Hacking on media-nommer

For those that are particularly ambitious, or generous enough to want to contribute to the project, the barrier to entry is reasonably low. We will go over a few topics at a high level to get you started.

Obtaining the source

The best way to obtain the source is through our git repository on GitHub. If you are going to do anything aside from poke at the code, I would highly recommend visiting our GitHub project and forking the project via the Fork button.

For those not familiar with GitHub, this will create a copy of the repository under your username which you have commit access to. From your repository, you can make modifications and send Pull Requests to the upstream project asking for your changes to be merged in. Meanwhile, you can keep your fork up to date with changes from upstream. This is a whole lot faster, easier, and more fun than the traditional patch juggling method.

If you’d like to skip the whole forking ordeal and just get a copy of our upstream repository on your machine, you’ll probably want to do something like:

git clone https://github.com/duointeractive/media-nommer.git

This will leave you with a media-nommer directory in your current directory.


For those that aren’t familiar with git and/or GitHub, see the excellent GitHub help with lots of helpful how-tos.

Installing additional dependencies

There are a few additional dependencies to install when doing development work. Since everyone is being good little programmers and working under virtualenv, it’s just a matter of switching to said virtual environment and doing this from within your media-nommer dir:

pip install -r requirements.txt

Now you’re set to develop, run unit tests, and build our documentation.


You will now want to review the Configuring section of Installation document. You may create your nomconf.py in your media-nommer directory for convenience. Return to this document once you have finished following the configuration instructions.

Running and writing unit tests

Running unit tests is trivial with nose. cd to your media-nommer directory and just run:


The cool thing about nose is that it will find anything that looks like a unit test throughout the entire codebase, without us having to tell it where to look.

As far as writing unit tests, we’d like to shoot for full coverage, so please do write tests for your changes. If you are working on something new, find the tests.py module neighboring the one you’re working on (or create one if it doesn’t already exist) and write your unit tests using the standard Python unittest module. If you need any examples of how our unit tests look, run this to find all of our tests.py modules from your root media-nommer directory:

find . -name tests.py

Look through these for a good idea of what we’re looking for.


We are very unlikely to accept code contributions without unit tests. It is understood that writing unit tests is boring, tedious, and un-fun, but it is a necessary evil for complex software.

Running feederd locally


This is suitable for local testing and development, your actual deployment would probably omit the -n flag to allow daemonization, unless you’re using something like Supervisor.

If you are in your media-nommer directory, you may run feederd locally by doing this:

PYTHONPATH=media_nommer twistd -n --pidfile=feederd.pid feederd

Running ec2nommerd locally

ec2nommerd is designed to run on your EC2 instances, and is not at all meant to run on anything else. While it will do so just fine in most cases, a few features (such as self-termination) obviously won’t work.

If you are in your media-nommer directory, you may run ec2nommerd locally by doing this:

PYTHONPATH=media_nommer twistd -n --pidfile=ec2nommerd.pid ec2nommerd -l


Make sure to include the -l flag or your daemon will just deadlock while trying to query a web server that is internal to AWS.

Code style

We mostly adhere to PEP8, and expect contributors to do the same. A few quick hi-lights:

  • 80 columns width max when possible.
  • Indents are 4 spaces, and not tabs. No tabs allowed.
  • Avoid wildcard * imports unless absolutely necessary.
  • No camelCase method names, use underscores and lowercase letters.
  • Classes use CapWords.
  • Global variables are ALL_UPPER_CASE.
  • Comments and docstrings for just about everything. Even if you think it’s obvious. It probably won’t be a few weeks/months/years later.

Contributing code

After you have made modifications in your GitHub fork, you need only send a Pull Request to us via the aptly named Pull Request on your fork’s project page. See GitHub’s guide to forking. It’s quick and easy, we promise.

“I’m stumped, help!”

The best way to get help right now is to submit an issue on the issue tracker. This is useful for questions, suggestions, and bugs.

Contributions are BSD-licensed

Important to note is the fact that all contributions to the media-nommer project are, like the project itself, BSD-licensed. Please make sure you or your employer are OK with this before contributing.