Contributing my way for SunPy1.0

Yash Sharma
Jun 7 · 4 min read
SunPy 1.0

Sorry for posting this and the corresponding blog posts so late, I got engrossed with the work, as I felt delaying the posts. Now as I have realised that blog posts are due, so I am here again with my another set of blog posts. Hope you like it, and here I start with my content 😊.

GSoC 2019: Community Bonding Period — II

So as I discussed in my earlier posts about how I started my Community Bonding Period, so this post deals with the remaining tasks that I did for the remaining part of the Community Bonding Period.

Starting with the Week 01 tasks

I had a chat with @Cadair who is my mentor, and we decided that I start with the tasks of the of the project. GitHub has these awesome project tabs, which help you sort out all the tasks and todo for a GitHub project, and even though it is a simple feature, it makes managing the stuff look neat and easy.

So I approached the tasks as it was given, and by refactoring each of the methods, I realised that as simple as the work sounds, there is a lot of overhead to cover, before a method is refactored. Even though, I have written lots of tests in my short developer period, but contributing and making changes to a new repository requires a lot of learning and unlearning, especially modifying the tests.

After going through each of the test cases, I realised, that it is a different beast all together. However the overhead does make a lot of sense, as it makes sure that the intention of a developer is shown as he/she thinks while coding up the features.

Making progress with the tasks : Coding 101

As it happens, I made lot of refactoring, and I tested out each of the methods, if they are performing as expected. The mantra for making a successful contribution is Code — Test — Document all along. Well lets add another dimension to it — Code Reviews. Code reviews are really important, if not the most underrated task, as I got my first , reviewed by @Cadair and @DanRyanIrish.

Even though I have had my code reviewed by many people earlier, I still was a bit nervous about going through, as Code Reviews differ from the person who are reviewing. I got few suggestions as they went through, and believe me it was a really good experience, as they shared how coding style should be maintained for a given codebase, and how wandering away from them can be a nightmare for maintainers.

Overall, my PR hasn’t been merged, as it is a bigger part of my project, so lot more changes are expected, before it gets merged.

Contributing to SunPy1.0

While the title sounds a bit misleading, as I have made PRs to SunPy/NDCube it does not directly affect SunPy, but I have made changes which might affect SunPy indirectly.

After completing most of the , I decided to do something else, unrelated to my project. I had a chat with @Cadair and he suggested me to help him to fix some tests which were failing in SunPy/NDCube. As SunPy was quite near to be released, so some changes were breaking SunPy/NDCube. On skimming through, I wasn’t able to make any sense of what was happening, so I used debugging techniques to figure out the issue. Those who don’t know about debugging and the techniques, believe me it’s Just Like Heaven.

Python has a lot of tools by its toolbox, one of the most powerful and the elementary tools for debugging is breakpoint(). It is supported in Python3.7 , and it turned out as a saviour for me. Breakpoint() helps in stopping the flow of code at the point of time where the code breaks; where stuff happens the way it shouldn’t have happened. It helps us in inspecting the state of the object and the logic of the code, so you can understand the context of the issue generated by the failing tests.

Enough of the technical jargons, let me discuss the work that I did, which marked the ending of the Community Bonding Period. After countless debugging, I found that the plotting code of NDCube used pixel-values instead of pixel-edges, and since SunPy had changed its API, now requesting pixel-edges instead of pixel-values . I made a PR for changing the support to pixel-edges instead of pixel-values. I got a merged for 1D plotting, but the for >1D needs to be merged.

Links to previous post

  • First meeting and plan of action —

Yash Sharma

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Open Source Enthusiast | IITian