Robot Framework 4.0 development starting - How to contribute

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Pekka Klärck

Sep 9, 2020, 10:39:54 AM9/9/20
to robotframework-users, robotframework-announce

Robot Framework 3.2.2 was released last week and now it's time to
start active Robot Framework 4.0 development. In this email I talk a
bit about the project scope and timeline, how you can contribute, the
development team, how we are going to work and when we are going to

= Scope and timeline =

The main features in this release are going to be addition of the skip
status, enhancements to the listener API and various Libdoc
enhancements. All issues currently targeted for Robot Framework 4.0
can be found at This
list is likely to change during development as new issues are added
and some of the current ones possibly descoped.

The plan is to get the release out still this year.

= How to contribute =

The easiest way to contribute code to RF 4.0 is creating pull requests
on GitHub. You can pick one of the issues targeted for this release or
propose a new feature or fix you'd like to work on. Non-code
contributions such as testing the forthcoming preview releases are
highly appreciated as well.

If you have a possibility to work more, you can also consider joining
the more active development team discussed below. We are happy to
include people who have interest towards Robot Framework and open
source, and have at least some Python experience.

= Team =

Good news is that we now have a bit bigger team than with the latest
releases. The current Robot Framework 4.0 team includes:

Pekka Klärck
Janne Härkönen
Mikko Korpela
René Rohner

Janne and Mikko were members of the old Robot Framework team that was
working for Nokia Networks 2005-2015 and thus know the tool and the
code base very well. Janne was also developing the new parser for RF
3.2 with me and Mikko is known, for example, from Pabot. Both of them
work for Reaktor and in this project their work is sponsored by

René hasn't earlier participated in Robot Framework core development
but has created, for example, the DataDriver tool and he is also a
very active community member. He works for Imbus and his participation
is sponsored by his employer.

I continue to work as the lead developer helping others and hopefully
getting some coding done myself as well. My work is sponsored by the
Robot Framework Foundation and its 40+ member companies. If you or
your company benefits from Robot Framework, consider joining the
foundation to help making the team bigger and to make it possible for
me to work full time with this project. For details about the
foundation see

As already mentioned, we are happy to add more people to the team. The
team is rather virtual and doesn't have any real official status. Only
requirements are Python knowledge (no need to be a pro), Git and
GitHub knowledge (no need to be a pro in this regard either), and
possibility to commit to work on a weekly basis. If you are
interested, contact me via email or on Slack (see below).

= How do we work =

The development team tries to keep all discussion open. The main
discussion forum will be the #devel channel on our Slack. If you
aren't yet part of the Slack community, you can get an invitation at

Because Slack discussions aren't visible outside Slack and aren't
preserved too long, that forum isn't suitable for documenting design
decisions. For that purpose we mainly use the issue tracker either by
opening new issues or commenting on existing ones. Bigger design
decisions may be announced using other channels such as this email
list as well.

We are also planning to have a weekly status check and design
discussion using Google Meet or some other such solution.

= When to we start =

We are going to have the official start-up session on Monday September
14, 2020, at 7:00 UTC. To see what that time means on your timezone
see the link below.

The initial agenda for the session is below:
- Development team introduction
- RF 4.0 scope
- Assigning first tasks
- Q&A

Hopefully everyone interested to contribute more to RF 4.0 can join
the session. We are going to share the link to the web meeting at
least on the #devel channel on Slack a bit later.

We know this time isn't ideal for everyone and it's likely really bad
for most of the US. It's not a problem if you miss the session and we
can also re-run it later the same day if there's enough people who
cannot join at that time.

I'm super excited about Robot Framework 4.0 and the more active
development that's now starting!

Agile Tester/Developer/Consultant ::
Lead Developer of Robot Framework ::
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