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The AAS WorldWide Telescope Contributors’ Guide

Thank you for your interest in contributing to to the AAS WorldWide Telescope! There are many ways to contribute, and we appreciate all of them. Here are the major sections of this guide:

As a reminder, all contributors are expected to follow our Code of Conduct.


If you feel stuck and aren’t sure where to go next, you should check out the WWT discussion forum at We aim to have a friendly and welcoming group of WWT fans who can help you figure out the next step for whatever you’re looking to accomplish!

Bug Reports

All software has bugs, and WWT is no exception. We can’t fix what we don’t know about, so please report liberally. If you’re not sure if something is a bug or not, feel free to file a bug anyway.

WWT is a complex software system with many pieces, so an important first step to reporting a bug is to figure out which piece is the culprit. In our GitHub issue tracking system, that means figuring out which Git repository is relevant. For now, the best advice we can offer is that you consult WWT’s GitHub organization page and peruse the list of repositories found there.

Before reporting a bug, please search existing issues in the relevant repository as someone else may have already reported your error. This doesn’t always work, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to search for, so consider this extra credit. We won’t mind if you accidentally file a duplicate report.

Similarly, to help others who encountered the bug find your issue, consider filing an issue with a descriptive title that contains information that might be unique to it.

Here’s a template that you can use to file a bug, though it’s not necessary to use it exactly:

<short summary of the bug>

I tried this:

<steps to trigger the bug>

I expected to see this happen:


Instead, this happened:


All three components are important: what you did, what you expected, what happened instead.

Pull Requests

Pull requests are the primary mechanism we use to change WWT. GitHub itself has some great documentation on using the Pull Request feature. We use the “fork and pull” model described here, where contributors push changes to their personal fork and create pull requests to bring those changes into the source repository.

Please make pull requests against the master branch.

Writing Documentation

Documentation improvements are very welcome. The WWT GitHub organization includes many standalone repositories for various guidebook documents that are enumerated on the Contributor Hub main page. Documentation pull requests function in the same way as other pull requests.

Our documentation is written in Markdown (with the file extension .md) and rendered with Zola.

The Fine Print to Contributing

By contributing, you agree that we may redistribute your work under the same license used for whichever asset you’re contributing to: “CC0 1.0 Universal” for documentation (such as this website itself), the “MIT License” for code.

Furthermore, your contributions become property of the .Net Foundation, which is the organization that legally stewards ownership of the WWT project.

Finally, all contributors to the WWT are obligated to abide by the project’s Code of Conduct. In brief, it says that you should not be a jerk.

Copyright 2019-2020 the .NET Foundation. The AAS WorldWide Telescope is brought to you by the American Astronomical Society and other supporters.