Contribute to Kubernetes docs

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Participating in SIG Docs

SIG Docs is one of the special interest groups within the Kubernetes project, focused on writing, updating, and maintaining the documentation for Kubernetes as a whole. See SIG Docs from the community github repo for more information about the SIG.

SIG Docs welcomes content and reviews from all contributors. Anyone can open a pull request (PR), and anyone is welcome to file issues about content or comment on pull requests in progress.

You can also become a member, reviewer, or approver. These roles require greater access and entail certain responsibilities for approving and committing changes. See community-membership for more information on how membership works within the Kubernetes community.

The rest of this document outlines some unique ways these roles function within SIG Docs, which is responsible for maintaining one of the most public-facing aspects of Kubernetes – the Kubernetes website and documentation.

Roles and responsibilities

  • Anyone can contribute to Kubernetes documentation. To contribute, you must sign the CLA and have a GitHub account.
  • Members of the Kubernetes organization are contributors who have spent time and effort on the Kubernetes project, usually by opening pull requests with accepted changes. See Community membership for membership criteria.
  • A SIG Docs Reviewer is a member of the Kubernetes organization who has expressed interest in reviewing documentation pull requests, and has been added to the appropriate GitHub group and OWNERS files in the GitHub repository by a SIG Docs Approver.
  • A SIG Docs Approver is a member in good standing who has shown a continued commitment to the project. An approver can merge pull requests and publish content on behalf of the Kubernetes organization. Approvers can also represent SIG Docs in the larger Kubernetes community. Some duties of a SIG Docs approver, such as coordinating a release, require a significant time commitment.

Anyone

Anyone can do the following:

  • Open a GitHub issue against any part of Kubernetes, including documentation.
  • Provide non-binding feedback on a pull request.
  • Help to localize existing content
  • Bring up ideas for improvement on Slack or the SIG docs mailing list.
  • Use the /lgtm Prow command (short for “looks good to me”) to recommend the changes in a pull request for merging.
    Note: If you are not a member of the Kubernetes organization, using /lgtm has no effect on automated systems.

After signing the CLA, anyone can also: - Open a pull request to improve existing content, add new content, or write a blog post or case study.

Members

Members are contributors to the Kubernetes project who meet the membership criteria. SIG Docs welcomes contributions from all members of the Kubernetes community, and frequently requests reviews from members of other SIGs for technical accuracy.

Any member of the Kubernetes organization can do the following:

  • Everything listed under Anyone
  • Use the /lgtm comment to add the LGTM (looks good to me) label to a pull request.
  • Use the /hold command to prevent a pull request from being merged, if the pull request already has the LGTM and approve labels.
  • Use the /assign comment to assign a reviewer to a pull request.

Becoming a member

After you have successfully submitted at least 5 substantive pull requests, you can request membership in the Kubernetes organization. Follow these steps:

  1. Find two reviewers or approvers to sponsor your membership.

    Ask for sponsorship in the #sig-docs channel on the Kubernetes Slack instance or on the SIG Docs mailing list.

    Note: Don’t send a direct email or Slack direct message to an individual SIG Docs member.

  2. Open a GitHub issue in the kubernetes/org repository to request membership. Fill out the template using the guidelines at Community membership.

  3. Let your sponsors know about the GitHub issue, either by at-mentioning them in the GitHub issue (adding a comment with @<GitHub-username>) or by sending them the link directly, so that they can add a +1 vote.

  4. When your membership is approved, the github admin team member assigned to your request updates the GitHub issue to show approval and then closes the GitHub issue. Congratulations, you are now a member!

If your membership request is not accepted, the membership committee provides information or steps to take before applying again.

Reviewers

Reviewers are members of the @kubernetes/sig-docs-pr-reviews GitHub group. Reviewers review documentation pull requests and provide feedback on proposed changes. Reviewers can:

  • Do everything listed under Anyone and Members
  • Document new features
  • Triage and categorize issues
  • Review pull requests and provide binding feedback
  • Create diagrams, graphics assets, and embeddable screencasts and videos
  • Edit user-facing strings in code
  • Improve code comments

Assigning reviewers to pull requests

Automation assigns reviewers to all pull requests. You can request a review from a specific reviewer with a comment on the pull request: /assign [@_github_handle]. To indicate that a pull request is technically accurate and requires no further changes, a reviewer adds a /lgtm comment to the pull request.

If the assigned reviewer has not yet reviewed the content, another reviewer can step in. In addition, you can assign technical reviewers and wait for them to provide a /lgtm comment.

For a trivial change or one that needs no technical review, SIG Docs approvers can provide the /lgtm as well.

An /approve comment from a reviewer is ignored by automation.

Becoming a reviewer

When you meet the requirements, you can become a SIG Docs reviewer. Reviewers in other SIGs must apply separately for reviewer status in SIG Docs.

To apply, open a pull request to add yourself to the reviewers section of the top-level OWNERS file in the kubernetes/website repository. Assign the PR to one or more current SIG Docs approvers.

