Guidelines for Python Packages

This document describes conventions used for Python repos in the Taler project.


  • We use poetry for managing dependencies and dev-dependencies.

  • The poetry.lock file must be committed to repo.

  • Entry points must not be defined as shell scripts. Instead, use poetry’s script facility to define entry points. This makes the package work on different platforms properly.

GNU Compatibility Layer

In addition to the Python-native tooling, we provide a GNU-style interface for the build system. The commands supported by every Python repo should be:

  • ./bootstrap: Only necessary when the repo is checked out via git. Initializes the build system and checks out git submodules if applicable.

  • ./configure: Should check for build-time dependencies, including Python tooling.

  • make: Invoking make without a target should create the Python wheel for the project.

  • make install: Installation should only install the Python package based on the wheel via pip. Note that we can’t do dependency tracking properly, so the install target will always re-build the wheel and install it.

  • make pretty: Should invoke the pretty-printer (black for Python projects).

  • make dist: This should create the source tarball.

  • make clean: Should delete generated files.

The build-common.git repository contains helpers to make the GNU compatibility easier. Here are some hints for using it:

  • The build-common.git repo should added as a submodule in the path build-system/taler-build-scripts of the repository.

  • The bootstrap template should be copied as ./bootstrap to the root of the repository.

  • The configure script is automatically created by ./bootstrap.

  • Dependencies for the configure file are defined in build-system/ There is no documentation yet, but adjusting the example file is a good starting point.

  • The source distribution (make dist) should either be created via poetry build -f sdist or using the git-archive-all.


  • We follow pep8.

  • Code should be auto-formatted with black.

Distro Packaging

For Debian, we should try to use wheel2deb.