Release History

v1.6.7 (2020-11-04)


  • Tweak layout of plots produced by the Best-Effort Callback when showing many LiveGrids.

  • The bluesky.simulators.check_limits() simulator now calls obj.check_value() instead of looking at obj.limits.

  • When a document is emitted from a RunEngine, a log message is always issued. Previously, Resource and Datum documents were missed.

  • Various docstrings were fixed to match the actual function signatures.

  • The utility bluesky.utils.is_movable() for checking with an object satifies the expected interfaced for a “movable” object now correctly treats the stop method and position attribute as optional.

  • Documentation about the expected interface for “movable” objects was incomplete and has been revised to match reality.

v1.6.6 (2020-08-26)


  • bluesky.utils.PersistentDict has new methods bluesky.utils.PersistentDict.reload() and bluesky.utils.PersistentDict.flush() to syncing from and to disk. It flushes at garbage collection or system exit, which ensures that any values that have been mutated are updated on disk.

v1.6.5 (2020-08-06)


  • LiveGrid and LiveScatter failed to update


  • Expand the class of objects considered “moveable” to include those with expected attributes defined as instance attributes

v1.6.4 (2020-07-08)


  • Allow : to be used in keynames and still format LiveTable.

  • Address use of loop argument deprecated in Python 3.8.

  • Ensure that bluesky.utils is importable from a background thread. (Do not create an instance of ~bluesky.utils.DefaultDuringTask at import time.)

v1.6.3 (2020-06-25)


  • Incorrect implementation of collect() has been corrected.

v1.6.2 (2020-06-05)


  • Missing implementation details of collect() have been added.

v1.6.1 (2020-05-08)


  • The plans grid_scan() and rel_grid_scan() accept a new snake_axes parameter, now matching what list_grid_scan() and rel_list_grid_scan() do. This can be used to control which axes follow a back-and-forth “snake-like” trajectory.

    # Default - snaking is disabled
    grid_scan([hw.det], hw.motor, 1, 2, 5, hw.motor1, 7, 2, 10, hw.motor2, 3, 5, 4)
    # Snaking is explicitely disabled
    grid_scan([hw.det], hw.motor, 1, 2, 5, hw.motor1, 7, 2, 10, hw.motor2, 3, 5, 4, snake_axes=False)
    # Snaking can also be disabled by providing empty list of motors
    grid_scan([hw.det], hw.motor, 1, 2, 5, hw.motor1, 7, 2, 10, hw.motor2, 3, 5, 4, snake_axes=[])
    # Snaking is enabled for all motors except the slowest hw.motor
    grid_scan([hw.det], hw.motor, 1, 2, 5, hw.motor1, 7, 2, 10, hw.motor2, 3, 5, 4, snake_axes=True)
    # Snaking is enabled only for hw.motor1
    grid_scan([hw.det], hw.motor, 1, 2, 5, hw.motor1, 7, 2, 10, hw.motor2, 3, 5, 4, snake_axes=[hw.motor1])
    # Snaking is enabled only for hw.motor1 and hw.motor2
    grid_scan([hw.det], hw.motor, 1, 2, 5, hw.motor1, 7, 2, 10, hw.motor2, 3, 5, 4, snake_axes=[hw.motor1, hw.motor2])

    The old (harder to read) way of specifying “snake” parameters, interleaved with the other parameters, is still supported for backward-compatibility.

    grid_scan([hw.det], hw.motor, 1, 2, 5, hw.motor1, 7, 2, 10, True, hw.motor2, 3, 5, 4, False)

    The two styles—interleaved parameters vs. the new snake_axes parameter—cannot be mixed. Mixing them will cause a ValueError to be raised.


  • Fixed a regression in v1.6.0 which accidentally broke some usages of the per_step parameter in scans.

  • The plan returned None by mistake. It now returns the Run Start uid, as do all the other plans that module.

v1.6.0 (2020-03-16)

The most important change in this release is a complete reworking of how bluesky interacts with the asyncio event loop. This resolves a long-running issue of bluesky being incompatible with tornado >4, which often tripped up users in the context of using bluesky from Jupyter notebooks.

There are several other new features and fixes, including new plans and more helpful error messages, enumerated further below.

