Author QuantEcon
16 Stars
Updated Last
2 Years Ago
Started In
October 2018


A way to bind dependency information to Julia assets without the need to pass around TOML files.

The use case is that your notebooks would have something like the following in their first cell:

using InstantiateFromURL

Based on Valentin Churavy's idea in

Overview/Method Signature

[Note] To account for changes in IJulia (where notebooks will now look recursively up the tree for TOML, and use either what they find or the default v1.x environment), we've introduced the new function/entrypoint below. The functions we had previously provided are still around, in the subsequent deprecated section.

The signature is:

function github_project(reponame; # e.g., "QuantEcon/quantecon-notebooks-jl"
    path = "", # relative path within the repo (root by default)
    version = "master",
    force = false,
    instantiate = false)


  • reponame and path identify the TOML on the internet. Reponame is something like "QuantEcon/QuantEconLecturePackages" The path refers to the path to the TOML within the source repo, and is "" by default (i.e., referring to top-level.)

  • version refers to a specific version of the TOML, corresponding to a github tag of the reponame repo.

  • force decides whether or not we're comfortable using whatever project-specific IJulia finds (if there is any.) Essentially, the force parameter decides whether to use a soft or hard match.

  • instantiate decides whether or not to instantiate the project upon activation.

The logic here is:

  • If a local project is activated (i.e., if there is TOML up the source tree), use that unless force = true, and print intelligent information about it (e.g., if we asked for version v0.2.1, and version v0.2.0 is found, it will still use v0.2.0, and alert you to the difference.)

  • ...But, if force = true, then regardless of what is activated, the precise set of Project.toml, Manifest.toml will be pulled down to the notebook's directory from the specified internet location.


We also defined:

  • packages_to_default_environment(), which will take the current environment's packages, and Pkg.add() them to your v1.x environment. Useful for "seeding" or setting up new Julia installs, or making sure that deps for one project are available for other projects, etc.

Deprecated Methods

For activate_github, the signature is:

function activate_github(reponame; # like "QuantEcon/QuantEconLecturePackages"
                        tag = nothing, # could be "master" or a git tag
                        sha = nothing, # could point to a specific commit
                        force = false, # will overwrite the local version of this TOML if true
                        add_default_environment = false) # will add these projects to the default (e.g., v1.1) TOML if true

Example calls include:

  • activate_github("QuantEcon/QuantEconLecturePackages")
  • activate_github("QuantEcon/QuantEconLecturePackages", tag = "master")
  • activate_github("QuantEcon/QuantEconLecturePackages", tag = "v0.9.5")
  • activate_github("QuantEcon/QuantEconLecturePackages", sha = "0c2985")

For activate_github_path, the signature is:

function activate_github_path(reponame; # something like "QuantEcon/SimpleDifferentialOperators.jl"
                                path = "", # like "docs/examples", or where in the (master) source tree the TOML is
                                tag = "master",
                                force = false,
                                activate = true) # decide whether to `activate; instantiate; precompile` or not

Note: Because switching project files currently leads to repeat precompilations in Julia, activate will only bind if the current Project.toml (i.e., Base.active_project()) is in a different location than the pwd (i.e., joinpath(pwd(), "Project.toml").)

Used By Packages

No packages found.