owner, a collaborator will be (a) nominated by a steering committee member or (b) petition the steering committee, who will approve or deny the request.
  • To join the steering committee, a collaborator will be nominated by a steering committee member and the steering committee, who will approve or deny the request.

Acceptance and consensus seeking process

Acceptance of contributions follows the consensus-seeking process.

All pull requests must be approved by an assigned collaborator before the pull request can be accepted. A collaborator will be assigned to a pull request within a reasonable period of time of the pull request creation. The assignee will be responsible for:

  1. Reviewing the pull request if they are not the creator of it
  2. Adding any additional reviewers to review at their discretion
  3. Ensuring the pull request is given feedback in a reasonable period of time from collaborators or code owners with the expertise to evaluate the changes
  4. Merging the pull request

When a pull request : (a) has a significant impact on the project, (b) is inherently controversial, or (c) has not reached consensus with collaborators; add a "status:controversial" label to the pull request for the steering committee to review the pull request. Pull requests labeled with "status:controversial" are not approved until the steering committee reviews the issue and makes a decision.

Additionally, owners can temporarily enable interaction limits to allow a "cool-down" period when hot topics become disruptive.

Specific collaborators or code owners can be added to a pull request by including their user alias in the "Reviewers" section.

Response time

The amount of time can vary but at least 3 days during the typical working week and 5 days over weekends should be given to account for international time differences and work schedules. This is considered a reasonable period of time.

Stability policy

An essential consideration in every pull request is its impact on the system. To manage impacts, we work collectively to ensure that we do not introduce unnecessary breaking changes, performance or functional regressions, or negative impacts on usability for users or supported partners. To learn more about our approaches to planning and releases, see our release planning document.

Developer's Certificate of Origin 1.1

By making a contribution to this project, I certify that:

  • a. The contribution was created in whole or in part by me and I have the right to submit it under the open source license indicated in the file; or
  • b. The contribution is based upon previous work that, to the best of my knowledge, is covered under an appropriate open source license and I have the right under that license to submit that work with modifications, whether created in whole or in part by me, under the same open source license (unless I am permitted to submit under a different license), as indicated in the file; or
  • c. The contribution was provided directly to me by some other person who certified (a), (b), or (c) and I have not modified it.
  • d. I understand and agree that this project and the contribution are public and that a record of the contribution (including all personal information I submit with it, including my sign-off) is maintained indefinitely and may be redistributed consistent with this project or the open source license(s) involved.


Several open source projects have influenced our contribution policy: