Accessing the Code

All code relating to the core TraP functionality is hosted in the transientskp/tkp git repository on GitHub.

The repository is currently only available to authorized project members. If you require access, contact for help. Please do not redistribute the code without authorization.

You will need to be familiar with basic git operation before you can work with the codebase. There are many excellent tutorials available: start at the Git front page.


We aim to make releases of the TraP at the cadence of a few per year. Broadly, the plan is to alternate technically focused releases, which clean up the codebase and make behind-the-scenes improvements, with science based releases, which provide new functionality to end users. Technical releases have odd numbers; science releases even. We will provide bugfixes, but no new development, for the most recent release; support for earlier releases is on a “best efforts” basis only.

At the start of a release cycle, the developers and commissioners will meet to discuss the issues which will be addressed in the upcoming release. Having agreed upon a set of goals, a roadmap for the release will be created on the Issue Tracker.

It is generally acceptable to submit minor changes and tweaks, as well as bugfixes, to the codebase at any time. However, if you are planning a major change which will have significant repercussions for other developers, or which causes end-user visible changes, it should be included in the goals for a particular release and there should be a broad consensus about the plan for implementation before you begin coding.

Issue Tracker

We keep track of bug reports and feature requests using the Github repository issue tracker.

We use the issue tracker extensively for project planning and managing releases. It is not a hard requirement that every commit to the repository refers to a particular issue, but you are strongly encouraged to record your activities on the tracker and to refer to it in commit messages as appropriate.

Coding Standards

We do not rigorously enforce a set of coding style rules, with the sole exception that all indents in Python code should consist of 4 spaces. However, all code is expected to be considerately written, appropriately (but not excessively) commented, and as easy to read as possible. Please read PEP 8 carefully and bear it in mind as you work.

You may wish to run pylint or similar tools on the codebase. Occasionally, such tools can provide useful hints about how to make your code clearer: by all means act upon these. However, much of the output of such tools is subjective: be sure you understand and agree with their recommendations, and be very reluctant to apply them to pre-existing code without fully considering the implications.