Much Ado About Governance
@ Matthew Turk | Friday, Oct 10, 2014 | 2 minute read | Update at Thursday, Dec 3, 2020

A new post about our project’s governance!

Much Ado About Governance

This blog post is long overdue! (And I can’t believe it’s been so long since we had a blog post here, either.) Over the last few months, particularly after the release of yt 3.0, on the yt-dev mailing list we’ve had discussions about how to institute some form of governance of the project. This has been one of the hardest transitions yt has had to make – it used to be that we could fit everybody who had a stake in it into a small office, but that’s no longer the case.

Over the course of several long email threads, as well as discussions in the comments for pull request 40 to the YTEP repository, Britton Smith developed YTEP-1776.

This establishes a framework for a few things:

  • Decision making – particularly when there are conflicts between individuals about how to proceed with code changes, with release information, and the like.
  • Identification of individuals as “project members,” which is not only useful for participation in decision making, but also for placing on a CV, which is especially useful for younger researchers.
  • Establish liaisons between platforms and codes and yt
  • Establish mechanisms for regular checkins and meetings to discuss goings-on
  • Develop standards and processes for code review

One of the original goals of the governance discussion was to attempt to ensure that individuals who had contributed to yt, and who might otherwise not get recognition for their efforts (be they in code or time spent helping others) would be able to be recognized in some sort of semi-official way.

I’m so proud of everyone in the community for putting this together. I think that this is a delicate transition, and everyone has been incredible during it – especially Britton Smith, who essentially drove the entire discussion.

yt extension modules

yt has many extension packages to help you in your scientific workflow! Check these out, or create your own.


ytini is set of tools and tutorials for using yt as a tool inside the 3D visual effects software Houdini or a data pre-processor externally to Houdini.


Trident is a full-featured tool that projects arbitrary sightlines through astrophysical hydrodynamics simulations for generating mock spectral observations of the IGM and CGM.


pyXSIM is a Python package for simulating X-ray observations from astrophysical sources.


Analyze merger tree data from multiple sources. It’s yt for merger trees!


yt_idv is a package for interactive volume rendering with yt! It provides interactive visualization using OpenGL for datasets loaded in yt. It is written to provide both scripting and interactive access.


widgyts is a jupyter widgets extension for yt, backed by rust/webassembly to allow for browser-based, interactive exploration of data from yt.


yt_astro_analysis is the yt extension package for astrophysical analysis.

Make your own!!

Finally, check out our development docs on writing your own yt extensions!

Contributing to the Blog

Are you interested in contributing to the yt blog?

Check out our post on contributing to the blog for a guide!

We welcome contributions from all members of the yt community. Feel free to reach out if you need any help.

the yt data hub

The yt hub at has a ton of resources to check out, whether you have yt installed or not.

The collections host all sorts of data that can be loaded with yt. Some have been used in publications, and others are used as sample frontend data for yt. Maybe there’s data from your simulation software?

The rafts host the yt quickstart notebooks, where you can interact with yt in the browser, without needing to install it locally. Check out some of the other rafts too, like the widgyts release notebooks – a demo of the widgyts yt extension pacakge; or the notebooks from the CCA workshop – a user’s workshop on using yt.

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