Contributing Changes

The best way to contribute to the periodic table package is to work from a copy of the source tree in the revision control system.

The source is available via git:

git clone
cd periodictable
python develop

By using the develop keyword on, changes to the files in the package are immediately available without the need to run install each time.

Track updates to the original package using:

git pull

If you find you need to modify the periodic table package, please update the documentation and add tests for your changes. We use doctests on all of our examples that we know our documentation is correct. More thorough tests are found in test directory. Using the the nose test package, you can run both sets of tests:

easy_install nose

When all the tests run, generate a patch and send it to the DANSE Project mailing list at

git diff > patch

Alternatively, create a project fork at github and we can pull your changes directly from your repository.

Windows user can use TortoiseGit package which provides similar operations.

You can then build the documentation as follows:

easy_install sphinx
(cd doc/sphinx && make clean html pdf)

You can see the result by pointing your browser to:


ReStructured text format does not have a nice syntax for superscripts and subscripts. Units such as g·cm-3 are entered using macros such as |g/cm^3| to hide the details. The complete list of macros is available in


In addition to macros for units, we also define cdot, angstrom and degrees unicode characters here. The corresponding latex symbols are defined in doc/sphinx/