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This document describes the technical details of the RIDE project:

  • How to build, run and test RIDE
  • What's in the source
  • How to contribute
  • How to make a release
  • Settings migrations


RIDE uses Paver as it's build tool. Packaging, testing, and running a development version without installation can all be done using Paver. Install Paver and run:

paver help

for more information.

MacOS 10.7+

wxPython is limited to running in 32-bit mode. Python itself should thus be executed in 32-bit mode. This can be done by setting:


Repository contents

Repository contains source code, unit tests, and some helper scripts for development and package generation.

Source code

Source code is located in src directory. src/bin contains installed start scripts and src/robotide contains the actual source code.

Unit tests

Unit tests are in utest directory. They can be executed with:

paver test


Fork and send a pull request! To enhance the possibility of getting the pull request merged, read guidelines below.

Coding guidelines

In general, all the code should be written according to Style Guide for Python Code [5] However, as stated in the Zen of Python, practicality beats purity.

Method names

Typically, we use lowercase_with_underscore style for method names. Of course, when overriding wx methods, AllCapitalized style must be used. Additionally, there's a special case when writing event handler methods. We have chosen to name event handlers following this pattern: OnEventName (e.g. OnMouseClick).

Variable names

Instance variables also follow the lowercase_with_underscore naming convention. Additionally, a leading underscore indicates that the variable is considered private.

Global variables (provided there's really a need for such) use ALL_CAPS style.

Getters and setters

We follow the Pythonic way of not implementing getters and setters in the case where direct attribute access is sufficient


  • All positive (and negative) value from development to the end users comes only after you have released what you have made.
  • Every day you keep postponing release will remove some value you could have added by releasing today (fixed bugs are still in production and new features are still not there).
  • Release early and often!

Currently (10.8.2012) RIDE is used in many differing environments by a rather large userbase (reported bugs per feature is 1.56 - compared to RF:s 0.75). Thus simulating (testing) all the possible use cases is more or less impossible (NOTE: You should still try to test all the relevant cases). We can still keep the user observed quality good by doing small changes at a time and reacting fast to any observed regressions. This should efficiently limit the number of users that encounter a specific defect.

  • Consider making a preview release - this will give you possibility to test the new release with friendly real users

Remember the "good old" times - these are not the only ones:

And then positive examples from previews:

  • Usually I try to do releases before lunch - this gives us some time to react to possible regressions during the release day
  • Avoid releasing on Fridays! - lousy reaction time (or weekend work) if there is a regression
  • Manually test run RIDE in windows, linux and OSX
  • Update the ReleaseNotes with "python rotes ride 0.xx" (the script is from robotframework-wiki-project / tools)
> paver test
> paver set_version 0.xx
> paver sdist
> git commit -am 'Version 0.xx'
> git tag 0.xx
> git push
> git push --tags
  • currently (10.8.2012) it seems that something creates garbage to development directory so I always take a new clone for distribution packages
> cd ..
> git clone [your local ride clone] ride-release
> cd ride-release
> git checkout 0.xx
> paver sdist OR paver wininst
> cd ..
  • Upload new packages to github
  • Register new packages to PyPI - the Python Package Index. NOTE! RIDE automatic update notifier checks updates from PyPI - so no update notifications without this step.
> paver register
  • Announce on usergroup, robot homepage, and twitter

Minor releases

If there for some reason is a critical problem with a new release, it is important to get that fixed quickly. The user observed quality is somewhat based on time. Less time that a critical problem exists implies less users affected by the critical problem. Also the users that have been affected by the problem will see quick resolution as a quality attribute - we are listening to them and doing things to help them versus we are ignoring there problems.

  • First things first: Fix the problem and commit

If there are other work already commited to master:

  • Checkout the tagged release to a new branch - mitigate the probability of introducing new defects
> git checkout 0.xx -b 0.xx.x
  • Cherrypick the fix to that branch
> git cherry-pick FIX_COMMIT
  • Make a new tagged minor release from that branch
> git push origin 0.xx.x
> paver test
> paver set_version 0.xx.y
> paver sdist
> git commit -am 'Version 0.xx.y'
> git tag 0.xx.y
> git push
> git push --tags

Settings migration

RIDE has a user specific configuration file that you usually don't need to worry about. But sometimes old configurations should be changed during RIDE version update. For example when the old configuration had a bug or new RIDE uses a differing kind of configuration parameter then the old version.

For these situations I've created a configuration migration system that can do these changes when a new version of RIDE is taken in to use. The migrator is currenlty (10.8.2012) located at preferences/

The mechanism works in the following way:
  • Settings have a settings_version attribute that should be updated when a new migration is needed
  • the SettingsMigrator.migrate method should be updated so that it will also do the new migration
  • You only need to add a migration from the previous version to current (the migrate method will handle all the older versions -

so only the last configuration delta is needed)

Hope this helps when persistent things change a lot.