New Subproject Process#

This document describes the process by which new Subprojects are created in or moved to these organizations from other locations. For a list of current sub-projects in the Jupyter Community, see the list of sub-projects.

There are two ways that new Subprojects are created:

  1. Direct Subproject creation

    • e.g., when contributors to an existing Subproject decide to create a new Git repository for related but separable code

  2. Incorporation of an existing external Subproject

    • e.g., when contributors to a project in submit a proposal for incorporation into one of the official Jupyter organizations and receive approval from the Steering Council

    • e.g., when contributors to a third-party project submit an incorporation proposal and receive approval from the Steering Council

Note that projects in are not considered officially supported and maintained Subprojects until they meet the criteria below and go through the incorporation process detailed later in this document.

Criteria for official Subprojects#

The following criteria will be used in evaluating Subprojects for incorporation into one of the official Jupyter organizations. These apply to any Subproject, regardless of who is developing the Subproject. Subprojects should:

  • Have an active developer community that offers a sustainable model for future development.

  • Have an active user community.

  • Use solid software engineering with documentation and tests hosted with appropriate technologies (Read The Docs and Travis are examples of technologies that can be used).

  • Demonstrate continued growth and development.

  • Integrate well with other official Subprojects.

  • Be developed according to the Jupyter governance and contribution model that is documented here.

  • Have a well-defined scope.

  • Be packaged using appropriate technologies such as pip, conda, npm, bower, docker, etc.

As a general guideline, we support improving existing Subprojects over incorporating competing Subprojects in the Project.

The most important question in evaluating Subprojects for incorporation as official Subprojects is this: is there broad agreement in the community and Steering Council that we are going to develop and maintain the Subproject in an official capacity?

The two paths for official Subproject creation are now detailed.

Direct Subproject creation#

In some cases, Steering Council members can immediately create new official Subprojects in the main Jupyter organization. This option will be used when the new Subproject is clearly part of the existing scope, activities and development of Project Jupyter. The process for direct Subproject creation is minimal and informal: Steering Council members should be in consensus about the Subproject’s creation and notify the main Jupyter list of its creation.

Incorporation of an existing external Subproject#

In other cases, Subprojects proposed for incorporation will have existed and been developed as open-source software for some time outside the official Jupyter organizations. This section describes the incorporation process for these existing external Subprojects. This process applies to Subprojects that have incubated under the jupyter-incubator GitHub organization (see below), Subprojects developed under other GitHub organizations, or Subprojects developed as open-source software in other public venues.

When a Subproject is incorporated, it becomes an officially supported and maintained part of Project Jupyter and is moved to one of the GitHub organizations noted at the top of this document.

Proposal for incorporation#

If consensus for adoption within a given Jupyter organization’s team is straightforward and the above criteria are met, a project may be adopted immediately. Such consensus may be established by creating an Issue on the given organization’s team-compass repository. If more discussion is needed, the following more formal proposal process will be used:

  1. The Subproject team should submit a pull request against the jupyter/enhancement-proposals repository with an enhancement proposal for including the Subproject in one of the main Jupyter organizations. The enhancement proposal should describe how the Subproject meets each of the above criteria.

  2. The proposal for incorporation will be discussed by the community using that pull request.

  3. A recommendation will be made by the consensus of the Steering Council (SC).

Timeline: the SC should make every effort to reach a decision promptly. If there is active discussion and feedback about the proposal, that should be allowed to proceed and voices be heard. But to avoid unnecessary delays waiting for everyone to vote, the following guideline should be used:

  • upon proposal, allow a week for potential objections (explicit agreement welcome, of course). If no objections, treat silence as agreement.

  • if a month goes by and there’s continued, active disagreement, that should be treated as a strong signal that the project isn’t ready to graduate (BDFL pronouncement could still be used to make an acceptance call if judged necessary).

The possible recommendations of the Steering Council will be:

  • Integration into an existing official Suproject.

  • Incorporation as a new official Subproject.

  • Further internal or external incubation (see below) with recommendations on steps the team can take to prepare for future incorporation.

  • Rejection. This option will be used if the Steering Council thinks the proposed Subproject is not progressing or will never be appropriate for incorporation. If a rejected Subproject has been incubating under the jupyter-incubator GitHub organization, its repository will be removed from that organization after a transition period.


