Development guide


The XCC requires the following libraries be installed:

as well as the following Python packages:


For development purposes, it is recommended to install the XCC source code using development mode:

git clone
cd xanadu-cloud-client
pip install -e .

The -e flag ensures that edits to the source code will be reflected when importing the XCC in Python.

Additional dependencies for linting, formatting, and testing can be installed using:

pip install -r requirements-dev.txt


To ensure that the XCC is working correctly after installation, the test suite can be run by navigating to the source code folder and running

make test

while the test coverage can be checked by running

make coverage

The output of the first command should resemble

======================================= test session starts ========================================
platform linux -- Python 3.9.6, pytest-6.2.5, py-1.10.0, pluggy-1.0.0
rootdir: /path/to/xanadu-cloud-client
plugins: cov-3.0.0
collected 109 items

tests/ ..............................                                        [ 27%]
tests/ ...........................                                         [ 52%]
tests/ ...............                                                         [ 66%]
tests/ ...............................                                            [ 94%]
tests/ ......                                                                [100%]

======================================= 109 passed in 0.59s ========================================


Contributions are checked for format alignment in the pipeline. Changes can be formatted and linted locally using:

make format lint


Additional packages are required to build the documentation, as specified in docs/requirements.txt. These packages can be installed using

pip install -r docs/requirements.txt

To then build the HTML documentation, run

make docs

The documentation can be found in the docs/_build/html/ directory.

Submitting a pull request

Before submitting a pull request, please make sure the following is done:

  • All new features must include a unit test. If you’ve fixed a bug or added code that should be tested, add a test to the tests/ directory.

  • All new functions and code must be clearly commented and documented.

    Have a look through the source code at some of the existing functions — the easiest approach is to simply copy an existing docstring and modify it as appropriate.

    If you do make documentation changes, make sure that the docs build and render correctly by running make docs.

  • Ensure that the test suite passes, by following the test suite guide.

  • Make sure the modified code in the pull request conforms to the PEP8 coding standard.

    The XCC source code conforms to PEP8 standards. Before submitting the PR, you can autoformat your code changes using the Black Python autoformatter, with max-line length set to 100:

    black -l 100 xanadu-cloud-client/path/to/modified/

    We check all of our code against Pylint for errors. To lint modified files, simply pip install pylint, and then from the source code directory, run

    pylint xanadu-cloud-client/path/to/modified/

When ready, submit your fork as a pull request to the XCC repository, filling out the pull request template. This template is added automatically to the comment box when you create a new issue.

  • When describing the pull request, please include as much detail as possible regarding the changes made/new features added/performance improvements. If including any bug fixes, mention the issue numbers associated with the bugs.

  • Once you have submitted the pull request, the test suite will automatically run on GitHub Actions to ensure that all tests continue to pass.