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Last updated: 8 Nov 2021

govuk-wuj-network-analysis: Contributing

We love contributions! We've compiled this documentation to help you understand our contributing guidelines. If you still have questions, please contact us and we'd be happy to help!

Code of Conduct

Please read before contributing.

Getting started

To start contributing, open your terminal, and install the required Python packages, and pre-commit hooks using:

pip install -r requirements.txt
pre-commit install

or the make command:

make requirements

The pre-commit hooks are a security feature to ensure, for example, no secrets[^1], large data files, and Jupyter notebook outputs are accidentally committed into the repository. For more information on pre-commit hooks see our documentation.

[^1]: Only secrets of specific patterns are detected by the pre-commit hooks.

Code conventions

We mainly follow the GDS Way in our code conventions.

Git and GitHub

We use Git to version control the source code. Please read the GDS Way for details on Git best practice. This includes how to write good commit messages, use git rebase for local branches and git merge --no-ff for merges, as well as using git push --force-with-lease instead of git push -f.

If you want to modify the .gitignore files, see the template documentation for further details.

Our source code is stored on GitHub. Pull requests into main require at least one approved review.


For Python code, we follow the GDS Way Python style guide with a line length of 88; the flake8 pre-commit hook should help with this!


Local links can be written as normal, but external links should be referenced at the bottom of the Markdown file for clarity. For example:

Use a [local link to reference the ``](../../ file, but [an external
link for GOV.UK][gov-uk].


We also try to wrap Markdown to a line length of 88 characters, but this is not strictly enforced in all cases, for example with long hyperlinks.


Tests are written using the pytest framework, with its configuration in the pyproject.toml file. Note, only tests in the tests folder are run. To run the tests, enter the following command in your terminal:


Code coverage

Code coverage of Python scripts is measured using the coverage Python package; its configuration can be found in pyproject.toml. Note coverage only extends to Python scripts in the src folder.

To run code coverage, and view it as an HTML report, enter the following command in your terminal:

coverage run -m pytest
coverage html

or use the make command:

make coverage_html

The HTML report can be accessed at htmlcov/index.html.


We write our documentation in MyST Markdown for use in Sphinx. This is mainly stored in the docs folder, unless it's more appropriate to store it elsewhere, like this file.

Please read our guidance on how to write accessible documentation, as well as our guidance on writing Sphinx documentation. This allows you to build the documentation into an accessible, searchable website.