First off, thank you for considering contributing to Siphon. Siphon is community-driven project, so it’s people like you that make Siphon useful and successful.

Following these guidelines helps to communicate that you respect the time of the developers managing and developing this open source project. In return, they should reciprocate that respect in addressing your issue, assessing changes, and helping you finalize your pull requests.

We love contributions from community members, just like you! There are many ways to contribute, from writing tutorials or example Jupyter notebooks, improvements to the documentation, submitting bug report and feature requests, or even writing code which can be incorporated into Siphon for everyone to use. If you get stuck at any point you can create an issue on GitHub or contact us at one of the other channels mentioned below.

For more information on contributing to open source projects, GitHub’s own guide is a great starting point.

Getting Started

Interested in helping build Siphon? Have code from your research that you believe others will find useful? Have a few minutes to tackle an issue? In this guide we will get you setup and integrated into contributing to Siphon!

What Can I Do?

  • Tackle any issues you wish! We have a special label for issues that beginners might want to try. Have a look at our current beginner issues.
  • Contribute code you already have. It doesn’t need to be perfect! We will help you clean things up, test it, etc.
  • Make a tutorial or example of how to do something.

How Can I Talk to You?

Discussion of Siphon development often happens in the issue tracker and in pull requests. In addition, the developers monitor the gitter chat room for the project as well.

Ground Rules

The goal is to maintain a diverse community that’s pleasant for everyone. Please be considerate and respectful of others. Other items:

  • Each pull request should consist of a logical collection of changes. You can include multiple bug fixes in a single pull request, but they should be related. For unrelated changes, please submit multiple pull requests.
  • Do not commit changes to files that are irrelevant to your feature or bugfix (eg: .gitignore).
  • Be willing to accept criticism and work on improving your code; we don’t want to break other users’ code, so care must be taken not to introduce bugs.
  • Be aware that the pull request review process is not immediate, and is generally proportional to the size of the pull request.

Reporting a bug

When creating a new issue, please be as specific as possible. Include the version of the code you were using, as well as what operating system you are running. If possible, include complete, minimal example code that reproduces the problem.

Pull Requests

Working on your first Pull Request? You can learn how from this free video series How to Contribute to an Open Source Project on GitHub, Aaron Meurer’s tutorial on the git workflow, or the guide “How to Contribute to Open Source”. We love pull requests from everyone. Fork, then clone the repo:

git clone

Install siphon:

pip install .

Install py.test (at least version 2.4) and make sure the tests pass:

pip install pytest

Make your change. Add tests for your change. Make the tests pass:


Commit the changes you made. Chris Beams has written a guide on how to write good commit messages.

Push to your fork and submit a pull request.

For the Pull Request to be accepted, you need to agree to the Unidata Contributor License Agreement (CLA). This will be handled automatically upon submission of a Pull Request. See here for more explanation and rationale behind Unidata’s CLA.

As part of the Pull Request, be sure to add yourself to the list of contributors. We want to make sure we acknowledge the hard work you’ve generously contributed here.

Code Review

Once you’ve submitted a Pull Request, at this point you’re waiting on us. You should expect to hear at least a comment within a couple of days. We may suggest some changes or improvements or alternatives.

Some things that will increase the chance that your pull request is accepted:

Pull requests will automatically have tests run by Travis. This includes running both the unit tests as well as the flake8 code linter.

Other Channels

If you’re interested in contacting us or being a part of the community in other ways, feel free to contact us in Siphon’s Gitter Channel or through Unidata’s python-users mailing list.