We welcome all possible contributors. This page details some of the guidelines that should be followed when contributing to this package.

Reporting bugs

We track bugs using GitHub issues. We encourage you to write complete, specific, reproducible bug reports. Mention the versions of Julia and RxInfer for which you observe unexpected behavior. Please provide a concise description of the problem and complement it with code snippets, test cases, screenshots, tracebacks or any other information that you consider relevant. This will help us to replicate the problem and narrow the search space for solutions.

Nightly Julia status

The badge that indicates if RxInfer can be installed on a Julia nightly version. The failing badge may indicate either a problem with RxInfer itself of with one if the dependencies. Click on the badge to get the latest evaluation report.


Suggesting features

We welcome new feature proposals. However, before submitting a feature request, consider a few things:

  • Does the feature require changes in the core RxInfer code? If it doesn't (for example, you would like to add a factor node for a particular application), you can add local extensions in your script/notebook or consider making a separate repository for your extensions.
  • If you would like to add an implementation of a feature that changes a lot in the core RxInfer code, please open an issue on GitHub and describe your proposal first. This will allow us to discuss your proposal with you before you invest your time in implementing something that may be difficult to merge later on.

Contributing code

Installing RxInfer

We suggest that you use the dev command from the new Julia package manager to install RxInfer for development purposes. To work on your fork of RxInfer, use your fork's URL address in the dev command, for example:

] dev

The dev command clones RxInfer to ~/.julia/dev/RxInfer. All local changes to RxInfer code will be reflected in imported code.


It is also might be useful to install Revise.jl package as it allows you to modify code and use the changes without restarting Julia.

Core dependencies

RxInfer.jl heavily depends on the ReactiveMP.jl, GraphPPL.jl and Rocket.jl packages. RxInfer.jl must be updated every time any of these packages has a major update and/or API changes. Developers are adviced to use the dev command for all of these packages while making changes to the RxInfer.jl. It is worth noting though that standard Julia testing utilities ignore the local development environment and always try to test the package with the latest released versions of the core dependencies. Read the section about the Makefile below to see how to test RxInfer.jl with the locally installed core dependencies.

Committing code

We use the standard GitHub Flow workflow where all contributions are added through pull requests. In order to contribute, first fork the repository, then commit your contributions to your fork, and then create a pull request on the main branch of the RxInfer repository.

Before opening a pull request, please make sure that all tests pass without failing! All examples (can be found in /examples/ directory) have to run without errors as well.


Use make test, make examples and make docs commands to ensure that all tests, examples and the documentation build run without any issues. See below for the Makefile commands description in more details.

Style conventions

We use default Julia style guide. We list here a few important points and our modifications to the Julia style guide:

  • Use 4 spaces for indentation
  • Type names use UpperCamelCase. For example: AbstractFactorNode, RandomVariable, etc..
  • Function names are lowercase with underscores, when necessary. For example: activate!, randomvar, as_variable, etc..
  • Variable names and function arguments use snake_case
  • The name of a method that modifies its argument(s) must end in !

RxInfer repository contains scripts to automatically format code according to our guidelines. Use make format command to fix code style. This command overwrites files. Use make lint to run a linting procedure without overwriting the actual source files.

Unit tests

We use the test-driven development (TDD) methodology for RxInfer development. The test coverage should be as complete as possible. Please make sure that you write tests for each piece of code that you want to add.

All unit tests are located in the /test/ directory. The /test/ directory follows the structure of the /src/ directory. Each test file should have the following filename format: test_*.jl. Some tests are also present in jldoctest docs annotations directly in the source code. See Julia's documentation about doctests.

The tests can be evaluated by running following command in the Julia REPL:

] test RxInfer

In addition tests can be evaluated by running following command in the RxInfer root directory:

make test

Use make devtest to use local dev-ed versions of the core packages.


RxInfer.jl uses Makefile for most common operations:

  • make help: Shows help snippet
  • make test: Run tests, supports extra arguments
    • make test test_args="distributions:normal_mean_variance" would run tests only from distributions/test_normal_mean_variance.jl
    • make test test_args="distributions:normal_mean_variance models:lgssm" would run tests both from distributions/test_normal_mean_variance.jl and models/test_lgssm.jl
    • make test dev=true would run tests while using dev-ed versions of core packages
  • make devtest: Alias for the make test dev=true ...
  • make docs: Compile documentation
  • make devdocs: Same as make docs, but uses dev-ed versions of core packages
  • make examples: Run all examples and put them in the docs/ folder if successfull
  • make devexamples: Same as make examples, but uses dev-ed versions of core packages
  • make lint: Check codestyle
  • make format: Check and fix codestyle

Core packages include ReactiveMP.jl, GraphPPL.jl and Rocket.jl. When using any of the dev commands from the Makefile those packages must be present in the Pkg.devdir() directory.