LSST-specific style guide

The LSST user documentation style guide is built upon the Google Developer Style Guide. This page lists our exceptions and modifications to those guidelines.

Use the imperative mood for Python and C++ function and method summary sentences

For LSST DM Python and C++, you should use the imperative mood to write the summary sentence:

Get the value.

The imperative mood is conventional in scientific Python software (Numpy, SciPy, and Astropy, among others). In turn, our C++ standard follows the Python convention since our use of the two languages is often intertwined. See also:


This recommendation for LSST DM differs from the Google Developer Style Guide, which recommends using the present tense for function and method summaries. For example:

Gets the value.

If you are documenting a completely different technology, such as HTTP API endpoints, using the present tense is a good idea.