OEP-2: Repository Metadata

Title Repository Metadata
Last Modified 2019-11-14
Authors Calen Pennington, Feanil Patel, Nimisha Asthagiri
Arbiter Calen Pennington <cale@edx.org>
Status Accepted
Type Best Practice
Created 2016-04-21


Proposes a standard format for repository metadata for Open edX projects.


One of the primary goals for Best Practice OEPs is to standardize techniques and tools across Open edX repositories. However, without tooling, it will be difficult to move all of the repositories in the same direction (and hard to validate which ones have been updated). This OEP exists to fill that gap. By providing a standard format for metadata about accordance to Best Practice OEPs, tools can be developed in the future to report on the current status of all of the Open edX repositories, and how well they follow the Best Practices listed in the OEPs.

Bear in mind that particular classes of Open edX repositories may have different Best Practices. The practices that apply to an XBlock may not be the same as those that apply to a standalone Django service or to a Django app.


Each repo will include a file openedx.yaml, with the following keys:

owner: string (required unless archived is True)
The GitHub user responsible for the repository.
supporting_teams: list of strings (optional)
The GitHub teams supporting the owner for this repository.
nick: string (optional)
A short-name for the repository used by reporting tools created by the edX Open Source team. Should be 3-4 characters, because this value is used in charts with very limited space on their axes.
tags: list of strings (optional)
Used to group repositories by in reporting tools. Sample tags: core, mobile analytics.
oeps: dictionary (optional)

A list of keys corresponding to Best Practice OEPs (in the format oep-n). Each value would be one of True, False, or a reason dictionary. True or False indicate compliance (or lack thereof) with the specified OEP.

A reason dictionary provides more detailed information. It can contain a boolean state, a boolean applicable, and a string reason.

  • If the OEP is not currently applicable to this repository, the reason dictionary can simply contain a single value of False for the applicable key. For example: an OEP that defines best practices for JavaScript testing would be marked as not applicable in a Python command line tool’s repository.
  • If the state is False a reason value must be included that explains why.
  • If the state is True or applicable is False the reason can optionally provide more information. The reason value will be displayed in reporting tools. If an OEP isn’t listed in the oeps dictionary, then it is assumed to be False, unless the reporting tool can auto-detect accordance.
track-pulls: obsolete
This key is obsolete, please remove if found.
openedx-release: defined by OEP-10.
Define this key if your repo is an application or IDA that is part of Open edX releases. Omit this key if your repo is a library, or is not part of Open edX releases. See OEP-10 for details.
archived: boolean (optional)
If True, this specifies that this repository is archived and no longer maintained by edX.


The tags structure is very open ended but there are a few tags that are currently in wide use and are provided here so that they can be used consistently.

Indicate that this repository is the root of a webservice. eg. It can serve HTTP content.
The repository is an installable package that is reusable but doesn’t run standalone. eg. a pip installable pyton package
A service that is run as a part of openedx but is not really interacted with by the end-users. eg. xqwatcher or ecommerce-worker
Scripts or configuration used in conjunction with services or in support of openedx.
Indicating that a repo contains an xblock or xblock related tooling.


For example, in the edx-platform repo, the file might look like:

# openedx.yaml

owner: nasthagiri
    - platform-core
    - platform-core-extensions
    - platform-authn
    - platform-courseware
nick: edx
    - core
    - xblock
    - lms
    - studio
    oep-314: True  # edx-platform uses django 3.14
        state: False
        reason: This OEP doesn't actually exist
        state: True  # no reason is required since this is True
        applicable: False  # state is not required since the OEP is not applicable
        reason: This OEP contains best practices for C++ which is not used in edx-platform
        applicable: False  # reason is not required since it's almost always just a redundant statement about it not being applicable


The keys in openedx.yaml were derived from existing repository metadata collected by edx.org.

The design of the oeps dictionary was guided by a couple of use cases:

  1. Adding a new OEP that few repositories will support, initially. We shouldn’t need to update all repositories to detect if they are in accordance, we should be able to assume that they aren’t, or automatically detect whether they are.
  2. Repositories may have specific requirements that force them to not implement a best practice. The tools should be able to present that reasoning to anyone looking across repositories, and the reasons should be documented in the repositories themselves.
  3. As much as possible, Best Practices should be autodetected, but because they will often involve a judgement call, autodetection shouldn’t be mandatory.

Change History


  • Minor formatting and wording changes for clarity.


  • Change obsolete to archived and relax the requirement for an owner if archived is True.


  • Support the applicable key in the reason dictionary.


  • Move the definition of openedx-release to OEP-10.


  • Add documentation of the openedx-release, track-pulls, dead, and nick keys in the openedx.yaml file.


  • Original publication