A seismology toolkit for Python https://pyrocko.org/
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Pyrocko development environment and contribution guide


Pyrocko is written in the Python programming language (versions ==2.7 and >=3.4).


Pyrocko uses Setuptools for its installation script. See setup.py and setup.cfg in the project root directory.


Nosetests is used for testing. To run all tests, run

python -m nose test


Drone CI tests are run on any commits pushed to the repository. By default, flake8 is run, tests are run parallel in 4 groups, test coverage is measured, and docs are built. Success/failure is reported to the Pyrocko Hive.

Pushing to specific branches triggers extra pipelines:

  • hptime: tests are run in both time handling modes (double test time)
  • pip: pip wheels and sdist are built, tested and uploaded to PyPi-testing
  • conda: anaconda packages are built and tested
  • deploy-docs: docs are published
  • candidate: same as pip + anaconda + hptime
  • release: same as pip + anaconda + deploy-docs, packages are additionally published and package tests are skipped

Versioning and releases

Git is used for version control. Use development branches for new features. Master branch should always point to a stable version.

The Pyrocko project adheres to a calendar dating versioning scheme, using the vYYYY.MM.DD format.

Notable changes must be documented in the file CHANGELOG.md. The format of the change log is based on Keep a Changelog.

Commit message conventions

  • start with lower case
  • colon-prepend affected component
  • try to use imperative form
  • examples:
    • docs: add section about weighting
    • waveform targets: correct typo in component names
    • waveform targets: fix issues with misaligned traces

Branching policy

  • Use topic branches to develop new features. Follow the naming convention:

    • feature/<name>: Any code changes for a new module or use case should be done on a feature branch. This branch is created based on the current master branch.
    • bugfix/<name>: Any necessary fixes after that should be done on the bugfix branch.
    • hotfix/<name>: If there is a need to fix a blocker, do a temporary patch, apply a critical framework or configuration change that should be handled immediately, it should be created as a Hotfix.
    • ci/<name>: For branches working on the CI pipelines.
    • docs/<name>: For branches concerning changes and additions only to the docs.
    • merge/<name>: A temporary branch for resolving merge conflicts, usually between the latest development and a feature or Hotfix branch.
  • Open a pull request and use the Gitea-tags Need Review, Need Revision, to signal its state.

  • When a topic is complete, all tests pass and it is rebased to current master: merge with --ff-only and don't forget to update the changelog.

  • The master branch should always point to a stable version.

  • Extra CI pipelines and pipeline steps are run on branches named release, candidate, pip, conda, deploy-docs, and hptime. See also CI section above.

Rebase small changes before pushing

Try to rebase little changes on top of master (or any other development branch) before pushing, it makes the history much better readable. Here is a safe way to do so.

If we have already commited and merged changes to local master:

git checkout master
git fetch origin    # important, otherwise we rebase to outdated
git rebase origin/master
git push origin master

with git config --global pull.rebase true this can be shortcutted to

git pull

Or after we have commited to a feature branch:

git checkout feature
git fetch origin
git rebase origin/master
git checkout master
git merge origin/master --ff-only
git merge feature --ff-only
git push origin master

If during push it refuses to upload ('not fast forward...') then repeat the procedure, because someone else has pushed between your fetch and push.

Tip: use rebase -i ... to simplify/fixup/beautify your changeset.

Code style

Pyrocko source code must follow the PEP8 coding standards. It must pass the code style check provided by the flake8 tool.


  • use i/n convention for indices and counts
    • e.g. for istation in range(nstations):
  • do not abbreviate words unless this would result in ridiculously long names
  • use British english, e.g.
    • 'modelling' rather than 'modeling'
    • 'analyser' rather than 'analyzer'
    • 'optimiser' rather than 'optimizer'
  • log and exception messages:
    • capital beginning
    • final period
    • Progress actions should end with ..., e.g. Generating report's archive...
    • e.g. raise ProblemDataNotAvailable('No problem data available (%s).' % dirname)
    • in-text names must be quoted; not needed after colons
  • docstrings:
    • Docs are built with Sphinx, use rst syntax.
    • Follow the usual convention 1 line summary, blank line, description.

Use pre-commit

The repository comes with a pre-commit config to check the code with flake8 before commiting.

Install the git-hook with:

pre-commit install


Pyrocko's documentation is built using the Sphinx tool. See the docs in the project root directory. Build with make html in docs.

Text style rules:

  • titles: only capitalize first word
  • use British english


GNU General Public License, Version 3, 29 June 2007

Copyright © 2018 Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany and University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany.

Pyrocko is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. Pyrocko is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.