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Developing SciPy

What is SciPy?

SciPy (pronounced "Sigh Pie") is open-source software for mathematics, science, and engineering. It includes modules for statistics, optimization, integration, linear algebra, Fourier transforms, signal and image processing, ODE solvers, and more. It is also the name of a very popular conference on scientific programming with Python.

The SciPy library depends on NumPy, which provides convenient and fast N-dimensional array manipulation. The SciPy library is built to work with NumPy arrays, and provides many user-friendly and efficient numerical routines such as routines for numerical integration and optimization. Together, they run on all popular operating systems, are quick to install, and are free of charge. NumPy and SciPy are easy to use, but powerful enough to be depended upon by some of the world's leading scientists and engineers. If you need to manipulate numbers on a computer and display or publish the results, give SciPy a try!

SciPy structure

SciPy aims at being a robust and efficient "super-package" of a number of modules, each of a non-trivial size and complexity. In order for "SciPy integration" to work flawlessly, all SciPy modules must follow certain rules that are described in this document. Hopefully this document will be helpful for SciPy contributors and developers as a basic reference about the structure of the SciPy package.

Currently SciPy consists of the following files and directories:

SciPy prerequisites, installation, testing, and troubleshooting.
SciPy developers and contributors. Please keep it up to date!!
SciPy structure (this document).
Script for building and installing SciPy.
Additions to distutils-generated SciPy tar-balls. Its usage is deprecated.
Contains SciPy and the directories of SciPy modules.

SciPy modules

In the following, a SciPy module is defined as a Python package, say xxx, that is located in the scipy/ directory. All SciPy modules should follow the following conventions:

  • Ideally, each SciPy module should be as self-contained as possible. That is, it should have minimal dependencies on other packages or modules. Even dependencies on other SciPy modules should be kept to a minimum. A dependency on NumPy is of course assumed.
  • Directory xxx/ must contain
    • a file that defines configuration(parent_package='',top_path=None) function. See below for more details.
    • a file See below more details.
  • Directory xxx/ may contain
    • a directory tests/ that contains files test_<name>.py corresponding to modules xxx/<name>{.py,.so,/}. See below for more details.
    • a file that may contain only include line. DO NOT specify sources in, you must specify all sources in file. Otherwise released SciPy tarballs will miss these sources.
    • a directory docs/ for documentation.

For details, read:


The documentation site is here

Web sites

The user's site is here

Mailing Lists

Please see the developer's list here

Bug reports

To search for bugs, please use the Scipy Bug Tracker at
To report a bug, please use the Scipy Bug Tracker at

License information

See the file "LICENSE" for information on the history of this software, terms & conditions for usage, and a DISCLAIMER OF ALL WARRANTIES.