Contributing to pgmpy

Hi! Thanks for your interest in contributing to [pgmpy](pgmpy — pgmpy 0.1.0 documentation). In this document we’ll try to summarize everything that you need to know to do a good job.

Code and Issues

We use GitHub to host our code repositories and issues.You can look at issues to report any issues related to pgmpy. Here is a guide on how to report better issues.

Git and our Branching model


We use Git as our version control system , so the best way to contribute is to learn how to use it and put your changes on a Git repository. There are plenty of documentation about Git – you can start with the Pro Gitbook . Or You can go through the try git tutorial

Forks + GitHub Pull requests

We use gitflow to manage our branches.

Summary of our git branching model:

  • Fork the desired repository on GitHub to your account;
  • Clone your forked repository locally (git clone [email protected]:your-username/repository-name.git);
  • Create a new branch off of develop with a descriptive name (for example: feature/portuguese-sentiment-analysis, hotfix/bug-on-downloader). You can do it by switching to develop branch (git checkout develop) and then creating a new branch (git checkout -b name-of-the-new-branch);
  • Make changes to the codebase and commit it. [Imp] Make sure that tests pass for each of your commits.
  • Rebase your branch on the current dev and push to your fork on GitHub (with the name as your local branch: git push origin branch-name);
  • Create a pull request using the GitHub Web interface (asking us to pull the changes from your new branch and add the changes to our develop branch).;
  • Wait for comments.


  • [Imp] Write helpful commit messages .
  • Anything in the dev branch should be deployable (no failing tests).
  • Never use git add .: it can add unwanted files;
  • Avoid using git commit -a unless you know what you’re doing;
  • Check every change with git diff before adding then to the index (stage area) and with git diff --cached before commiting;
  • If you have push access to the main repository, please do not commit directly to dev: your access should be used only to accept pull requests; if you want to make a new feature, you should use the same process as other developers so that your code can be reviewed.

Code Guidelines

  • We use PEP8 ;
  • We permit 120 characters in a line, rather 79 as suggested in PEP8
  • Write tests for your new features (please see “Tests” topic below);
  • Always remember that commented code is dead code ;
  • Name identifiers (variables, classes, functions, module names) with readable names (x is always wrong);
  • When manipulating strings, use Python’s new-style formatting ('{} = {}'.format(a, b) instead of '%s = %s' % (a, b));
  • When working with files use with open(<filename>, <option>) as f instead of f = open(<filename>, <option>);
  • All #TODO comments should be turned into issues (use our GitHub issue system );
  • Run all tests before pushing (just execute nosetests) so you will know if your changes broke something;
  • Try to write both Python 2 and Python3-friendly code so won’t be a pain for us to support both versions.We use six to help us in integration across various python versions.


We use Travis CI for continous integration and python unittest module for writing tests. You should write tests for every feature you add or bug you solve in the code. Having automated tests for every line of our code let us make big changes without worries: there will always be tests to verify if the changes introduced bugs or lack of features. If we don’t have tests we will be blind and every change will come with some fear of possibly breaking something.

For a better design of your code, we recommend using a technique called test-driven development , where you write your tests before writing the actual code that implements the desired feature.


Please feel free to contact us through mail list if you have any questions or suggestions. Connect with us at gitter . Every contribution is very welcome!

Mailing list : [email protected]

Happy hacking! ;)