Development practices

This page describes development practices for message_ix_models and message_data intended to help reproducibility, interoperability, and reusability.

In the following, the bold-face words required, optional, etc. have specific meanings as described in IETF RFC 2119.

On other pages:

On this page:

Upstream version policy

message_ix_models is developed to be compatible with the following versions of its upstream dependencies.

ixmp and message_ix

The most recent 4 minor versions, or all minor versions released in the past two (2) years—whichever is greater.

For example, as of 2024-04-08:

  • The most recent release of ixmp and message_ix are versions 3.8.0 of each project. These are supported by message_ix_models.

  • The previous 3 minor versions are 3.7.0, 3.6.0, and 3.5.0. All were released since 2022-04-08. All are supported by message_ix_models.

  • ixmp and message_ix versions 3.4.0 were released 2022-01-24. These this is the fifth-most-recent minor version and was released more than 2 years before 2024-04-08, so it is not supported.


All currently-maintained versions of Python.

The Python website displays a list of these versions (1, 2).

For example, as of 2024-04-08:

  • Python 3.13 is in “prerelease” or “feature” development status, and is not supported by message_ix_models.

  • Python 3.12 through 3.8 are in “bugfix” or “security” maintenance status, and are supported by message_ix_models.

  • Python 3.7 and earlier are in “end-of-life” status, and are not supported by the Python community or by message_ix_models.

  • Support for older versions of dependencies may be dropped as early as the first message_ix_models version released after changes in upstream versions.

    • Conversely, some parts of message_ix_models may continue to be compatible with older upstream versions, but this compatibility is not tested and may break at any time.

    • Users should upgrade their dependencies and other code to newer versions; we recommend the latest.

  • Some newer code is marked with a minimum_version() decorator.

    • This indicates that the marked code relies on features only available in certain upstream versions (of one of the packages mentioned above, or another package), newer than those listed in pyproject.toml.

    • These minima must be mentioned in the message_ix_models documentation.

    • Users wishing to use this marked code must use compatible versions of those packages.