How to Contribute

I would be very happy about any kind of contributions that help to improve and extend the functionality of biopandas.

Code of Conduct

If this is your first contribution, please review the Code of Conduct.

Quick Contributor Checklist

This is a quick checklist about the different steps of a typical contribution to biopandas and other open source projects. Consider copying this list to a local text file (or the issue tracker) and checking off items as you go.

  1. [ ] Open a new "issue" on GitHub to discuss the new feature / bug fix
  2. [ ] Fork the biopandas repository from GitHub (if not already done earlier)
  3. [ ] Create and checkout a new topic branch
  4. [ ] Implement new feature or apply the bug-fix
  5. [ ] Add appropriate unit test functions
  6. [ ] Run nosetests -sv and make sure that all unit tests pass
  7. [ ] Check/improve the test coverage by running nosetests --with-coverage
  8. [ ] Add a note about the change to the ./docs/sources/ file
  9. [ ] Modify documentation in the appropriate location under biopandas/docs/sources/
  10. [ ] Push the topic branch to the server and create a pull request
  11. [ ] Check the Travis-CI build passed at
  12. [ ] Check/improve the unit test coverage at
  13. [ ] Check/improve the code health at
  14. [ ] Squash many small commits to a larger commit

Getting Started - Creating a New Issue and Forking the Repository

Syncing an Existing Fork

If you already forked biopandas earlier, you can bring you "Fork" up to date with the master branch as follows:

1. Configuring a remote that points to the upstream repository on GitHub

List the current configured remote repository for your fork by executing

$ git remote -v

If you see something like

origin<your username>/biopandas.git (fetch)
origin<your username>/biopandas.git (push)

you need to specify a new remote upstream repository via

$ git remote add upstream

Now, verify the new upstream repository you've specified for your fork by executing

$ git remote -v

You should see following output if everything is configured correctly:

origin<your username>/biopandas.git (fetch)
origin<your username>/biopandas.git (push)
upstream (fetch)
upstream (push)

2. Syncing your Fork

First, fetch the updates of the original project's master branch by executing:

$ git fetch upstream

You should see the following output

remote: Counting objects: xx, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (xx/xx), done.
remote: Total xx (delta xx), reused xx (delta x)
Unpacking objects: 100% (xx/xx), done.
 * [new branch]      master     -> upstream/master

This means that the commits to the rasbt/biopandas master branch are now stored in the local branch upstream/master.

If you are not already on your local project's master branch, execute

$ git checkout master

Finally, merge the changes in upstream/master to your local master branch by executing

$ git merge upstream/master

which will give you an output that looks similar to

SOME FILE1                    |    12 +++++++
SOME FILE2                    |    10 +++++++
2 files changed, 22 insertions(+),

Making Changes in a New Topic Branch

1. Creating a new feature branch

Please avoid working directly on the master branch but create a new feature branch:

$ git branch <new_feature>

Switch to the new feature branch by executing

$ git checkout <new_feature>

2. Developing the new feature / bug fix

3. Testing your code

Adding/modifying the unit tests and check if they pass:

$ nosetests -sv
$ nosetests --with-coverage

4. Documenting the changes

Please add an entry to the biopandas/docs/sources/ file. If it is a new feature, it would also be nice if you could update the documentation in appropriate location in biopandas/sources.

5. Committing the changes

When you are ready to commit the changes, please provide a meaningful commit message:

$ git add <modifies_files> # or `git add .`
$ git commit -m '<meaningful commit message>'

6. Optional: squashing commits

If you made multiple smaller commits, it would be nice if you could group them into a larger, summarizing commit. First, list your recent commit via

$ git log

which will list the commits from newest to oldest in the following format by default:

commit 046e3af8a9127df8eac879454f029937c8a31c41
Author: rasbt <>
Date:   Tue Nov 24 03:46:37 2015 -0500


commit c3c00f6ba0e8f48bbe1c9081b8ae3817e57ecc5c
Author: rasbt <>
Date:   Tue Nov 24 03:04:39 2015 -0500

        documented feature x

commit d87934fe8726c46f0b166d6290a3bf38915d6e75
Author: rasbt <>
Date:   Tue Nov 24 02:44:45 2015 -0500

        added support for feature x

Assuming that it would make sense to group these 3 commits into one, we can execute

$ git rebase -i HEAD~3

which will bring our default git editor with the following contents:

pick d87934f added support for feature x
pick c3c00f6 documented feature x
pick 046e3af fixed

Since c3c00f6 and 046e3af are related to the original commit of feature x, let's keep the d87934f and squash the 2 following commits into this initial one by changes the lines to

pick d87934f added support for feature x
squash c3c00f6 documented feature x
squash 046e3af fixed

Now, save the changes in your editor. Now, quitting the editor will apply the rebase changes, and the editor will open a second time, prompting you to enter a new commit message. In this case, we could enter support for feature x to summarize the contributions.

7. Uploading the changes

Push your changes to a topic branch to the git server by executing:

$ git push origin <feature_branch>

8. Submitting a pull request

Go to your GitHub repository online, select the new feature branch, and submit a new pull request:

Notes for the Developers

Building the documentation

The documentation is built via MkDocs; to ensure that the documentation is rendered correctly, you can view the documentation locally by executing mkdocs serve from the biopandas/docs directory.

For example,

~/github/biopandas/docs$ mkdocs serve

1. Editing the Tutorials

Please note that documents containing code examples are generated from IPython Notebook files and converted to markdown via

~/github/biopandas/docs/sources/tutorials$ nbconvert --to markdown <file.ipynb>

The markdown file should be placed into the documentation directory at biopandas/docs/sources to build the documentation via MkDocs. If you are adding a new document, please also include it in the pages section in the biopandas/docs/mkdocs.yml file.

2. Building the API documentation

To build the API documentation, navigate to biopandas/docs and execute the file from this directory via

~/github/biopandas/docs$ python

This should place the API documentation into the correct directories in biopandas/docs/sources/api.

3. Building static HTML files of the documentation

Build the static HTML files of the biopandas documentation via

~/github/biopandas/docs$ mkdocs build --clean

To deploy the documentation, execute

~/github/biopandas/docs$ mkdocs gh-deploy --clean

Uploading a new version to PyPI

1. Creating a new testing environment

Assuming we are using conda, create a new python environment via

$ conda create -n 'biopandas-testing' python=3 pandas

Next, activate the environment by executing

$ source activate biopandas-testing

2. Installing the package from local files

Test the installation by executing

$ python install --record files.txt

the --record files.txt flag will create a files.txt file listing the locations where these files will be installed.

Try to import the package to see if it works, for example, by executing

$ python -c 'import biopandas; print(biopandas.__file__)'

If everything seems to be fine, remove the installation via

$ cat files.txt | xargs rm -rf ; rm files.txt

Next, test if pip is able to install the packages. First, navigate to a different directory, and from there, install the package:

$ pip install code/biopandas/

and uninstall it again

$ pip uninstall biopandas

3. Deploying the package

Consider deploying the package to the PyPI test server first. The setup instructions can be found here.

$ python sdist bdist_wheel upload -r

Test if it can be installed from there by executing

$ pip install -i biopandas

and uninstall it

$ pip uninstall biopandas

After this dry-run succeeded, repeat this process using the "real" PyPI:

$ python sdist bdist_wheel upload

4. Removing the virtual environment

Finally, to cleanup our local drive, remove the virtual testing environment via

$ conda remove --name 'biopandas-testing' --all