Contributing to parcels#

We welcome all contributions to the OceanParcels project! Whether you’re a seasoned programmer or just getting started, there are many ways you can help us make our project better. Even if you don’t want to contribute directly to the codebase, getting involved in discussions and issues are great ways to help out with the project.

This document outlines some guidelines for contributing to the parcels codebase. If you have any questions or suggestions for how we can improve this document, please let us know.

Getting Started#

To get started contributing to parcels, you’ll need to install the developer version of Parcels following our installation instructions. This will install the latest version of Parcels from the master branch of the repository.

Optional: Setup pre-commit hooks by running pre-commit install. This ensures that code is formatted correctly before you commit it.

Making Changes#

Once you have a working environment, you can start making changes to the code! Here are some general guidelines to follow when making changes:

  • Follow the NumPy docstring conventions when adding or modifying docstrings.

  • Follow the PEP 8 style guide when writing code. This codebase also uses flake8 and isort to ensure a consistent code style (these tools are run automatically by pre-commit).

  • Use Git to manage your changes. Create a new branch for each feature or bug fix.

  • Write clear commit messages that explain the changes you’ve made.

  • Include tests for any new code you write.

  • Submit your changes as a pull request to the master branch, and wait for feedback!


Feel free to create an issue for your proposed feature or change to the codebase so that feedback can be given. Submitting a “draft pull request” is also a great way to give visibility to your branch during development, allowing for faster feedback.

Working with documentation#

The documentation for this project is processed by Sphinx. To view documentation from your changes, you can run sphinx-autobuild --ignore "*.zip" docs docs/_build to create a server to automatically rebuild the documentation when you make changes.

If you have any questions or issues while contributing to parcels, please feel free to open a discussion. Thank you for your contributions!