GitHub Issues are a convenient way to communicate with pydarn developers about future changes to the pydarn codebase. Issues are not just for bug reporting. They can also be used to:

  • Notify others that a new feature is being planned
  • Ask for help or advice on using/installing pyDARN
  • Initiate open discussions about a pydarn-related topic

When opening a new issue on the pyDARN Github page, you will be prompted to use a template to describe your issue. These templates are designed to help you provide enough detail for other developers to respond.


pyDARN no longer maintains reading and writing SuperDARN data formats. Please address all issues on reading and writing to pyDARNio

Other Working Group Issues

Please only open issues related to pyDARN. Questions on the following topics should be directed elsewhere:

Submit an Issue

To open a new issue, follow these steps from the pyDARN repository

  1. Click the issues tab on the top left side of the page
  2. Check whether there is already an open issue on your topic. You can use the search bar to find similar issues.
  3. If there are no similar issues, click the New issue button (top right)
  4. Choose an issue template, or select open a blank issue at the bottom of the page if none of the templates seem appropriate
  5. Fill out the template information, and add a descriptive title
  6. Fill out the side bar information:
    • Assignees: Assign yourself to the issue if you are planning to work on it yourself. Leave blank if you are not planning to work on it.
    • Labels: these are used to categorize and filter issues (examples below). You can have multiple labels.
    • Projects: Indicate if this issue is part of a project
    • Milestone: Please leave this blank. The DVWG chairs will fill in this information later when a timeline emerges (e.g. working towards a new release)
    • Linked Pull Request: Leave this blank for now. This can be filled out when a pull request that solves this issue is created (see pull requests)
  7. Click Submit new issue. At this point, everyone who is subscribed to the pyDARN repository will receive an email. Depending on your notification settings, you may receive emails when others comment on the issue. Check your user settings to subscribe or unsubscribe to email notifications.

Following The Issue

Please follow the ongoing conversation about your issue, especially if other developers request more information. If you do not respond for a while, the issue will go stale and may be closed. DVWG tries to keep issues open and contact users if their issues have gone stale.

Please keep in mind that DVWG members have priorities other than pyDARN, and they live in many different time zones, so be patient while waiting for a response. If nobody has responded in 1-2 weeks, it's fine to ask again.

Closing Issues

Issues should be closed when:

  • A pull request that addresses the issue is merged
  • The original question raised in an issue has been answered

If new issues emerge during a discussion, open a new issue and discuss it there. This is to avoid scope creep.

Stale Issues

If an issue goes stale (no progress for over 3 months), the pyDARN lead developer may follow this procedure:

  1. Ask about the issue's status in the conversation
  2. Email the user who opened the issue
  3. Request that we discuss the issue in the next DVWG meeting (add label telecon), or place it in a project to be re-opened later
  4. Label the issue stale until progress can be made on it again
  5. Request to close the issue if none of the above steps elicit any information to keep it open
  6. DVWG chairs can close stale issues


The Assignees section is used to indicate who (if anyone) is actively working on each issue. This helps to avoid duplicated work, and to identify issues that nobody is currently working on (if you are looking for something to do!). If you would like to offer assistance on an issue that someone else is assigned to, please ask them first. If you agree to take over the issue from them, assign yourself to it.


pyDARN supports the following labels:

Label Definition
bug Issue is about a potential bug
DVWG Issue for Data Analysis Working Group
DDWG Issue for Data Distribution Working Group
default change Default change in one of the methods
Deprecation Removing legacy code/feature from the codebase
discussion Issue requires a discussion
documentation Issue pertains to documentation
DSWG This is DSWG issue
duplicate There is already another issue about the same problem
enhancement Issue pertains about enhancing pydarn
good first issue Good for newcomers
Error/Warning Issue is purposing an new error or warning check for pydarn
help wanted Issue is looking for some help on the problem
high priority Issue needs to be looked at over others
invalid Issue about something being invalid
low priority Issue is not very important at the time
PyDARNio issue Issue for pyDARNio
Programmer needed Issue needs programmers help
question Issue regards to a question
RST Issue for RST
Scientist input Issue needs Scientist help
telecon Issue needs to be discussed in a telecon
wontfix Issue could not be fixed
workaround Issue was fixed with a workaround

Creating A New Label

To create a new label go to pydarn labels and click on New label

Give a concise name for the label and provide a description. A color can be randomly generated or chosen based on the hex value. Please avoid similar colors to other labels if possible.

Then click on Create Label.


Avoid creating new labels when creating a new issue: this can delete the issue being created!

Open-ended Issues

Sometimes Issues can be open-ended, especially discussion issues. Here are some steps to make progress on the issue and prevent it going stale: - Label it with telecon if needs to be further discussed in a telecon with DVWG members - Once a general idea is established, close the issue and create a project to break it into a defined tasks. Open the first task as an issue, see projects.