Event loop re-factor

Previously, the RunEngine had been repeatedly starting and stopping the asyncio event loop in __call__(), request_pause(), stop(), in abort(), halt(), and resume(). This worked, but is bad practice. It complicates attempts to integrate with the event loop with other tools. Further, because as of tornado 5, tornado reports its self as an asyncio event loop so attempts to start another asyncio event loop inside of a task fails which means bluesky will not run in a jupyter notebook. To fix this we now continuously run the event loop on a background thread and the RunEngine object manages the interaction with creating tasks on that event loop. To first order, users should not notice this change, however details of how manage both blocking the user prompt and how we suspend processing messages from a plan are radically different. One consequence of running the event loop on a background thread is that the code in plans and the callbacks is executed in that thread as well. This means that plans and callbacks must now be threadsafe.

API Changes

install_qt_kicker deprecated

Previously, we were running the asyncio event loop on the main thread and blocked until it returned. This meant that if you were using Matplotlib and Qt for plots they would effectively be “frozen” because the Qt event loop was not being given a chance to run. We worked around this by installing a ‘kicker’ task onto the asyncio event loop that would periodically spin the Qt event loop to keep the figures responsive (both to addition of new data from callbacks and from user interaction).

Now that we are running the event loop on a background thread this no longer works because the Qt event loop must be run on the main thread. Instead we use during_task to block the main thread by running the Qt event loop directly.

during_task kwarg to RunEngine.__init__

We need to block the main thread in __call__() (and resume()) until the user supplied plan is complete. Previously, we would do this by calling self.loop.run_forever() to start the asyncio event loop. We would then stop the event loop an the bottom of RunEngine._run and in request_pause() to un-block the main thread and return control to the user terminal. Now we must find an alternative way to achieve this effect.

There is a a threading.Event on the RunEngine that will be set when the task for RunEngine._run in completed, however we can not simple wait on that event as that would again cause the Qt windows to freeze. We also do not want to bake a Matplotlib / Qt dependency directly into the RunEngine so we added a hook, set at init time, for an object expected to implement the method block(event). While the RunEngine executes a plan, it is passed the threading.Event and is responsible for blocking until the Event is set. This function can do other things (such as run the Qt event loop) during that time. The required signature is

def block(ev: Threading.Event) -> None:
    "Returns when ev is set"

The default hook will handle the case of the Matplotilb Qt backend and the case of Matplotlib not being imported.

'wait_for' Msg now expects callables rather than futures

Messages are stashed and re-run when plans are interrupted which would result in re-using the coroutines passed through. This has always been broken, but due to the way were stopping the event loop to pause the scan it was passing tests.

Instead of directly passing the values passed into asyncio.wait(), we now expect that the iterable passed in is callables with the signature:

def fut_fac() -> awaitable:
    'This must work multiple times'
The persistent dict used by must be thread-safe

By default, is an ordinary dictionary, but any dict-like object may be used. It is often convenient for the contents of that dictionary to persist between sessions. To achieve this, we formerly recommended using ~historydict.HistoryDict. Unfortunately, ~historydict.HistoryDict is not threadsafe and is not compatible with bluesky’s new concurrency model. We now recommend using PersistentDict. See Persistence Between Sessions for instructions on how to migrate existing metadata.

Callbacks must be thread-safe

Because callbacks now run on the background thread they must be thread-safe. The place where this is most likely to come up is in the context of plotting which generally creates a GUI window. Almost all GUI frameworks insist that they only be interacted with only on the main thread. In the case of Qt we provide QtAwareCallback to manage moving Qt work back to the main thread (via a Qt Signal).

Plans must be thread-safe

Because the plans now execute on the background thread they must be thread-safe if the touch any external state. Similarly the callbacks, we expect that the most likely place for this to fail is with plotting. In most cases this can be addressed by using a thread-safe version of the callback.


  • Added support for Multi-Run Plans.

  • Added better logging and convenience functions for managing it more easily. See Debugging and Logging.

  • Generalized list_scan() to work on any number of motors, not just one. In v1.2.0, scan() was generalized in the same way.

  • Added list_grid_scan().

  • Added rd().

  • Added SuspendWhenChanged.

  • Added make_callback_safe() and make_class_safe().

  • Added a per_shot parameter to bluesky.plans.count(), analogous to the per_step parameter supported by plans that do scans.

  • Accept **kwargs to mv() and mvr(). Pass them through to all motors involved in the move. Notably, this allows plans to pass a timeout parameter through the obj.set().

