Contribute to the TFDS repository

Thank you for your interest in our library ! We are thrilled to have such a motivated community.

Get started

  • If you're new with TFDS, the easiest way to get started is to implement one of our requested datasets, focusing on the most requested ones. Follow our guide for instructions.
  • Issues, feature requests, bugs,... have a much bigger impact than adding new datasets, as they benefit the entire TFDS community. See the potential contribution list. Starts with the ones labeled with contribution-welcome which are small self-contained easy issues to get started with.
  • Don't hesitate to take over bugs which are already assigned, but haven't been updated in a while.
  • No need to get the issue assigned to you. Simply comment on the issue when you're starting to work on it :)
  • Don't hesitate to ask for help if you're interested in an issue but don't know how to get started. And please send a draft PR if you want early feedback.
  • To avoid unnecessary duplication of work, check the list of pending Pull Requests, and comment on issues you're working on.


Cloning the repo

To get started, clone or download the Tensorflow Datasets repository and install the repo locally.

git clone
cd datasets/

Install the development dependencies:

pip install -e .  # Install minimal deps to use tensorflow_datasets
pip install -e ".[dev]"  # Install all deps required for testing and development

Note there is also a pip install -e ".[tests-all]" to install all dataset-specific deps.

Visual Studio Code

When developing with Visual Studio Code, our repo comes with some pre-defined settings to help development (correct indentation, pylint,...).

  • If you are encountering some TensorFlow warning message, try this fix.
  • If discovery fail due to missing import which should have been installed, please send a PR to update the dev pip install.

PR checklist

Sign the CLA

Contributions to this project must be accompanied by a Contributor License Agreement (CLA). You (or your employer) retain the copyright to your contribution; this simply gives us permission to use and redistribute your contributions as part of the project. Head over to <> to see your current agreements on file or to sign a new one.

You generally only need to submit a CLA once, so if you've already submitted one (even if it was for a different project), you probably don't need to do it again.

Follow best practices

  • Readability is important. Code should follow best programming practices (avoid duplication, factorise into small self-contained functions, explicit variables names,...)
  • Simpler is better (e.g. implementation split into multiple smaller self-contained PRs which is easier to review).
  • Add tests when required, existing tests should be passing.
  • Add typing annotations

Check your style guide

Our style is based on Google Python Style Guide, which is based on PEP 8 Python style guide. New code should try to follow Black code style but with:

  • Line length: 80
  • 2 spaces indentation instead of 4.
  • Single quote '
pip install pylint --upgrade
pylint tensorflow_datasets/core/

You can try yapf to auto-format a file, but the tool is not perfect, so you'll likely have to manually apply fixes afterward.

yapf tensorflow_datasets/core/

Both pylint and yapf should have been installed with pip install -e ".[dev]" but can also be manually installed with pip install. If you're using VS Code, those tools should be integrated in the UI.

Docstrings and typing annotations

Classes and functions should be documented with docstrings and typing annotation. Docstrings should follow the Google style. For example:

def function(x: List[T]) -> T:
  """One line doc should end by a dot.

  * Use `backticks` for code and tripple backticks for multi-line.
  * Use full API name (`tfds.core.DatasetBuilder` instead of `DatasetBuilder`)
  * Use `Args:`, `Returns:`, `Yields:`, `Attributes:`, `Raises:`

    x: description

    y: description

Add and run unittests

Make sure new features are tested with unit-tests. You can run tests through the VS Code interface, or command line. For instance:

pytest -vv tensorflow_datasets/core/

pytest vs unittest: Historically, we have been using unittest module to write tests. New tests should preferably use pytest which is more simple, flexible, modern and used by most famous libraries (numpy, pandas, sklearn, matplotlib, scipy, six,...). You can read the pytest guide if you're not familiar with pytest.

Tests for DatasetBuilders are special and are documented in the guide to add a dataset.

Send the PR for reviews!

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