Version Control

For both philosophical and practical reasons, any asset of the AAS WorldWide Telescope project that can be managed in a version control system should be. This includes not only computer source code but also documentation (in plain-text formats like Markdown) and configuration files. In fact, the advantages of being able to plug into the modern version control ecosystem are so great that it is worth putting significant effort into finding or creating schemes that allow project assets to be managed in the version-control paradigm, or into transforming existing assets into version-control-friendly formats.


At present, WWT source assets are managed in a suite of numerous Git repositories. While it is beyond the scope of this document to explain the finer points of Git usage, suffice it to say that familiarity with Git will be extremely valuable if one wants to contribute to WWT development.


The WWT source repositories are made available through GitHub, in the WorldWideTelescope organization.

Besides making the WWT sources publicly available, GitHub enables collaborative development of the WWT project through a standard fork-and-pull workflow, as well as issue tracking and other standard software development infrastructure support. For more information, see the Contributors’ Guide.

Continuous Integration and Deployment🔗

To the greatest extent possible, we aim to automate the creation and deployment of products derived from WWT sources using continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) techniques. In fact, a major motivation for tracking as many WWT source assets in Git as possible is purely to be able to take advantage of the conveniences afforded by modern CI/CD systems.

The bulk of WWT’s CI/CD tooling is powered by the Azure Pipelines service and managed through the aasworldwidetelescope organization on Azure DevOps. You shouldn’t need to be a member of this organization to perform most WWT development tasks, but certain administrative activities will require membership privileges.

The details of the specific CI/CD workflows used vary from one repository to another and are documented elsewhere in this guide. The Azure Pipelines build logs are generally located under the WWT project of the DevOps organization.

The wwt-windows-client repository require the use of a custom “agent” to run the builds, the construction of which is documented in an Appendix.

Some WWT repositories may be wired up to invoke other free and public CI/CD services. In general, the goal is to transition these to use Azure Pipelines through the Azure DevOps organization.