As an open-source project, pyGIMLi always welcomes contributions from the community. Here, we offer guidance for 4 different ways of contributing with increasing levels of required coding proficiency (A-D).

A. Submit a bug report#

If you experience issues with pyGIMLi or miss a certain feature, please open a new issue on GitHub. To do so, you need to create a GitHub account.

B. Send us your example#

We are constantly looking for interesting usage examples of pyGIMLi. If you have used the package and would like to contribute your work to the Examples, you can send us your example. Make sure that your Python script is documented according to the sphinx-gallery syntax.

C. Quickly edit the documentation#

If you would like to edit a typo or improve the documentation on our website, you can submit fixes to the documentation page by clicking on “Improve this page” under the quick links menu on every page in the right sidebar. This will direct you to the Github page to make the edits directly on the “.rst” using Github (you will need a Github account, see step A). Once you make your edits, fill out the fields under “Commit changes” (make sure to provide a good overview of the changes you have made). Note that you will make changes to a new branch under your fork since you will not have access to make changes in the existing branch. Once you click “Commit changes” this automatically creates a pull request which we will review and then merge, if everything is good to go!

If you would like to contribute to the API or make changes offline to the files under doc, see following Contribute to Code and Documentation for more information.

D. Contribute to code#


To avoid redundant work, please contact us or check the current issues before you start working on a non-trivial feature.

The preferred way to contribute to the pygimli code base is via a pull request (PR) on GitHub. The general concept is explained here and involves the following steps:

1. Fork and clone the repository#

If you are a first-time contributor, you need a GitHub account and your own copy (“fork”) of the code. To do so, go to gimli-org/gimli and click the “Fork button” in the upper right corner. This will create an identical copy of the complete code base under your username on the GitHub server. You can navigate to this repository and clone it to your local disk:

git clone

2. Prepare your environment#

To install the neccesary Python requirements on your computer, we recommend the Anaconda Python distribution and the conda package manager. The cloned and forked repository contains an environment.yml file with the specification for all package requirements to build and test pyGIMLi. This file should exist in the directory where you have cloned the repository. In order to create a separate environment where you will work, run the following command in the same directory of the repository in your terminal:

conda env create # Creates the environment (only once)
conda activate pgdev # Activates it (everytime you want to work in it)
conda develop . # Installs your git-version of pygimli (only once)
python -c "import pygimli; pygimli.test()" # Make sure that everything works (also after adding new code)

You will need to do the last step (conda activate pgdev) everytime you start a terminal or put it in your .bashrc. (pgdev) should appear before your terminal location.

3. Create a feature branch#

Go to the source folder and create a feature branch to hold your changes. It is advisable to give it a sensible name such as adaptive_meshes.

cd gimli
git checkout -b adaptive_meshes

4. Start making your changes#

Go nuts! Add and modify files and regularly commit your changes with meaningful commit messages. Remember that you are working in your own personal copy and in case you break something, you can always go back. While coding, we encourage you to follow a few Coding Guidelines.

git add new_file1 new_file2 modified_file1
git commit -m "Implemented adaptive meshes."

5. Test your code#

Make sure that everything works as expected. New functions should always contain a docstring with a test:

def sum(a, b):
    """Return the sum of `a` and `b`.

    >>> a = 1
    >>> b = 2
    >>> sum(a,b)
    return a + b

When you run pg.test() the docstring test will be evaluated. See also the section on sec:testing.

6. Documentation#

We use sphinx to build the web pages from these sources. To edit HTML file, navigate to the doc folder in the repository. Once you have made edits. Run the following commands on your terminal.

make html

The process should build all of the documentation so it may take some time to complete. When it finishes, the last line should state:

Build finished. The HTML pages are in _build/html.

7. Submit a pull request#

Once you implemented a functioning new feature, make sure your GitHub repository contains all your commits:

git push origin adaptive_meshes

After pushing, you can go to GitHub and you will see a green PR button. Describe your changes in more detail. Once reviewed by the core developers, your PR will be merged to the main repository.


Please see for additional notes on coding rules, testing, etc.