If your pull request is approved, you are now a SIG Docs reviewer. K8s-ci-robot will assign and suggest you as a reviewer on new pull requests.

If you are approved, request that a current SIG Docs approver add you to the @kubernetes/sig-docs-pr-reviews GitHub group. Only members of the kubernetes-website-admins GitHub group can add new members to a GitHub group.

Approvers

Approvers are members of the @kubernetes/sig-docs-maintainers GitHub group. See SIG Docs teams and automation for details.

Approvers can do the following:

  • Everything listed under Anyone, Members and Reviewers
  • Publish contributor content by approving and merging pull requests using the /approve comment. If someone who is not an approver leaves the approval comment, automation ignores it.
  • Participate in a Kubernetes release team as a docs representative
  • Propose improvements to the style guide
  • Propose improvements to docs tests
  • Propose improvements to the Kubernetes website or other tooling

If the PR already has a /lgtm, or if the approver also comments with /lgtm, the PR merges automatically. A SIG Docs approver should only leave a /lgtm on a change that doesn’t need additional technical review.

Becoming an approver

When you meet the requirements, you can become a SIG Docs approver. Approvers in other SIGs must apply separately for approver status in SIG Docs.

To apply, open a pull request to add yourself to the approvers section of the top-level OWNERS file in the kubernetes/website repository. Assign the PR to one or more current SIG Docs approvers.

If your pull request is approved, you are now a SIG Docs approver. K8s-ci-robot will assign and suggest you as a reviewer on new pull requests.

If you are approved, request that a current SIG Docs approver add you to the @kubernetes/sig-docs-maintainers GitHub group. Only members of the kubernetes-website-admins GitHub group can add new members to a GitHub group.

Approver responsibilities

Approvers improve the documentation by reviewing and merging pull requests into the website repository. Because this role carries additional privileges, approvers have additional responsibilities:

  • Approvers can use the /approve command, which merges PRs into the repo.

    A careless merge can break the site, so be sure that when you merge something, you mean it.

  • Make sure that proposed changes meet the contribution guidelines.

    If you ever have a question, or you’re not sure about something, feel free to call for additional review.

  • Verify that Netlify tests pass before you /approve a PR.

    Netlify tests must pass before approving

  • Visit the Netlify page preview for a PR to make sure things look good before approving.

  • Participate in the PR Wrangler rotation schedule for weekly rotations. SIG Docs expects all approvers to participate in this rotation. See Be the PR Wrangler for a week for more details.

SIG Docs chairperson

Each SIG, including SIG Docs, selects one or more SIG members to act as chairpersons. These are points of contact between SIG Docs and other parts of the Kubernetes organization. They require extensive knowledge of the structure of the Kubernetes project as a whole and how SIG Docs works within it. See Leadership for the current list of chairpersons.

SIG Docs teams and automation

Automation in SIG Docs relies on two different mechanisms for automation: GitHub groups and OWNERS files.

GitHub groups

The SIG Docs group defines two teams on GitHub:

Each can be referenced with their @name in GitHub comments to communicate with everyone in that group.

These teams overlap, but do not exactly match, the groups used by the automation tooling. For assignment of issues, pull requests, and to support PR approvals, the automation uses information from OWNERS files.

OWNERS files and front-matter

The Kubernetes project uses an automation tool called prow for automation related to GitHub issues and pull requests. The Kubernetes website repository uses two prow plugins:

  • blunderbuss
  • approve

These two plugins use the OWNERS and OWNERS_ALIASES files in the top level of the kubernetes/website GitHub repository to control how prow works within the repository.

An OWNERS file contains a list of people who are SIG Docs reviewers and approvers. OWNERS files can also exist in subdirectories, and can override who can act as a reviewer or approver of files in that subdirectory and its descendents. For more information about OWNERS files in general, see OWNERS.

In addition, an individual Markdown file can list reviewers and approvers in its front-matter, either by listing individual GitHub usernames or GitHub groups.

The combination of OWNERS files and front-matter in Markdown files determines the advice PR owners get from automated systems about who to ask for technical and editorial review of their PR.

How merging works

When a pull request is merged to the branch used to publish content (currently master), that content is published and available to the world. To ensure that the quality of our published content is high, we limit merging pull requests to SIG Docs approvers. Here’s how it works.

  • When a pull request has both the lgtm and approve labels, has no hold labels, and all tests are passing, the pull request merges automatically.
  • Kubernetes organization members and SIG Docs approvers can add comments to prevent automatic merging of a given pull request (by adding a /hold comment or withholding a /lgtm comment).
  • Any Kubernetes member can add the lgtm label by adding a /lgtm comment.
  • Only SIG Docs approvers can merge a pull request by adding an /approve comment. Some approvers also perform additional specific roles, such as PR Wrangler or SIG Docs chairperson.

What's next

For more information about contributing to the Kubernetes documentation, see:

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