Cutplace is open source software, so its source code is available for you to inspect, extend and play around with. This chapter describes where to get it, how to build it and how to contribute to the project.

If you are interested in using cutplace’s classes and functions, refer to the chapter about the Application programmer interface and the Module Index.

Obtain additional tools and Python packages

To build the source code, you need a few additional tools and Python packages.

To install the Python packages, simply run:

$ pip install -r requirements-dev.txt

Once these packages are installed, you should be able to build the distribution archive using:

$ python sdist

For everything else related to the build, use ant, a build tool popular in the Java world. To get an overview of the available ant targets, run:

$ ant -projecthelp

Using ant in a Python project might seem unusual, but there are good reasons for that:

  • ant is more robust and portable than using shell scripts for the same thing.
  • It is easier to write and maintain an ant target than adding a new command. This is particularly true for targets that just call a few command line tools and move around a couple of files.

Obtain and build the source code

The source code for cutplace is available via a Git repository from Visit to learn how to browse, download or fork the source code.

Project overview

The source code consists of:

  • build.xml is the project file for the build tool ant
  • cutplace/*.py are the Python modules for cutplace
  • tests/test_*.py are test cases for unittest
  • tests/data/* are test data used by the unittests; some of them are *.ods, *.xls or *.xlsx spread sheet you can edit using Calc from
  • docs/* is the reStructuredText for the user guide
  • examples/* contains the example date used in the Tutorial and code examples on how to use the cutplace Python module in you own code.

Common ant targets

Once you have your local copy of the source code, use ant to build and test cutplace.

To build the source distribution, run:

$ ant sdist

To build a binary distribution, run:

$ ant bdist_wheel

To run the test suite:

$ ant unittest

To also run doctests and test the examples in the documentation:

$ ant test

To build the documentation:

$ ant docs

To remove files generated during the build process:

$ ant clean

Source code contributions

In case you fixed any bugs or added improvements to cutplace, feel free to contribute your changes by forking the repository and issuing a pull request as described at

Developer cheat sheet

This section makes it easier for developers to remember how to perform certain common but rarely necessary tasks.

To install the current work copy as a developer build, use:

$ python develop

Once the related version is published, you can install it using:

$ pip install --upgrade cutplace

This ensures that the current version found on PyPI is installed even if a locally installed developer build has the same version.

Run cutplace locally from console:

$ export PYTHONPATH=`pwd`:`pwd`/cutplace:`pwd`/tests
$ python -m cutplace.applications --version

Create the installer archive:

$ python sdist --formats=zip
$ python bdist_wheel

Test that the distribution archive can be installed and run in a fresh terminal session:

$ ant sdist
$ virtualenv-3.4 /tmp/cpt
$ source /tmp/cpt/bin/activate
$ pip install ~/workspace/cutplace/dist/
$ cutplace --version
$ cd
$ rm -rf /tmp/cpt
$ ^D

Tag a release (simply replace 0.8.x with the current version number):

$ git tag -a -m "Tagged version 0.8.x." v0.8.x
$ git push --tags

Upload release to PyPI:

$ ant flake8 test docs
$ python sdist --formats=zip upload
$ python bdist_wheel upload