Prototype Implementations (pyvo.utils.prototype)

This subpackage provides support for prototype standard implementations.

PyVO implements the IVOA standards. As part of the standard approval process, new features are proposed and need to be demonstrated before the standard may be approved. PyVO may implement features that are not yet part of an approved standard. Such features are unstable, as the standard may be subject to reviews and significant changes, until it’s finally approved.

The prototype package provides support for such prototypes by means of a decorator for implementations that are still unstable. The expectation is that they will eventually become standard at which time the decorator will be removed.

Users of pyvo need to explicitly opt-in in order to use such features. If prototype implementations are accessed without the user explicitly opting in, an exception will be raised.

Activating Prototype Implementations

In order to activate a feature, users need to call the function:

activate_features('feature_one', 'feature_two')

Where the arguments are names of prototype features. If a feature name does not exist, a PrototypeWarning will be issued, but the call will not fail. If no arguments are provided, then all features are enabled.

Marking Features as Experimental

The design restricts the possible usage of the decorator, which needs to always be called with a single argument being the name of the corresponding feature. More arguments are allowed but will be ignored. If the decorator is not used with the correct @prototype_feature("feature-name") invocation, the code will error as soon as the class is imported.

The decorator can be used to tag individual functions or methods:

def i_am_a_prototype(*arg, **kwargs):

In this case, a single function or method is tagged as part of the a-feature prototype feature. If the feature has a URL defined (see Feature Registry below).

Alternatively, a class can be marked as belonging to a feature. All public methods will be marked as part of the prototype implementation. Protected, private, and dunder methods (i.e. any method starting with an underscore) will be ignored. The reason is that the class might be instantiated by some mediator before the user can call (and more importantly not call) a higher level facade:

class SomeFeatureClass:
    def method(self):

    def static():

    def __ignore__(self):

Any number of classes and functions can belong to a single feature, and individual methods can be tagged in a class rather than the class itself.

Feature Registry

The feature registry is a static features dictionary in the prototype package. The key is the name of the feature and the value is an instance of the Feature class. This class is responsible for determining whether an instance should error or not, and to format an error message if it’s not. While the current implementation of the Feature class is simple, future requirements might lead to other implementations with more complex logic or additional documentation elements.


pyvo.utils.prototype Module



Decorator for functions and classes that implement unstable standards which haven't been approved yet.


Activate one or more prototype features.




Class Inheritance Diagram

Inheritance diagram of pyvo.utils.prototype.PrototypeWarning, pyvo.utils.prototype.PrototypeError

Existing Prototypes

CADC Table Manipulation (cadc-tb-upload)

This is a proposed extension to the TAP protocol to allow users to manipulate tables ( The TAPService has been extended with methods that allow for:

  • table creation

  • column index creation

  • table content upload

  • table removal

More details at: Table Manipulation