Contributing to These Docs

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License Git on GitHub Documentation Status Issue Tracker Python Version

Additions, improvements, and corrections to these docs are always welcome.

The quickest way to fix typos, etc. on existing pages is to use the Edit on GitHub link in the upper right corner of the page to get to the online editor for the page on GitHub.

For more substantial work, and to add new pages, the instructions below explain how to:

  • clone the repository from GitHub

  • set up a conda environment in which you can build the docs locally instead of having to push commits to GitHub to trigger a build on

  • build the docs with your changes, and preview them in Firefox

Getting the Repo

Git on GitHub

Clone the MIDOSS documentation repository from GitHub with:

$ git clone


$ git clone

if you don’t have ssh key authentication set up on GitHub (or copy the link from the Clone or download button on the repository page).

Docs Build Environment

Python Version

Setting up an isolated docs build environment using Conda is recommended. Assuming that you have the Anaconda Python Distribution or Miniconda3 installed, you can create and activate an environment called midoss-docs that will have all of the Python packages necessary for building the documentation with the commands:

$ cd docs
$ conda env create -f environment.yaml
$ conda activate midoss-docs

To deactivate the environment use:

(midoss-docs)$ conda deactivate


If you are using a version of conda older than 4.4.0, the commands to activate and deactivate the environment are:

$ source activate midoss-docs


(midoss-docs)$ source deactivate

You can check what version of conda you are using with conda --version.

Building and Previewing the Documentation

Documentation Status

The MIDOSS documentation is written in reStructuredText and converted to HTML using Sphinx. Creating a Docs Build Environment as described above includes the installation of Sphinx. Building the documentation is driven by the docs/Makefile. With your midoss-docs environment activated, use:

(midoss-docs)$ make clean html

to do a clean build of the documentation. The output looks something like:

Removing everything under '_build'...
Running Sphinx v1.7.5
making output directory...
loading pickled environment... not yet created
building [mo]: targets for 0 po files that are out of date
building [html]: targets for 3 source files that are out of date
updating environment: 3 added, 0 changed, 0 removed
reading sources... [100%] index
looking for now-outdated files... none found
pickling environment... done
checking consistency... done
preparing documents... done
writing output... [100%] index
generating indices...
writing additional pages... search
copying static files... done
copying extra files... done
dumping search index in English (code: en) ... done
dumping object inventory... done
build succeeded.

The HTML pages are in _build/html.

The HTML rendering of the docs ends up in docs/_build/html/. You can open the index.html file in that directory tree in your browser to preview the results of the build. To preview in Firefox from the command-line you can do:

(midoss-docs)$ firefox _build/html/index.html

If you have write access to the repository on GitHub, whenever you push changes to GitHub the documentation is automatically re-built and rendered at

Version Control Repository

Git on GitHub

The MIDOSS documentation source files are available as a Git repository at

Issue Tracker

Issue Tracker

Documentation tasks, bug reports, and enhancement ideas are recorded and managed in the issue tracker at


Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

The MEOPAR MIDOSS Project Documentation is copyright 2018-2020 by the MIDOSS project contributors, The University of British Columbia, and Dalhousie University.

It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.