I am outlining the dependencies in the documentation for a small open source package I would like to release. My package depends on an unmerged branch of scipy that has some special functions that I need. To install it myself, I just cloned this unmerged branch and installed it from source (everything works fine).

I am just asking about the proper etiquette for this situation. I want to give proper credit to this person who added these unmerged changes. I am new to open source development so any advice is helpful.

  • 2
    Are you planning to include scipy in your distribution? If not (and that's how it sounds) you also have the technical issue of referring to a non-main branch as a dependency, which could hypothetically get merged in and then disappear (or become obsolete) some time after you release your software.
    – apsillers
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 17:58
  • 1
    Yeah that is a potential problem. I guess I will just have to check every now and again to see if it has been merged and update my documentation accordingly. Fortunately, I don't anticipate anyone else in the world actually using my package so its not a big deal. I am just trying to learn best practices.
    – Malonge
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


In order for your release to remain stable, you're going to need to fork that unmerged branch yourself. Otherwise, that branch may disappear, rendering your package unusable.

As you mentioned in the comments, it would be best if you kept an eye on that branch so you can update your documentation and kill your fork if & when it gets mainlined.

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