Contributions are welcome, and they are greatly appreciated! Every little bit helps, and credit will always be given.

Types of Contributions

Report issues / contacting developers

Report bugs on our issue tracker.

If you want to submit a bug, improvement or feature suggestions feel free to open a corresponding issue on GitHub.

If you are reporting a bug, please help us to speed up the diagnosing a problem by providing us with as much as information as possible. Ideally, that would include a step by step process on how to reproduce the bug.

If you have a general usage question please ask it on our discourse forum or our chat.

Fix Bugs

Look through the GitHub issues for bugs. Anything tagged with “bug” is open to whoever wants to implement it.

Implement Features

Look through the GitHub issues for proposal discussions or epics and feel free to express your proposal on the topic. Once topic has been flushed out and we have decided how feature should be implemented, we can start implementing them.

Improvement requests

If you see room for improvement, please open an issue with a suggestion. Please motivate your suggestion by illustrating a problem it solves.

Write Documentation

Renku could always use more documentation, whether as part of the official Renku docs, in docstrings, or even on the web in blog posts, articles, and such.

Submit Feedback

The best way to send feedback is to file an issue at

If you are proposing a feature:

  • Explain in detail how it would work.
  • Keep the scope as narrow as possible, to make it easier to implement.
  • Remember that this is a volunteer-driven project, and that contributions are welcome :)

Get Started!

Ready to contribute? Here’s how to set up renku for local development.

  1. Fork the SwissDataScienceCenter/renku-python repo on GitHub.

  2. Clone your fork locally:

    $ git clone

3. Ensure you have your development environment set up. For this we encourage usage of pipenv and pyenv:

$ pyenv install 3.7.5rc1
$ cd renku/
$ pipenv install --python  ~/.pyenv/versions/3.7.5rc1/bin/python
$ pipenv shell
  1. Create a branch for local development:

    $ git checkout -b <issue_number>_<short_description>

    Now you can make your changes locally.

  2. When you’re done making changes, check that your changes pass tests:

    $ pipenv run tests

    The tests will provide you with test coverage and also check PEP8 (code style), PEP257 (documentation), flake8 as well as build the Sphinx documentation and run doctests.

    Before you submit a pull request, please reformat the code using black.

    $ black .

    You may want to set up black styling as a pre-commit hook to do this automatically. Install pre-commit and run the following command in the root of the renku-python repository:

    $ pre-commit install

    See for more information. Make sure to remove other formatting hooks (e.g. yapf) if you already have them set up.

  3. Commit your changes and push your branch to GitHub:

    $ git add .
    $ git commit -s
        -m "type(scope): title without verbs"
        -m "* NEW Adds your new feature."
        -m "* FIX Fixes an existing issue."
        -m "* BETTER Improves and existing feature."
        -m "* Changes something that should not be visible in release notes."
    $ git push origin name-of-your-bugfix-or-feature
  4. Submit a pull request through the GitHub website.

Code comment guidelines

To make comments more easily readable and allow automated styling/parsing in editors, all code comments should start with one of these tags:

  • TODO: An informal task.
  • FIXME: Same as TODO, but for bugs.
  • NOTE: Something to pay attention to regarding the code.
  • INFO: Explanation of what a section of code does (For more complicated pieces of code).
  • WARNING: Similar to NOTE but higher severity (where disregarding can cause errors).
  • HACK: Ugly code that is needed for things to work.

So a comment should look like:

# TODO: some message

Commit message guidelines

This project is using conventional commits style for generation of changelog upon each release. Therefore, it’s important that our commit messages convey what they do correctly. Commit message should always follow this pattern:

$ %{type}(%{scope}): %{description}

Type’s used for describing commit’s which will end up in changelog are fix: & feat:.

description should start with a lowercase letter.

Please note that the fix type here is only for user-facing bug fixes and not fixes on tests or CI. For those, please use: ci: or test:

Full list of types which are in use:
  • feat: - Used for new user-facing features. This should be related to one of the predefined scopes. If a scope does not exist, a new scope may be proposed.
  • fix: - Used for fixing user-facing bugs. This should be related to one of the predefined scopes.
  • chore: - Used for changes which are not user-facing. The scope should be a module name in which chore occurred.
  • tests: - Used for fixing existing or adding new tests. The scope should relate to a predefined scope or be omitted.
  • docs: - Used for adding more documentation. If documentation is not related to predefined user scopes, it can be omitted.
  • refactor - Used for changing the code structure. Scope being used here should be module name. If refactoring is across multiple modules, scope could be omitted or PR broken down into smaller chunks.
Full list of user-facing scopes which are in use:
  • graph - Scope for describing knowledge graph which is being build with users usage of the system.
  • workflow - Scope for describing reproducibility flow.
  • dataset - Scope for describing datasets.
  • core - General scope for describing all core elements of Renku project.
  • service - General scope for describing interaction or operation of Renku as a service.
  • cli - General scope for describing interaction through CLI.

PLEASE NOTE: Types which are defined to be picked up for change log (feat: and fix:) should always contain a scope due to grouping which occurs in changelog when we have them.

Pull Request Guidelines

Before you submit a pull request, check that it meets these guidelines:

  • Make sure you agree with the license and follow the legal matter.
  • The pull request should include tests and must not decrease test coverage.
  • If the pull request adds functionality, the docs should be updated. Put your new functionality into a function with a docstring.
  • The pull request should work for Python 3.6, 3.7 and 3.8. Check GitHub action builds and make sure that the tests pass for all supported Python versions.