Additional Onboarding Information



  • lib/*.js (assert, buffer, etc.)
  • build
  • doc
  • lib / src
  • test
  • tools

There may be more than one subsystem valid for any particular issue or pull request.


  • confirmed-bug - Bugs you have verified exist
  • discuss - Things that need larger discussion
  • feature request - Any issue that requests a new feature (usually not PRs)
  • good first issue - Issues suitable for newcomers to process
  • meta - For issues whose topic is governance, policies, procedures, etc.


  • semver-{minor,major}
    • be conservative – that is, if a change has the remote chance of breaking something, go for semver-major
    • when adding a semver label, add a comment explaining why you're adding it
    • minor vs. patch: roughly: "does it add a new method / does it add a new section to the docs"
    • major vs. everything else: run last versions tests against this version, if they pass, probably minor or patch
    • A breaking change helper (full source):

      SHOW=$(git show-ref -d $(git describe --abbrev=0) | tail -n1 | awk '{print $1}')
      git checkout $(git show -s --pretty='%T' $SHOW) -- test
      make -j4 test

LTS/Version labels

We use labels to keep track of which branches a commit should land on:

  • dont-land-on-v?.x
    • For changes that do not apply to a certain release line
    • Also used when the work of backporting a change outweighs the benefits
  • land-on-v?.x
    • Used by releasers to mark a PR as scheduled for inclusion in an LTS release
    • Applied to the original PR for clean cherry-picks, to the backport PR otherwise
  • backport-requested-v?.x
    • Used to indicate that a PR needs a manual backport to a branch in order to land the changes on that branch
    • Typically applied by a releaser when the PR does not apply cleanly or it breaks the tests after applying
    • Will be replaced by either dont-land-on-v?.x or backported-to-v?.x
  • backported-to-v?.x
    • Applied to PRs for which a backport PR has been merged
  • lts-watch-v?.x
    • Applied to PRs which the LTS working group should consider including in a LTS release
    • Does not indicate that any specific action will be taken, but can be effective as messaging to non-collaborators
  • lts-agenda
    • For things that need discussion by the LTS working group
    • (for example semver-minor changes that need or should go into an LTS release)
  • v?.x
    • Automatically applied to changes that do not target master but rather the v?.x-staging branch

Once a release line enters maintenance mode, the corresponding labels do not need to be attached anymore, as only important bugfixes will be included.

Other Labels

  • Operating system labels
    • macos, windows, smartos, aix
    • No linux, linux is the implied default
  • Architecture labels
    • arm, mips, s390, ppc
    • No x86{_64}, since that is the implied default