Getting started with

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The gvSIG CE project is a complex, collaborative effort with a lot of code and web infrastructure. These pages will give you some basic instructions on how to join the project and start getting productive as a developer. Please make sure to read them thoroughly.

We cannot provide a full introduction to collaborative technologies such as SVN, the Eclipse IDE or Java here. We assume that you have at least a basic understanding of these things before you join gvSIG CE as a developer.

Joining as a developer/contributor

The general procedure is simple:

  1. Get a (free) account on
  2. Go to the gvSIG CE project site.
  3. Near the top of the page, you will find some links with the names of the gvSIG CE project administrators. Click on any of them.
  4. On the page that now comes up, click the "Send me a message" link (located in the "About me" box, in the right margin of the page).
  5. Send a message asking to become part of the project. Let us know a bit about who you are and what sort of role you would like to have in the project (developers, bug reporter, etc.).
  6. We will make a decision about whether to grant you immediate write access to the SVN.

Before your start hacking away, please make sure to read the remaining sections of this page.

Starting as a developer

The gvSIG CE SVN is located at [1]. A command line check out of the latest development version (trunk) can be done using:

 svn co gvsigce 

However, we really recommend you read the page on Setting up Eclipse, and use that to connect to the SVN and do all your gvSIG CE development work in. Eclipse is the IDE around which our entire development workflow is organized.

All developers must sign up to the developers mailing list. Notifications about commits to the SVN get sent to that list automatically for peer review.

When starting to write code for gvSIG CE and changing existing code, please keep in mind that gvSIG CE is a very complex project (>1.5 million lines of code at this point).

Even small changes that you make may have unintended consequences in such a large code base. So please: always test your code locally. And commit it to the SVN only once you are satisfied that it works reasonably well.

When making an SVN commit, always add a comment so others can understand what you have done.

In case you have any doubts (or have not been granted write access to the SVN yet), create a diff file with your patch(es) (see our page on How to make patches) and send it to the developers mailing list for discussion. There is absolutely no shame in being extra careful and discussing code with other devs before committing it.

The gvSIG CE dev team does not enforce a rigid "quality assurance" system. We believe that a lively community and active peer review work better than any by-the-books software bureaucracy in an open source project. However, to make this work, we depend on all of our developers to act responsibly, document their work and communicate sufficiently.

To allow easier peer-review of source code modifications, an SVN hook has been set up that will forward commit notifications to the special "SVN Log" mailing list. All developers should subscribe to this list to stay informed.

Essential security

All information posted on this Wiki (as well as the forums and the mailing lists) is publicly visible. To avoid crackers from taking over our project and abusing it as a spam machine, please:

  1. Do not post any critical information, such as valid account names and passwords on the Wiki (or any of other web sites). This includes screenshots on which such information is visible, and text files that may contain such information.
  2. Do not use trivial passwords for your web account(s). First and foremost, do not use the same password as your user name. Avoid passwords that any cracker will guess.

Remember: since the valid accounts' user names are publicly visible on, crackers only need to guess the second token, which is the password.

No legitimate member of the gvSIG CE project team will ever ask you to send your password. If you do get asked, then it will be by some phisher/spammer/cracker. Never send your password to anyone.