When an existing external Subproject is incorporated as a new official Subproject, the following steps will be taken:

  1. The repository will be transferred over to one of the main Jupyter GitHub organizations.

  2. A GitHub team will be created for the Subproject, with the Subproject team having read/write permissions on the Subproject repository.

  3. The team will send an email to the main Jupyter list with an announcement about the new Subproject.

  4. The standard Project Jupyter LICENSE file that is maintained in this governance repository will be added to the repository.

  5. Copyright notices in individual files should be updated to the standard form described in our Project Jupyter License.

Incubation of Subprojects#

Incubation refers to the process of a Subproject initially being developed outside the official Jupyter organizations. Incubation is recommended for new Subprojects with the following characteristics:

  • Significant unanswered technical questions or uncertainties that require exploration.

  • Entirely new directions, scopes or ideas that haven’t been vetted with the community.

  • Significant, already existing code bases where it is not clear how the Subproject will integrate with the rest of Jupyter.

Incubation also allows the broader community to easily distinguish between stable, officially supported and maintained Subprojects in the main GitHub organizations and new efforts that are emerging and being developed for future inclusion.

If there are questions about whether incubation is appropriate for a given Subproject, interested parties should simply start a discussion on the main Jupyter list to get community and Steering Council feedback.

Incubation in the jupyter-incubator organization#

If a Subproject team knows from the start that it would eventually like its Subproject to be part of one of the official Jupyter organizations, it can be incubated in the jupyter-incubator organization.

The goals of the incubation in the jupyter-incubator organization are as follows:

  • Contributors can quickly and easily get their code exposed to the Jupyter community while complying with individual and organizational contribution restrictions.

  • Contributors can work with the community and Steering Council and gather feedback early and often that will help them develop and refine a clear and concise integration proposal.

  • Allow the community to distinguish between officially supported Subprojects and experimental Subprojects pursued by members of the community.

Repository management policy for incubator projects#

Projects may from time to time want to create new repositories to explore various ideas. The basic policy for this is the following:

  • If the project is named foo, it can create new repositories named foo-X without asking for further authorization. The project can decide whether to announce the repo on the broader Jupyter channels or not if it thinks there is sufficient interest (obviously these repos are still public and open to participation by all).

  • If the project would like to create a repo named bar (a top-level name that someone else might potentially be interested in), it should post to the main Jupyter list. The proposal will be discussed with the assumption that, unless someone raises a serious objection, these requests will be approved as propmptly as possible.

Proposal for incubation#

A Subproject team can initiate the jupyter-incubator incubation process by submitting a proposal for incubation. This process is designed to be lightweight and quick:

  1. The proposers must fill out an incubation application by submitting a pull request to the jupyter-incubator/proposals repository.

  2. Proposers must announce their intent to the community with a post to the main Jupyter mailing list.

  3. The proposed Subproject must have an Advocate who is an active Steering Council member. The role of the Advocate is to introduce the Subproject team to the Jupyter community and help them through incubation processes. While the Advocate may be involved in the actual development and design of the Subproject, that is not required.

  4. The proposal for incubation will be discussed by the community and approved or rejected by the consensus of the Steering Council.

  5. If approved, the proposal pull request will be merged. If rejected, it will be closed.

Incubation period#

Once a Subproject is approved for incubation in the jupyter-incubator organization, the following steps will be taken:

  1. A GitHub repository will be created under the jupyter-incubator organization

  2. A GitHub team will be created with read/write access to the repository, including the Advocate.

  3. The standard Jupyter LICENSE file that is maintained in this governance repository will be added to the new repository.

  4. A member of the Steering Council will announce the newly incubated Subproject on the main Jupyter list.

The goal of the incubation period is to demonstrate that the Subproject is going to develop an active developer and user community. There is no particular length of time required for incubation, but it is expected that most Subprojects will be in incubation for at least six months to one year.

External incubation#

Incubation outside the jupyter-incubator organization is also possible. In this case, there is no formal process. Any individual or organization can simply create a new project on their own personal GitHub (or other VCS) repository and develop it as they see fit. If such an externally created and incubated Subproject wants to become part of the official Jupyter organizations, the criteria listed at the top of this document must be satisfied and the same incorporation process must be followed.