Style Guide#

This page is concerned with the coding style to be adopted in writing code for the DynAIkonTrap.


The package documentation is automatically built using Sphinx and so following this guidance will ensure documentation is properly displayed.

  1. Docstrings should be used wherever possible to explain what a module/class/function/etc. does and how to use it. We use the Google docstring format as much as possible.

  2. Use Restructured Text formatting where needed over Markdown for better compatibility with Sphinx

  3. In addition to docstrings, the use of type hints is strongly encouraged.

  4. Docstrings should follow the format:
    def square(x: float) -> float:
        """Multiply a number by itself
            x (float): Number to be squared
            float: Squared input
  5. Document changes in under a heading for the release version. Commits that do not yet relate to a release should be added to the persistant [Unreleased] heading until they become part of a release.


  1. To ensure consistent structure of code throughout the project we use the black code formatter with the -S flag.

  2. Generally single-quoted strings ('string' vs. "string") are used.

  3. Each code file should start with a license statment:

    # DynAIkonTrap is an AI-infused camera trapping software package.
    # Copyright (C) <year> <author name>
    # This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
    # it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    # the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
    # (at your option) any later version.
    # This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    # but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    # GNU General Public License for more details.
    # You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    # along with this program.  If not, see <>.
  4. Where practical, unit tests should be written and run before merging new code.