  • Added a new built-in RunEngine command, RE_class, which sends the type of the RunEngine into the generator. This allows the plan to know if it is being consumed by the usual RunEngine, a subclass, or some non-responsive consumer like list.

  • Raise a more helpful error message if the num parameter given to scan() is not a whole number, as can happen if num is mistaken to mean “step size”.

  • Report the version of bluesky and (if available) ophyd in the metadata.

  • Add a more helpful error message if the value returned from some call to returns None instead of the expected dict.

  • If the user tries to start a RemoteDispatcher after it has been stopped, raise a more helpful error message.

Bug Fixes

  • The state attribute of the RunEngine is now a read-only property, as it should have always been.

  • In the Best-Effort Callback, do not assume that the RunStart document includes 'scan_id', which is an optional key.

  • The commandline utility bluesky-0MQ-proxy now works on Windows.

  • The IPython integrations have been updated for compatibility with IPython 7.

  • Added support for “adaptive fly scans” by enabling the 'collect' message to (optionally) return the Events it emitted.

  • Fixed bug in tqdm-based progress bar where tqdm could be handed a value it considered invalid.

Other API Changes

  • Removed attribute nnls from bluesky.callbacks.best_effort.PeakResults. It has always been None (never implemented) and only served to cause confusion.

v1.5.7 (2020-05-01)

Bug Fixes

This release fixes a bug that resulted in no configuration data related to fly scans being added to descriptors.

v1.5.6 (2020-03-11)

Added support for Python 3.8 and the following for forward-compatibility with 1.6.0.

See the 1.5.6 GH milestone for the complete list of changes.

v1.5.5 (2019-08-16)

Support fix bluesky.utils.register_transform with IPython >= 7

v1.5.4 (2019-08-09)

Support Maplotlib 3.1 and above. (Do not use deprecated and removed aspect adjustable values.)

v1.5.3 (2019-05-27)

This release removes the dependency on an old version of the jsonschema library and requires the latest version of the event-model library.

v1.5.2 (2019-03-11)

This release fixes compatibility with matplotlib 2.x; at least some matplotlib 2.x releases are not compatible with the matplotlib plotting callbacks in bluesky v1.5.1. This release of bluesky is compatible with all 2.x and 3.x releases.

v1.5.1 (2019-03-08)

This release contains bug fixes and documentation updates.


  • Use the ISO8601 delimiters for date in RE scans.

Bug Fixes

  • Pin jsonschema <3 due to its deprecations.

  • Stop using deprecated API in Matplotlib.

v1.5.0 (2019-01-03)

This release includes many documentation fixes and handful of new features, especially around improved logging.


  • Logging has been increased and improved.

  • A default handler is added to the 'bluesky' logger at import time. A new convenience function, set_handler(), addresses common cases such as directing the log output to a file.

  • The bluesky-0MQ-proxy script now supports a -v, --verbose option, which logs every start and stop document received and a -vvv (“very verbose”) option, which logs every document of every type.

  • The prefix on messages sent by bluesky.callbacks.zmq.Publisher can be set to arbitrary bytes. (In previous versions, the prefix was hardcoded to an encoded combination of the hostname, process ID, and the Python object ID of a RunEngine instance.)

  • The RunEngine includes a human-readable, not-necessarily-unique scan_id key in the RunStart document. The source of the scan_id is now pluggable via a new parameter, scan_id_source. See RunEngine API Documentation for details.

  • The convenience function, bluesky.utils.ts_msg_hook() accepts new parameter file for directing the output to a file instead of the standard out.

  • It is possible to use those callbacks that do not require matplotlib without importing it.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed BestEffortCallback’s handling of integer data in plots.

  • Fixed invalid escape sequence that produced a warning in Python 3.6.

Breaking Changes

  • The signature of bluesky.callbacks.zmq.RemoteDispatcher has been changed in a non-backward-compatible way. The parameters for filtering messages by hostname, pid, and run_engine_id have been replaced by one new parameter, prefix.

  • The default value of RunEngine.verbose is now True, meaning that the RunEngine.log is not disabled by default.


  • The bluesky.callbacks.zmq.Publisher accepts an optional RunEngine instance, which the Publisher subscribes to automatically. This parameter has been deprecated; users are now encouraged to subscribe the publisher to the RunEngine manually, in the normal way (RE.subscribe(publisher)). The parameter may be removed in a future release of bluesky.

v1.4.1 (2018-09-24)

This release fixes a single regression introduced in v1.4.0. We recommend all users upgrade.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix a critical typo that made LiveGrid unusable.

