InstrumentKit Development Guide


This guide details how InstrumentKit is laid out from a developer’s point of view, how to add instruments, communication methods and unit tests.

Getting Started

To get started with development for InstrumentKit, a few additional supporting packages must be installed. The core development packages can be found in the supporting requirements file named dev-requirements.txt. These will allow you to run the tests and check that all your code changes follow our linting rules (through pylint).

Required Development Dependencies

Using pip, these requirements can be obtained automatically by using the provided dev-requirements.txt:

$ pip install -r dev-requirements.txt
  • mock
  • nose
  • pylint

Optional Development Dependencies

In addition to the required dev dependencies, there are optional ones. The package tox allows you to quickly run the tests against all supported versions of Python, assuming you have them installed. It is suggested that you install tox and regularly run your tests by calling the simple command:

$ tox

More details on running tests can be found in testing.

Contributing Code

We love getting new instruments and new functionality! When sending in pull requests, however, it helps us out a lot in maintaining InstrumentKit as a usable library if you can do a couple things for us with your submission:

  • Make sure code follows PEP 8 as best as possible. This helps keep the code readable and maintainable.
  • Document properties and methods, including units where appropriate.
  • Contributed classes should feature complete code coverage to prevent future changes from breaking functionality. This is especially important if the lead developers do not have access to the physical hardware.
  • Please use Property Factories when appropriate, to consolidate parsing logic into a small number of easily-tested functions. This will also reduce the number of tests required to be written.

We can help with any and all of these, so please ask, and thank you for helping make InstrumentKit even better.