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the Platform for Automated Workflows by SSRL

Project description


paws stands for the Platform for Automated Workflows by SSRL. It was conceived to serve as a lean and modular workflow manager for spectral data.

paws interfaces fluidly with an ever-growing number of packages and provide easy ways for users to add their own operations, as Python modules following a simple template.

After a paws workflow has been constructed, it can be easily moved between machines, processes, or threads, so that it can be used equally well for scripting on personal computers, for processing behind graphical applications, or for remote execution on clusters or data centers.

Disclaimer: paws is neither the first nor the most sophisticated way to build and manage data processing workflows. It was built to provide a certain degree of modularity that was required at the time of development but was not so easy to find in the community.

The core modules of paws are pure Python and depend only on PyYAML.

A separate package, qtpaws, provides a Qt-based GUI for paws. qtpaws tries to provide the same functionalities as the pure Python API, along with interactive viewing of the workflow results in real time.


The documentation for paws is hosted by This documentation is continually under development. Please contact the developers at if the documentation fails to answer your questions.

API Examples

The following are examples that explore the capabilities of the paws API.

TODO: write new examples to reflect the new API.


The full paws package is available on PyPI. To install in an existing Python environment, invoke pip: pip install pypaws

All of the dependencies of the paws Operations are not declared as dependencies of paws. This keeps the Python environment relatively lean and avoids installation overhead, but it means that users will have to prepare their environments for the Operations they want to use.

The documentation of paws includes instructions for installing the dependencies of each Operation. NOTE: this is currently false. TODO: add this to the docs.


paws was written at SSRL by Chris Tassone’s research group. If you use paws in your published research, a citation would be appreciated.

Before citing paws, it is of primary importance that you cite the authors of the original work that produced your results: this is almost certainly separate from the authors of paws. Citations for your specific operations might be found by in the paws documentation. If you have trouble finding proper citations, please contact us at, and we will do our best to help.


Contribution to paws is encouraged and appreciated. Get in touch with the paws development team at


The 3-clause BSD-like license attached to this software can be found in the LICENSE file in the source code root directory.

Project details

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