Note that the 1.4.x series is not compatible with newer versions of matplotlib; it needs a version lower than 3.1.0 due to an API change in matplotlib. The 1.5.x series is compatible with matplotlib versions before and after the change.

v1.4.0 (2018-09-05)


  • Added ability to control ‘sense’ of LiveGrid (ex “positive goes down and to the right”) to match the coordinates in the hutch.

  • Learned how to specify the serializer / deserializer for the zmq publisher / client.

  • Promoted the inner function from one_nd_step() to a top-level plan bluesky.plan_stubs.move_per_step().

  • Added flag to ramp_plan() to control if a data point is taken before the ramp starts.

Bug Fixes

  • Ensure order stability in get_labeled_devices() on all supported versions of Python.

  • Fixed typos, dev requirements, and build details.

v1.3.3 (2018-06-06)

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed show-shopping RunEngine bug in flyer asset collection. (The impact of this bug is expected to be low, as there are no flyers with asset collection yet and the bug was discovered while writing the first one.)

  • Fixed packaging issue where certain important files (notably requirements.txt) were not included in the source tarball.

  • Made BestEffortCallback swallow errors related to matplotlib’s “tight layout” if the occur — better to show a messy plot than error out.

v1.3.2 (2018-05-24)

Bug Fixes

  • Revised behavior of magics that integrate with ophyd’s experimental “labels” feature. The most important difference is that the %wa magic now traverses the children of labeled devices to find any sub-devices that are positioners.

v1.3.1 (2018-05-19)

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed race condition where monitored signals could emit an Event document before the corresponding Event Descriptor document.

  • Addressed incompatibilities with upcoming release of Python, 3.7.

v1.3.0 (2018-05-15)


  • When used with ophyd v1.2.0 or later, emit Resource and Datum documents through the RunEngine. Previously, ophyd would insert these documents directly into a database. This left other consumers with only partial information (for example, missing file paths to externally-stored data) and no guarantees around synchronization. Now, ophyd need not interact with a database directly. All information flows through the RunEngine and out to any subscribed consumers in a deterministic order.

  • New Msg commands, install_suspender and remove_suspender, allow plans to temporarily add and remove Suspenders.

  • The RunEngine’s signal handling (i.e. Ctrl+C capturing) is now configurable. The RunEngine accepts a list of context_managers that it will enter and exit before and after running. By default, it has one context manager that handles Ctrl+C. To disable Ctrl+C handling, pass in an empty list instead. This can also be used to inject other custom behavior.

  • Add new plans: x2x_scan(), spiral_square_plan(), and rel_spiral_square_plan().

  • Add convenience methods for reviewing the available commands, commands() and print_command_registry().

  • Add a crossings attribute to PeakStats.

Bug Fixes

  • When resuming after a suspender, call resume() on all devices (if present).

  • Fixed BEC LiveGrid plot for a motor with one step.

  • A codepath in LiveFit that should have produced a warning produced an error instead.

Breaking Changes

  • User-defined callbacks subscribed to the RunEngine 'all' stream must accept documents with names 'resource', 'datum' and 'bulk_datum'. It does not necessarily have to heed their contents, but it must not fall over if it receives one.


  • The IPython “magics”, always marked as experimental, have been reworked. Instead of relying on the singleton lists, BlueskyMagics.positioners and BlueskyMagics.detectors, the magics now scrape the user namespace for objects that implement the _ophyd_labels_ interface. See IPython ‘Magics’ [Experimental] for the new usage. The magics will revert to their old behavior if the singleton lists are non-empty, but they will produce a warning. The old behavior will be removed in a future release.

v1.2.0 (2018-02-20)


  • Refreshed documentation with a new Tutorial section.

  • Extend scan() and rel_scan() to handle multiple motors, rendering inner_product_scan() and relative_inner_product_scan() redundant.

  • A new plan stub, repeat(), repeats another plan N times with optional interleaved delays — a kind of customizable version of count().

  • Better validation of user-defined per_step functions and more informative error messages to match.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix axes orientation in LiveRaster.

  • Make BestEffortCallback display multi-motor scans properly.

  • Fix bug in ts_msg_hook() where it conflated month and minute. Also, include sub-second precision.

