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How to Contribute to Jakarta Mail

If you’re interested in contributing fixes, enhancements, etc. to Jakarta Mail, please contact us at before you start. We can give you advice you might need to make it easier to contribute, and we can better coordinate contributions with other planned or ongoing work on Jakarta Mail.

Contributions to Jakarta Mail follow the same rules and process as contributions to other Eclipse projects.

See CONTRIBUTING for the legal details.

Coding Style

Modifications to existing Jakarta Mail source files, and contributions of new source files, should use the standard Java coding style as originally described here and unofficially updated here. The most important points are summarized below:

  • Indentation should be in units of 4 spaces, preferably with every 8 spaces replaced with a tab character. (If using vi, set tabstop=8, not 4.)

  • Braces should be at the end of the line they apply to, rather than all alone at the beginning of the next line, i.e.,

       if (foo instanceof bar) {  
  • Methods should have doc comments of the form:
         \* comments here
  • All keywords should have a space after them, before any paren (e.g., “if (“, “while (“, “for (“, etc.)

  • The “comment to end of line” characters (//) should be followed by a space.

  • The start of a multiline comment (/* or /**) should be alone on a line.

  • No space after left paren or before right paren (e.g., “foo(x)”, not “foo( x )”)

  • There should be no whitespace characters after the last printing characters on a line.

  • In method signatures, start with the access-control keyword, then the return-type, i.e.,

       public int foobar() {
  • When in doubt, copy the style used in existing Jakarta Mail code.

If using vi, try the following:

  1. Either set up your EXINIT variable or a $HOME/.exrc file with:
    set autoindent
    set tabstop=8
    set shiftwidth=4
  2. Use Ctrl-t to indent forward one level
  3. Use Ctrl-d to indent backwards one level
  4. To indent a range like 10 lines starting at the current line use “10>>”
  5. To indent backwards use “<<” instead of “>>”

Using the actual tab key and spacing over will work, but it slows you down.

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