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react-md - Guides - Contributing


First off, thanks for taking the time to contribute!

The following is a set of guidelines for contributing to react-md and its packages. These are mostly guidelines, not rules. Use your best judgment, and feel free to propose changes to this document in a pull request.

Table of Contents

I don't want to read the whole thing I just want to ask a question!

If you have a question about how to use react-md, getting started, or general styling questions, please do not create an issue. Instead, join the official Slack channel where someone will hopefully answer your question for you.

You will need an invite to join the official Slack channel, but luckily you can get an invite by entering your email into the automated invite site:

Note: this invite site is running on a heroku free tier plan, so if you try to get an invite near the end of the month, this site might be down. If you need to join immediately, you can send an email to with a subject of "react-md Slack invite". You can also use this email template.

Did you find a bug?

If you found a bug, first search the existing issues to see if it has already been reported. If the bug has not been reported, create an issue on GitHub using the bug report template and provide as much information as possible. Attaching screenshots as well as a runnable code example using codesandbox will help get a bugfix out quicker due to less debugging and initial setup.

When creating the issue name, please be concise and focus on a specific package, version, or browser that this occurs in. Here is a list of good bug issue titles:

  • The menu component does not render correctly in Firefox
  • Applying a dynamic theme in mobile Safari does not work after version x
  • The ComponentName in @react-md/package is not accessible

Do you have a new feature request?

If you would like to see a new feature within react-md, please open an issue on GitHub using the feature request template. To help the contributors prioritize a feature, please provide as much information as possible any helpful screenshots, or a link to a page on the material design website.

Since this project is really maintained by only one developer, the scope of allowed features will be limited to:

  • something related to material design
  • adding additional accessibility
  • ease-of-use to existing components

Do you want to fix a bug or add a new feature?

Before you start working on a bug or feature, please make sure that there has already been an issue filed and the fix/feature has been approved as a valid bug or feature. From there, you'll want to follow the steps below which will outline initial setup and other information.

Quick Start

If you just want to get quickly started and run the documentation server, you can run the following commands:

yarn setup
yarn dev

This will install all the packages, run the build for the first time, and start up the development server in watch mode.

If this is your first time contributing, I really recommend reading the next few points for more information before getting started.

Initial Setup

To get started, you'll first want to fork the react-md repo and then clone your forked repository locally. Once the project has been cloned, you'll want to install the dependencies and get an initial build rolling. react-md is developed as a monorepo using yarn and lerna and might not work with npm, so you will want to install yarn first. Once yarn is installed, you can also optionally install lerna globally or use npx for all lerna commands. Installing lerna is optional since the base npm scripts will cover most of the cases for you and use the locally installed lerna by default.

npx is available with npm@5.2 or greater

Now that yarn (and optionally lerna) have been installed, you can install and bootstrap all the packages using yarn or yarn install.

Next, you'll need to build the dev-utils package to be able to build each project and have some helpful utils available while developing react-md:

yarn build-dev-utils
yarn --force

Note the yarn --force. This is unfortunately required since the dev-utils package creates an executable and for some reason yarn can't symlink it correctly if you ran install before this executable existed. Running yarn --force after the dev-utils package is built allows for it to be available in all the other packages.

Now that the dev-utils have been installed and are ready to use, it's time to run your first build. Unfortunately, this will take a bit of time the first time it is run (~5-10 min). Start the build with:

yarn build

Whew! We're getting there. Now that you have your initial build, you can start developing and start up the documentation server! You can start the server with:

yarn start


yarn dev

Using yarn start will only start up the documentation server while yarn dev will also start up the yarn watch command which will automatically update any scss variables that have been changed and create a Typescript watcher for the react-md packages.

Documentation Server

The documentation server is built using nextjs to provide server side rendering and runs using a custom typescript server. The app will be available at http://localhost:3000 by default, but you can configure the port by setting the PORT environment variable:

PORT=8080 yarn start

File Structure

The documentation folder will contain the following folders:

  • public - Static files to be served. This shouldn't really include many other files as most of the time the static files should be imported normally with webpack.
  • src/components - All the React components to be used throughout the app. This is 95% of the codebase
  • src/constants - Any general constants to use throughout the app and demos. This is where reusable data should be stored
  • src/guides - A list of all the *.md files that should be used as guides
  • src/hooks - Any reusable hooks for the documentation site only
  • src/icons - Any custom icons that are not available from Material Icons
  • src/pages - All the pages in the site. Check out the next block for more information
  • src/server - The custom typescript server
  • src/types - Any custom types needed to run the app
  • src/utils- General utils used for the documentation site. This include things like a simple number generator or some string utils

nextjs pages

If you haven't used nextjs before, the way it works is that every file found in the src/pages directory will be turned into a route in the website. So if we want to have the /customization and /customization/color-palette routes, you'll have a file structure of:


Since this can lead to some pages accidentally being created, components aren't actually created in this directory and instead are found within the base src/components folder. All the files within the src/pages folder will just be a simple pointer to a file in the src/components folder. A really good example for this is how the About page is created. All that exists at src/pages/about.ts is a single line:

export { default } from "components/About";

Creating a new Demo

This will be where all the package demos are stored and where 90% of the contributions and development will be. You'll find a all the packages within react-md in this directory with PascalCase. Each of these folders will contain:

  • an index.tsx
  • DemoName.tsx

The main index.tsx file will include all the demos within the app and just render a DemoPage component. Each demo will at least need:

  • a name
  • a description
  • children

Where the description should be the file, the children should be the DemoName.tsx, and the name should be the Demo Name.

It'll probably be the most helpful to just check out the Demo source code as well as an example demo file to get a more in-depth example.

If your demo requires more than one additional file, you should create a directory for all the demo files including the main readme.

├── CustomRenderers
│   ├── CustomRenderers.tsx
│   ├── NonVirtualizedMenu.tsx
│   ├──
│   ├── VirtualizedMenu.tsx
│   └── index.ts

Running Tests

Tests are being run with jest and using the react-testing-library to test React components.

You can run tests at the root level to test all packages:

yarn test

The test command also supports the --watch flag so you can continually run tests while developing.

What types of tests should be written?



The Typescript and JavaScript files found within this repo will be linted with eslint while the SCSS files are handled by sass-lint. If your IDE or text editor supports these linters, errors should be caught in real-time while editing files. Otherwise, you can manually trigger the lint command with:

yarn lint

## or for typescript only
yarn lint-ts

## or for scss only
yarn lint-styles


This project is currently formatted using prettier, so it is recommended to add support in your IDE to automatically format as needed. Otherwise, all files will automatically be formatted pre-commit.


This repository uses conventional commits with the angular preset. When committing, either use commitizen with git cz or yarn cz which will help you create a correct git commit message.


The most important scripts while developing and contributing to react-md will be the start, test, and watch commands. Running yarn start will start up the documentation server using nextjs and the watch command will dynamically start up tsc watchers for each package when a file change is detected as well as re-distributing any changed scss files. If you want to see any additional useful dev utils and scripts, run:

yarn dev-utils --help