  • Avoid situation where plan without hints caused the BestEffortCallback to error instead of do its best to guess useful behavior.

  • Skip un-filled externally-stored data in LiveTable. This fixes a bug where it is expecting array data but gets UUID (datum_id) and errors out.


  • The caching_repeater() plan has been deprecated because it is incompatible with some preprocessors. It will be removed in a future release of bluesky. It was not documented in any previous releases and rarely if ever used, so the impact of this removal is expected to be low.

v1.1.0 (2017-12-19)

This release fixes small bugs in v1.0.0 and introduces one new feature. The API changes or deprecations are not expected to affect many users.


  • Add a new command to the RunEngine, 'drop', which jettisons the currently active event bundle without saving. This is useful for workflows that generate many readings that can immediately be categorized as not useful by the plan and summarily discarded.

  • Add install_kicker(), which dispatches automatically to install_qt_kicker() or install_nb_kicker() depending on the current matplotlib backend.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix the hint for inner_product_scan(), which previously used a default hint that was incorrect.

Breaking Changes and Deprecations

  • In tune_centroid(), change the meaning of the step_factor parameter to be the factor to reduce the range of each successive iteration. Enforce bounds on the motion, and determine the centroid from each pass separately.

  • The SupplementalData preprocessor inserts its instructions in a more logical order: first baseline readings, then monitors, then flyers. Previously, the order was reversed.

  • The suspender SuspendInBand has been renamed to SuspendWhenOutsideBand to make its meaning more clear. Its behavior has not changed: it suspends when a value exits a given range. The original, confusing name now issues a warning.

  • The suspender SuspendOutBand, which counter-intuitively suspends when a value enters a given range, has been deprecated. (If some application is found for this unusual scenario, the user can always implement a custom suspender to handle it.)

v1.0.0 (2017-11-07)

This tag marks an important release for bluesky, signifying the conclusion of the early development phase. From this point on, we intend that this project will be co-developed between multiple facilities. The 1.x series is planned to be a long-term-support release.

Bug Fixes

v0.11.0 (2017-11-01)

This is the last release before 1.0.0. It contains major restructurings and general clean-up.

Breaking Changes and Deprecations

  • The bluesky.plans module has been split into

    • bluesky.plans — plans that create a run, such as count() and scan()

    • bluesky.preprocessors — plans that take in other plans and motify them, such as baseline_wrapper()

    • bluesky.plan_stubs — small plans meant as convenient building blocks for creating custom plans, such as trigger_and_read()

    • bluesky.object_plans and bluesky.cntx, containing legacy APIs to plans that were deprecated in a previous release and will be removed in a future release.

  • The RunEngine raises a RunEngineInterrupted exception when interrupted (e.g. paused). The optional argument raise_if_interrupted has been removed.

  • The module bluesky.callbacks.scientific has been removed.

  • PeakStats has been moved to bluesky.callbacks.fitting, and plot_peak_stats() has been moved to bluesky.callbacks.mpl_plotting.

  • The synthetic ‘hardware’ objects in bluesky.examples have been relocated to ophyd (bluesky’s sister package) and aggressively refactored to be more closely aligned with the behavior of real hardware. The Reader and Mover classes have been removed in favor of SynSignal, SynPeriodicSignal, SynAxis, SynSignalWithRegistry.


  • Add stub_wrapper() and stub_decorator() that strips open_run/close_run and stage/unstage messages out of a plan, so that it can be reused as part of a larger plan that manages the scope of a run manually.

  • Add tune_centroid() plan that iteratively finds the centroid of a single peak.

  • Allow devices with couple axes to be used in N-dimensional scan plans.

  • Add contingency_wrapper() and contingency_decorator() for richer cleanup specification.

  • The number of events in each event stream is recorded in the RunStop document under the key ‘num_events’.

  • Make the message shown when the RunEngine is paused configurable via the attribute RunEngine.pause_msg.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix ordering of dimensions in grid_scan() hints.

  • Show Figures created internally.

  • Support a negative direction for adaptive scans.

  • Validate that all descriptors with a given (event stream) name have consistent data keys.

  • Correctly mark exit_status field in RunStop metadata based on which termination method was called (abort, stop, halt).

  • LiveFitPlot handles updates more carefully.

