Copyright © 2009-2012 Bitcoin Developers
Bitcoin is an experimental new digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: managing transactions and issuing money are carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is also the name of the open source software which enables the use of this currency.
For more information, as well as an immediately useable, binary version of the Bitcoin client sofware, see http://www.bitcoin.org.
Bitcoin is released under the terms of the MIT license. See
COPYING for more
information or see http://opensource.org/licenses/MIT.
Developers work in their own trees, then submit pull requests when they think their feature or bug fix is ready.
If it is a simple/trivial/non-controversial change, then one of the Bitcoin development team members simply pulls it.
If it is a more complicated or potentially controversial change, then the patch submitter will be asked to start a discussion (if they haven’t already) on the mailing list.
The patch will be accepted if there is broad consensus that it is a good thing.
Developers should expect to rework and resubmit patches if the code doesn’t
match the project’s coding conventions (see
doc/coding.txt) or are
master branch is regularly built and tested, but is not guaranteed to be
completely stable. Tags are created
regularly to indicate new official, stable release versions of Bitcoin.
Testing and code review is the bottleneck for development; we get more pull requests than we can review and test. Please be patient and help out, and remember this is a security-critical project where any mistake might cost people lots of money.
Developers are strongly encouraged to write unit tests for new code, and to submit new unit tests for old code.
Unit tests for the core code are in
src/test/. To compile and run them:
cd src; make -f makefile.linux test
Unit tests for the GUI code are in
src/qt/test/. To compile and run them:
qmake BITCOIN_QT_TEST=1 -o Makefile.test bitcoin-qt.pro make -f Makefile.test ./Bitcoin-Qt
Every pull request is built for both Windows and Linux on a dedicated server,
and unit and sanity tests are automatically run. The binaries produced may be
used for manual QA testing -- a link to them will appear in a comment on the
pull request posted by ‘BitcoinPullTester’. See
for the build/test scripts.
Large changes should have a test plan, and should be tested by somebody other than the developer who wrote the code.
https://github.com/bitcoin/QA/ for how to create a test plan.