Tutor development

Setting up your development environment

Start by cloning the Tutor repository:

git clone https://github.com/overhangio/tutor.git
cd tutor/

Install requirements

pip install -r requirements/dev.txt

Run tests

make test

Yes, there are very few unit tests for now, but this is probably going to change.

Code formatting

Tutor code formatting is enforced by black. To check whether your code changes conform to formatting standards, run:

make test-format

And to automatically fix formatting errors, run:

make format

Static error detection is performed by pylint. To detect errors, run:

make test-lint

Common developer tasks

Generating the tutor executable binary

make bundle

Generating the documentation

pip install -r requirements/docs.txt
cd docs/
make html

You can then browse the documentation with:

make browse

Releasing a new version

Releasing a version includes two phases:

  1. Add changes and generate individual changelog entries:

  • run make changelog-entry``(or ``scriv create) command - It will create changelog entries in a folder named changelog.d for the changes user has done for releasing a new version.

  • Commit and merge all the changes including the changelog entries. e.g this commit.

  1. Update version and compile changelogs:

  • Now bump the __version__ value in tutor/__about__.py. (see Versioning below).

  • Collect changelog entries with make changelog``(or ``scriv collect) command - It will delete all previous changelog entries from changelog.d folder and will add records of those entries to CHANGELOG.md file.

  • Create a commit with the version changelog e.g. this commit.

  • Run tests with make test.

  • Push your changes to the upstream repository.


The versioning format used in Tutor is the following:


When making a new Tutor release, increment the:

  • RELEASE version when a new Open edX release comes out. The new value should match the ordinal value of the first letter of the release name: Aspen 🡒 1, Birch 🡒 2, … Zebra 🡒 26.

  • MAJOR version when making a backward-incompatible change (prefixed by “💥” in the changelog, as explained below).

  • MINOR version when making a backward-compatible change.

An optional BRANCH suffix may be appended to the release name to indicate that extra changes were added on top of the latest release. For instance, “x.y.z-nightly” corresponds to release x.y.z on top of which extra changes were added to make it compatible with the Open edX master branches (see the tutorial on running Tutor Nightly).

Officially-supported plugins follow the same versioning pattern. As a third-party plugin developer, you are encouraged to use the same pattern to make it immediately clear to your end-users which Open edX versions are supported.

In Tutor and its officially-supported plugins, certain features, API endpoints, and older depenency versions are periodically deprecated. Generally, warnings are added to the Changelogs and/or the command-line interface one major release before support for any behavior is removed. In order to keep track of pending removals in the source code, comments containing the string REMOVE-AFTER-VXX should be used, where <XX> is the last major version that must support the behavior. For example:

# This has been replaced with SOME_NEW_HOOK (REMOVE-AFTER-V25).
SOME_OLD_HOOK = Filter()

indicates that this filter definition can be removed as soon as Tutor v26.0.0.

Contributing to Tutor

Contributions to Tutor and its plugins are highly encouraged. Please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • General Discussion: Before addressing anything other than clear-cut bugs, start a discussion on the official Open edX forum. This facilitates reaching a consensus on a high-level solution.

  • Pull Requests: For changes to Tutor core or plugin-specific modifications, open a pull request on the Tutor repository or the corresponding plugin repository.

  • Running Tests and Code Formatting: - Ensure all tests pass by running make test. This is mandatory for both Tutor core and plugin contributions. - If formatting tests fail, correct your code format using make format.

  • Changelog Entry: Create a changelog entry for significant changes (excluding reformatting or documentation) by running make changelog-entry. Edit the newly created file following the given formatting instructions. This applies to both Tutor core and plugin changes.

  • Commit Messages: Write clear Git commit titles and messages. Detail the rationale for your changes, the issue being addressed, and your solution. Include links to relevant forum discussions and describe your use case. Detailed explanations are valuable. For commit titles, follow conventional commits guidelines.Additionally, if your pull request addresses an existing GitHub issue, include ‘Close #XXX’ in your commit message, where XXX is the issue number.

Releasing a new version

When releasing a new version:

  • Version Number: Update the version number in __about__.py. For detailed guidelines on version numbering, refer to the (versioning guidelines Versioning).

  • Changelog Compilation: Compile all changelog entries using make changelog.

  • Git Commit for Release: Use the format git commit -a -m "vX.Y.Z" to indicate the new version in the git commit title.

Happy hacking! ☘️

Joining the team of Tutor Maintainers

We have an open team of volunteers who help support the project. You can read all about it here – and we hope that you’ll consider joining us 😉