This documentation is for people who want to contribute code to the project, whether fixing a small bug, adding support for a new device, or even discussing a completely new device type.

In short

  • Open new issues (do not create pull requests).

  • Open a new issue even if you already have a commit made. Even if it is about adding support for a new device.

  • Coding style is Black

  • Development sources are on Github

  • Bug tracker is also on Github

Reporting issues

We use the github issue tracker at When reporting an issue please include as much information as you can from:

  • Steps to reproduce issue

    Include information so that we can try it ourselves. Don’t just say “camera fails when setting exposure time”. Instead, include the code to reproduce the issue and the error message.

  • Operating system

    MacOS 10.15, Ubuntu 18.04, Windows 7, Windows 10, etc…

  • Python version

    Also include the python minor version number, i.e, Python 3.7.3 or 3.6.2. On command line, this is the output of python --version.

  • Device, SDK, and firmware information

    Include the device model, revision number, and serial number. Also include the firmware and the device SDK version number.

  • Pyro version

    If the issue only happens in the network, please also include the version of the Pyro package.

Requesting support for new device

To request support for a new device, or even to support for a feature of an already supported device, open a new issue on the issue tracker.

If there’s already an open issue requesting the same, please leave a comment so that we know more people want it.

Fixing an issue

To fix an issue, including adding support for a new device, please do the following:

  • Open a new issue (if not already opened)

  • On the commit message, refer to the issue number

  • Comment on the issue what branch or commit to pull to fix it.

Why the non-standard procedure?

This procedure to fix an issue is not very standard on github projects. However, it prevents spreading the discussion of the issue over multiple pages and enables one to find that discussion from the git history.

Coding standards

Code format style

Let us not discuss over code formatting style. Code formatting is handled by Black. Simply run black at the root of the project after making changes and before making a commit:

black .


The API section of the documentation is generated from the inlined docstrings. It requires the Google Python docstrings format minus the type description on the list of arguments since those are defined in the type annotations. It looks like this:

def func(arg1: str, arg2: int) -> bool:
    """One-line summary.

    Extended description of function.

        arg1: Description of arg1.  This can be a multi-line
            description, no problem.
        arg2: Description of arg2.

        Description of return value
    return True

Commit messages

The first line of the commit message have a one-line summary of the change. This needs to mention the class, function, or module where relevant changes happen. If there’s an associated issue number, make reference to it. If it is a “fixup” commit, make reference to it. Some examples for changes:

  • limited to a method function:

    TheClassName.enable: fix for firmware older than Y (#98)

  • effecting multiple methods in a class:

    TheClassName: add support for very fancy feature (#99)

  • fixing a typo or obvious mistake on a previous commit:

    AndorAtmcd: pass index to super (fixup a16bef042a41)

  • documentation only:

    doc: add example for multiple cameras with hardware triggering

Test suite

Most of Python Microscope is about controlling very specific hardware and there are no realist mocks of such hardware. Still, there are some tests written. They can be run with tox. The repository has the required configuration, so simply run tox at the root of the repository.

All test units, as well as other tools for testing purposes, are part of the microscope.testsuite package.

If your changes do not actually change a specific device, please include a test unit.