RDFLib developers guide


This document describes the process and conventions to follow when developing RDFLib code.

Please be as Pythonic as possible (PEP 8).

Code should be formatted using black. While not yet mandatory, it will be required in the future (6.0.0+).1 Use Black v21.6b1, with the black.toml config file provided.

Any new functionality being added to RDFLib should have doc tests and unit tests. Tests should be added for any functionality being changed that currently does not have any doc tests or unit tests. And all the tests should be run before committing changes to make sure the changes did not break anything.

If you add a new cool feature, consider also adding an example in ./examples

Running tests

Run tests with nose:

Specific tests can either be run by module name or file name. For example:

$ python run_tests.py --tests rdflib.graph
$ python run_tests.py --tests test/test_graph.py

Writing documentation

We use sphinx for generating HTML docs, see Writing RDFLib Documentation

Continuous Integration

We used Drone for CI, see:

If you make a pull-request to RDFLib on GitHub, Drone will automatically test your code and we will only merge code passing all tests.

Please do not commit tests you know will fail, even if you’re just pointing out a bug. If you commit such tests, flag them as expecting to fail.


RDFLib 5.0.0 maintained compatibility with python versions 2.7, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7.

The latest 6.0.0 release and subsequent will only support Python 3.7 and newer.


Set to-be-released version number in rdflib/__init__.py and README.md. Check date in LICENSE.

Add CHANGELOG.md entry.

Commit this change. It’s preferable make the release tag via https://github.com/RDFLib/rdflib/releases/new :: Our Tag versions aren’t started with ‘v’, so just use a plain 5.0.0 like version. Release title is like “RDFLib 5.0.0”, the description a copy of your CHANGELOG.md entry. This gives us a nice release page like this:: https://github.com/RDFLib/rdflib/releases/tag/4.2.2

If for whatever reason you don’t want to take this approach, the old one is:

Tagging the release commit with::

  git tag -am 'tagged version' X.X.X

When pushing, remember to do::

  git push --tags

No matter how you create the release tag, remember to upload tarball to pypi with:

rm -r dist/X.X.X[.-]*  # delete all previous builds for this release, just in case

rm -r build
python setup.py sdist
python setup.py bdist_wheel
ls dist

# upload with twine
# WARNING: once uploaded can never be modified, only deleted!
twine upload dist/rdflib-X.X.X[.-]*

Set new dev version number in the above locations, i.e. next release -dev: 5.0.1-dev and commit again.

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