Recommendations and Rules for User-Contributed Components#

Reference the component tutorial

Also the best practices tutorial.

First, thank you for considering contributing a component! The following are some rules and recommendations.


  • super is called in the init

  • All public attributes are properties

  • A component uses all required inputs fields and creates all required output fields.

  • Components have complete metadata in _info.

  • The component’s __init__ method takes a Landlab model grid as the first argument.

  • The component has a main method that takes either dt or nothing. The name is descriptive but does not need to be standardized.
    • Solution is that using setters and getters or making a grid scalar.

    • Some common name patterns include update(), run_one_step(), or calculate_name_of_thing().

  • A component raises a ValueError if unused keyword arguments are provided.

  • A component raises a ValueError if a grid type the component does not support is passed.

  • Component fields use consistent definition and dimensions (not necessarily units).


  • A component has a run_one_step method as its main method.

  • Arguments and keyword arguments start with lower case letters.

  • Keyword arguments have reasonable default values (and the grid is the only argument to __init__.

  • Can return or not return information. Some recommendations, Nothing, grid, or a … or a calculated value.

  • If possible, we recommend that components are unit agnostic.