For Contributors

If you would like to contribute to cliff directly, these instructions should help you get started. Bug reports, and feature requests are all welcome through the Launchpad project.

Changes to cliff should be submitted for review via the Gerrit tool, following the workflow documented at

Pull requests submitted through GitHub will be ignored.

Bugs should be filed under the Launchpad project.


Before contributing new features to clif core, please consider whether they should be implemented as an extension instead. The architecture is highly pluggable precisely to keep the core small.

Building Documentation

The documentation for cliff is written in reStructuredText and converted to HTML using Sphinx. The build itself is driven by make. You will need the following packages in order to build the docs:

  • Sphinx

  • docutils

Once all of the tools are installed into a virtualenv using pip, run make docs to generate the HTML version of the documentation:

$ make docs
(cd docs && make clean html)
sphinx-build -b html -d build/doctrees   source build/html
Running Sphinx v1.1.3
loading pickled environment... done
building [html]: targets for 1 source files that are out of date
updating environment: 1 added, 1 changed, 0 removed
reading sources... [100%] index
looking for now-outdated files... none found
pickling environment... done
preparing documents... done
writing output... [100%] index
writing additional files... genindex search
copying static files... done
dumping search index... done
dumping object inventory... done
build succeeded, 2 warnings.

Build finished. The HTML pages are in build/html.

The output version of the documentation ends up in ./docs/build/html inside your sandbox.

Running Tests

The test suite for clif uses tox, which must be installed separately (pip install tox).

To run the tests under Python 2.7 and 3.3 as well as PyPy, run tox from the top level directory of the git repository.

To run tests under a single version of Python, specify the appropriate environment when running tox:

$ tox -e py27

Add new tests by modifying an existing file or creating new script in the tests directory.