Contributing code to Stan

Hi all,

I recently submitted a new distribution to the Stan codebase (the Dirichlet-multinomial distribution). I wrote down my experiences in a blog post. This is definitely not a tutorial, and I am not an expert at all, but if you’re interested in contributing to Stan yourself, you might learn something from my (numerous) mistakes.




Very nice post! Thank you for your contribution, and your peek at what it looks like for a first-timer :)

A few remarks on some things you mention:

The script is used to scrape these signatures into a plain text file. 

which is true, but I’m not sure why this feature exists.

This is primarily used for the various syntax highlighters that want a list of the built-in functions to show them in their own color. It was also very helpful when first adding those “Available since…” labels that are now everywhere, since I could generate the list for different snapshots in time and then diff them to see what got added when

It is possible replace the folder stan_math with a link to the math folder.

You can also set the make variable MATH to a path to your own copy of the repo, similar to what you do later for STANC

I hope you enjoyed this experience enough to contribute again someday!

great blog post!

I think that the script is used for RStudio docs - @bgoodri is this still being used?

Thanks! Especially the make variable trick is very good to know (and sort of obvious in hindsight). I’ve added these notes to the blog post.
Contributing was certainly an interesting and valuable experience, and should be a bit easier the second time.

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