Somesy (software metadata sync) is a CLI tool to avoid messy software project metadata by keeping it in sync.


What somesy can do for you

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Somesy (software metadata sync) is a CLI tool to avoid messy software project metadata by keeping it in sync.


Many development tools either declare or need information about the software project they are used in, such as: the project name, description, version, repository url, license or project authors. Most such tools come with configuration files and conventions that are specific to the programming language or chosen technology. Emerging best practices for FAIR software metadata require to add even more files where such metadata must be stated.

If good project metadata was a fire-and-forget issue, this would be acceptable, but software is never standing still - maintainers change, contributors come and go, the version number is regularly increased, the project might be moved to a different location. Properly maintaining this kind of information in various files scattered around the project is usually tedious, error-prone and time consuming manual labor.

Somesy automates the synchronization of software project metadata and frees your time to focus on your actual work.

You can find more information on configuring, using and contributing to somesy in the documentation.

Getting Started

Platform Support

Starting with version 0.3.0, somesy supports Linux, MacOS and Windows.

Make sure that you use the latest version in order to avoid any problems.

Installing somesy

Somesy requires Python >=3.8. To get a first impression, you can install the latest stable version of somesy from PyPI using pip:

pip install somesy

Configuring somesy

Yes, somesy is another tool with its own configuration. However, for your project metadata it is hopefully the last file you need, and the only one you have to think about, somesy will take care of the others for you!

To get started, create a file named somesy.toml:

name = "my-amazing-project"
version = "0.1.0"
description = "Brief description of my amazing software."

keywords = ["some", "descriptive", "keywords"]
license = "MIT"
repository = ""

# This is you, the proud author of your project:
given-names = "Jane"
family-names = "Doe"
email = ""
orcid = ""
author = true      # is a full author of the project (i.e. appears in citations)
maintainer = true  # currently maintains the project (i.e. is a contact person)

# this person is an acknowledged contributor, but not author or maintainer:
given-names = "Another"
family-names = "Contributor"
email = ""
orcid = ""
# ... but for scientific publications, this contributor should be listed as author:
publication_author = true

verbose = true     # show detailed information about what somesy is doing

Alternatively, you can also add the somesy configuration to an existing pyproject.toml, package.json, Project.toml, or fpm.toml file. The somesy manual contains examples showing how to do that.

Using somesy

Once somesy is installed and configured, somesy can take over and manage your project metadata. Now you can run somesy simply by using

somesy sync

The information in your somesy.toml is used as the primary and authoritative source for project metadata, which is used to update all supported (and enabled) target files. You can find an overview of supported formats further below.

By default, somesy will create (if they did not exist) or update CITATION.cff and codemeta.json files in your repository. If you happen to use

  • pyproject.toml (in Python projects),
  • package.json (in JavaScript projects),
  • Project.toml (in Julia projects),
  • fpm.toml (in Fortran projects),
  • pom.xml (in Java projects),
  • mkdocs.yml (in projects using MkDocs),
  • Cargo.toml (in Rust projects)

then somesy would also update the respective information there.

You can see call available options with somesy --help, all of these can also be conveniently set in your somesy.toml file.

Somesy as a pre-commit hook

We highly recommend to use somesy as a pre-commit hook. A pre-commit hook runs on every commit to automatically point out issues or fix them on the spot, so if you do not use pre-commit in your project yet, you should start today! When used this way, somesy can fix most typical issues with your project metadata even before your changes can leave your computer.

To add somesy as a pre-commit hook, add it to your .pre-commit-config.yaml file in the root folder of your repository:

  # ... (your other hooks) ...
  - repo:
    rev: "v0.3.0"
      - id: somesy

Note that pre-commit gives somesy the staged version of files, so when using somesy with pre-commit, keep in mind that

  • if somesy changed some files, you need to git add them again (and rerun pre-commit)
  • if you explicitly run pre-commit, make sure to git add all changed files (just like before a commit)

Supported File Formats

Here is an overview of all the currently supported files and formats.

Input FormatsStatusTarget FormatsStatus
(.)somesy.tomlpyproject.toml (poetry)
pyproject.tomlpyproject.toml (setuptools)✓(1.)
package.jsonpackage.json (JavaScript)✓(2.)
Project.tomlProject.toml (Julia)
fpm.tomlfpm.toml (Fortran)✓(3.)
pom.toml (Java)✓(4.)
Cargo.tomlCargo.toml (Rust)


  1. note that somesy does not support setuptools dynamic fields
  2. package.json only supports one author, so somesy will pick the first listed author
  3. fpm.toml only supports one author and maintainer, so somesy will pick the first listed author and maintainer
  4. pom.xml has no concept of maintainers, but it can have multiple licenses (somesy only supports one main project license)
  5. mkdocs.yml is a bit special, as it is not a project file, but a documentation file. somesy will only update it if it exists and is enabled in the configuration
  6. unlike other targets, somesy will re-create the codemeta.json (i.e. do not edit it by hand!)

How to Cite

If you want to cite this project in your scientific work, please use the citation file in the repository.


We kindly thank all authors and contributors.

This project was developed at the Institute for Materials Data Science and Informatics (IAS-9) of the Jülich Research Center and funded by the Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration (HMC), an incubator-platform of the Helmholtz Association within the framework of the Information and Data Science strategic initiative.

Programming language
  • Python 100%
  • MIT
</>Source code

Participating organisations

Forschungszentrum Jülich


Related projects


Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration

Updated 12 months ago
In progress