Internal Changes

  • The bluesky.callbacks package has been split up into more modules. Shim imports maintain backward compatibility, except where noted in the section on API Changes above.

  • Matplotlib is now an optional dependency. If it is not importable, plotting-related callbacks will not be available.

  • An internal change to the RunEngine supports ophyd’s new Status object API for adding callbacks.

v0.10.3 (2017-09-12)

Bug Fixes

  • Fix critical baseline_wrapper() bug.

  • Make plan_mutator() more flexible. (See docstring.)

v0.10.2 (2017-09-11)

This is a small release with bug fixes and UI improvements.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix bug wherein BestEffortCallback tried to plot strings as floats. The intended behavior is to skip them and warn.


  • Include a more informative header in BestEffortCallback.

  • Include an ‘Offset’ column in %wa output.

v0.10.1 (2017-09-11)

This release is equivalent to v0.10.2. The number was skipped due to packaging problems.

v0.10.0 (2017-09-06)


  • Automatic best-effort visualization and peak-fitting is available for all plans, including user-defined ones.

  • The “SPEC-like” API has been fully removed, and its most useful features have been applied to the library in a self-consistent way. See the next section for detailed instructions on migrating.

  • Improved tooling for streaming documents over a network for live processing and visualization in a different process or on a different machine.

Breaking Changes

  • The modules implementing what was loosely dubbed a “SPEC-like” interface (bluesky.spec_api and bluesky.global_state) have been entirely removed. This approach was insufficently similar to SPEC to satisfy SPEC users and confusingly inconsistent with the rest of bluesky.

    The new approach retains the good things about that interface and makes them available for use with all plans consistently, including user defined ones. Users who have been fully utilitzing these “SPEC-like” plans will notice four differences.

    1. No gs.DETS. Just use your own variable for detectors. Instead of:

      from bluesky.global_state import gs
      from bluesky.spec_api import ct
      gs.DETS = # a list of some detectors


      from bluesky.plans import count
      dets = # a list of some detectors

      Notice that you can use multiple lists to enable easy task switching. Instead of continually updating one global list like this:

      gs.DETS = # some list of detectors

      you can define as many lists as you want and call them whatever you want.

      d1 = # a list of some detectors
      d2 = # a list of different detectors
    2. Automatic baseline readings, concurrent monitoring, and “flying” can be set up uniformly for all plans.

      Formerly, a list of devices to read at the beginning and the end of each run (“baseline” readings), a list of signals to concurrent monitor, and a list of “flyers” to run concurrently were configured like so:

      from bluesky.spec_api import ct
      gs.BASELINE_DEVICES = # a list of devices to read at start and end
      gs.MONTIORS = # a list of signals to monitor concurrently
      gs.FLYERS = # a list of "flyable" devices
      gs.DETS = # a list of detectors
      RE(ct())  # monitoring, flying, and baseline readings are added

      And formerly, those settings only affected the behavior of the “SPEC-like” plans, such as ct and ascan. They were ignored by their counterparts count and scan, as well as user-defined plans. This was not desirable!

      This scheme has been replaced by the supplemental data, which can be used to globally modify all plans, including user-defined ones.

      from bluesky.plans import count
      # one-time configuration
      from bluesky import SupplementalData
      sd = SupplementalData()
      # interactive use
      sd.monitors = # a list of signals to monitor concurrently
      sd.flyers = # a list of "flyable" devices
      sd.baseline = # a list of devices to read at start and end
      dets = # a list of detectors
      RE(count(dets))  # monitoring, flying, and baseline readings are added
    3. Automatic live visualization and peak analysis can be set up uniformly for all plans.

      Formerly, the “SPEC-like” plans such as ct and ascan automatically set up a suitable table and a plot, while their “standard” vanilla counterparts, bluesky.plans.count() and bluesky.plans.scan() required explicit, detailed instructions to do so. Now, a best-effort table and plot can be made for all plans, including user-defined ones, by invoking this simple configuration:

      from bluesky.plans import count
      # one-time configuration
      from bluesky.callbacks.best_effort import BestEffortCallback
      bec = BestEffortCallback()
      # interactive use
      dets = # a list of detectors
      RE(count(dets), num=5))  # automatically prints table, shows plot

      Use bec.disable() and bec.enable() to temporarily toggle the output off and on.

    4. Peak anallysis, now computed automatically by the BestEffortCallback above, can be viewed with a keyboard shortcut. The peak statistics, formerly encapsulated in gs.PS, are now organized differently.

