Testing New Features

New features are constantly being developed for SunPy by contributors from around the world. These new features are normally submitted as a Pull Request. Due to the review process imposed on pull requests to maintain the stability and consistency of the code base, it may take some time for a new feature to get accepted into the master branch, and a bit more to get into the next stable release version.

In order to make it easier for people to test out new features (and hopefully provide valuable feedback to the authors) we’ve put together this tutorial.

This assumes you have installed sunpy using anaconda, though a similar result can be obtained using virtualenv.

We start by creating a new environment, so your current one still works as expected:

conda create -n sunpy-featureX python=3 sunpy

This creates an environment called sunpy-featureX (change featureX for something more meaningful in your case) and specifies Python 3. You can change this to an older version of Python if you need to. Then we can activate it as

Linux, OS X:
source activate sunpy-featureX
activate sunpy-featureX

We proceed to remove the installed version of sunpy (only in this environment)

conda remove sunpy

and now we can proceed to install the development version by cloning the git repository

cd to/a/place/I/want
git clone https://github.com/sunpy/sunpy.git
cd sunpy

That will download the latest development (master) version of sunpy. You can stop here if you just want and now you can test the bleeding edge of SunPy! However, let’s continue and install someone’s new feature awaiting for approval as a pull request. First find out which pull request you want to test. Each pull request has a number like #1234, use that number to get the feature you want to test as

git fetch origin pull/1234/head:featureX
git checkout featureX

Remember, change the 1234 by the pull request number, and the featurex by something meaningful to you.

Next step is to install sunpy in your new environment

pip install -e .

Once you’ve done so, you have the new feature ready for testing. Just start your python and play with it. Once you are done with testing go back to your original environment by

Linux, OS X:
source deactivate

Remember, each time you start a new shell you will be using your default environment, so you have to use reactivate your new feature environment.

Final Note

Please, once you have tested it, if you find it works as you expected, go to the particular pull request discussion page and give your comments (or at least thank the person who implemented it - it’s always nice to know that what you do is useful for others).