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KMK is a community effort and welcomes contributions of code and documentation from people of all backgrounds and levels of technical skill. As such, these guidelines should serve to make contributing as easy as possible for everyone while maintaining a consistent style.

Contributing Code

The following guidelines should ensure that any code contributed can be merged in as painlessly as possible. If you're unsure how to set up your development environment, feel free to join our Zulip community.

Code Style

KMK uses Black with a Python 3.11 target and, (controversially?) single quotes. Further code styling is enforced with isort and flake8 with several plugins.

NOTE: before committing code, run make fix-isort fix-formatting test to reduce workload for the project's maintainers and prevent the CI pipeline from failing.

There are some limited exceptions to the code formatting rules, which can be found in setup.cfg, notably around user_keymaps (which are also not subject to Black formatting as documented in pyproject.toml)


Unit tests within the tests folder mock various CircuitPython modules to allow them to be executed in a desktop development environment.

Execute tests using the command make unit-tests. The unit-tests target accepts an optional environment variable for specifying a subset of tests with python's unittest syntax:

make unit-tests TESTS="tests.test_capsword tests.test_hold_tap"

Contributing Documentation

While KMK welcomes documentation from anyone with and understanding of the issues and a willingness to write them up, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the docs. Documentation should be informative but concise.


Docs are written and rendered in GitHub Markdown. Check out this comprehensive guide to basic writing and formatting syntax from GitHub's documentation.

In particular, KMK's docs should include a title, demarcated with #, and subheadings should be demarcated with ##, ###, and so on. Headings should be short and specific.

Example Code

Where possible, practical code examples should be included in documentation to help new users understand how to implement features. In general, it's better to have a code- block with comments inside it rather than multiple blocks of code broken up with explanation.

Code blocks should be formatted as Python code as follows:

print('Hello, world!')

Inline code, indicated with `backticks`, should be used when calling out specific functions or Python keywords within the body of paragraphs or in lists.

All software in this repository is licensed under the GNU Public License, version 3. All documentation and hardware designs are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Contributions to this repository must use these licenses unless otherwise agreed to by the Core team.

Due to ethical and legal concerns, any works derived from GitHub Copilot or similar artificial intelligence tooling are unacceptable for inclusion in any first-party KMK repository or other code collection. We further recommend not using GitHub Copilot while developing anything KMK-related, regardless of intent to submit upstream.