This page contains standard practices for developing Amp, focusing on repositories and documentation.

Repositories and branching

The main Amp repository lives on bitbucket, andrewpeterson/amp . We employ a branching model where the master branch is the main development branch, containing day-to-day commits from the core developers and honoring merge requests from others. From time to time, we create a new branch that corresponds to a release. This release branch contains only the tagged release and any bug fixes.


You are welcome to contribute new features, bug fixes, better documentation, etc. to Amp. If you would like to contribute, please create a private fork and a branch for your new commits. When it is ready, send us a merge request. We follow the same basic model as ASE; please see the ASE documentation for complete instructions.

As good coding practice, make sure your code passes both the pyflakes and pep8 tests. (On linux, you should be able to run pyflakes and pep8, and then correct it by autopep8 –in-place If adding a new feature: consider adding a (very brief) test to the tests folder to ensure your new code continues to work, and also be sure to write clear documentation. Finally, to make users aware of your new feature or change, add a bullet point to the release notes page of the documentation under the Development version heading.

It is also a good idea to send us an email if you are planning something complicated.


This documentation is built with sphinx. (Mkdocs doesn’t seem to support autodocumentation.) To build a local copy, cd into the docs directory and try a command such as

sphinx-build . /tmp/ampdocs
firefox /tmp/ampdocs/index.html &  # View the local copy.

This uses the style “bizstyle”; if you find this is missing on your system, you can likely install it with

pip install --user sphinxjp.themes.bizstyle

You should then be able to update the documentation rst files and see changes on your own machine. For line breaks, please use the style of containing each sentence on a new line.


To create a release, we go through the following steps.

  • Reserve a DOI for the new release via Do this by creating a new upload, and choosing “pre-reserve” before adding any files.

  • Prepare the master branch for the release. (1) Update Release Notes, where the changes should have been catalogued under a “Development version” heading; move these to a new heading for this release, along with a release date and the DOI from above. (2) Also note the latest stable release on the index.rst page.

  • Create a new branch on the bitbucket repository with the version name, as in v0.5. (Don’t create a separate branch if this is a bugfix release, e.g., 0.5.1 — just add those to the v0.5 branch.) Note the branch name starts with “v”, while the tag names will not, to avoid naming conflicts.

  • Check out the new branch to your local machine (e.g., git fetch && git checkout v0.5). All subsequent work is in the new branch.

  • Change amp/VERSION to reflect the release number (without ‘beta’). Note this will automatically change it in docs/, the Amp log files, and

  • On the Release Notes page, delete the “Development version” heading.

  • Commit and push the changes to the new branch on bitbucket.

  • Tag the release with the release number, e.g., ‘0.5’ or ‘0.5.1’, the latter being for bug fixes. Do this on a local machine (on the correct branch) with git tag -a 0.5, followed by git push origin –tags.

  • Add the version to readthedocs’ available versions; also set it as the default stable version. (This may already be done automatically.)

  • Upload an archive and finalize the DOI via Note that all the “.git” files and folders should be removed from the .tar.gz archive before uploading to Zenodo.

  • Prepare and upload to PyPI (for pip):

    $ python3 sdist
    $ twine upload dist/*
  • Send a note to the amp-users list summarizing the release.

  • In the master branch, update the VERSION file to reflect the new beta version.