      For each plot, simple peak-fitting is performed in the background. Of course, it may or may not be applicable depending on your data, and it is not shown by default. To view fitting annotations in a plot, click the plot area and press Shift+P. (Lowercase p is a shortcut for “panning” the plot.)

      To access the peak-fit statistics programmatically, use bec.peaks. For convenience, you may alias this like:

      peaks = bec.peaks

      Inside peaks, access various statistics like:

      Each of these is a dictionary with an entry for each field that was fit. For example, the ‘center of mass’ peak statistics for a field named 'ccd_stats1_total' would be accessed like['ccd_stats1_total'].

  • The functions and classes in the module require a instance of Broker to be passed in as an argument. They used to default to the ‘singleton’ instance via from databroker import db, which is now a deprecated usage in databroker.

  • The plan preprocessors configure_count_time_wrapper and configure_count_time_decorator were moved to bluesky.plans from bluesky.spec_api, reverting a change made in v0.9.0.

  • The 0MQ pubsub integration classes Publisher and RemoteDispatcher have been overhauled. They have been moved from bluesky.callbacks.zmqpub and bluesky.callbacks.zmqsub to bluesky.callbacks.zmq and their signatures have been changed to match similar utilities in the pydata ecosystem. See the Enhancements section for more information.

  • The module bluesky.qt_kicker has been removed. Its former contents are avaiable in bluesky.utils. The module was originally deprecated in April 2016, and it has been issuing warnings about this change since.

  • The plan bluesky.plans.input has been renamed bluesky.plans.input_plan to avoid shadowing a builtin if the module is bulk-imported. The plan was previously undocumented and rarely used, so the impact of this change on users is expected to be small.


  • The module bluesky.plan_tools has been renamed bluesky.simualtors. In the new module, bluesky.plan_tools.print_summary`() has been renamed bluesky.simulators.summarize_plan(). The old names are supported in this release, with a warning, but will be removed in a future release.

  • The Object-Orientated plans (Count, Scan, etc.) have been deprecated and will be removed in a future release. Their documentation has been removed.

  • The plan context managers (run_context, stage_context, etc.) have been deprecated and will be removed in a future release. They were never documented or widely used.

  • The method bluesky.Dispatcher.subscribe() (which is encapsulated into bluesky.run_engine.RunEngine and inherited by bluesky.callbacks.zmq.RemoteDispatcher) has a new signature. The former signature was subscribe(name, func). The new signature is subscribe(func, name='all'). Because the meaning of the arguments is unambigious (they must be a callable and a string, respectively) the old order will be supported indefeinitely, with a warning.


  • A progress bar add-on is available.

  • As addressed above:
    • The new supplemental data feature make it easy to set up “baseline” readings and asynchronous acquisition in a way that applies automatically to all plans.

    • The new best-effort callback sets up automatic terminal output and plots for all plans, including user-defined ones.

  • LivePlot now accepts x='time'. It can set t=0 to the UNIX epoch or to the start of the run. It also accepts x='seq_num'—a synonym for x=None, which remains the default.

  • A new simulator bluesky.simulators.check_limits() verifies that a plan will not try to move a movable device outside of its limits.

  • A new plan, bluesky.plan.mvr(), has been added as a relative counterpart to

  • The 0MQ pubsub integration classes bluesky.callbacks.zmq.Publisher` and bluesky.callbacks.zmq.RemoteDispatcher have been simplified. A new class bluesky.callbacks.zmq.Proxy and command-line utility bluesky-0MQ-proxy has been added to streamline configuration.

  • Metadata recorded by many built-in plans now includes a new item, 'hints', which is used by the best-effort callback to produce useful visualizations. Additionally, the built-in examples devices have a new hints attribute. Its content may change or expand in future releases as this new feature is explored.

  • Some IPython magics mimicing the SPEC API have been added. These are experimental and may be altered or removed in the future.

Bug Fixes

  • Using the “fake sleep” feature of simulated Movers (motors) caused them to break.

  • The requirements.txt failed to declare that bluesky requires matplotlib.

v0.9.0 (2017-05-08)

Breaking Changes

  • Moved configure_count_time_wrapper and configure_count_time_decorator to bluesky.spec_api from bluesky.plans.

  • The metadata reported by step scans that used to be labeled num_steps is now renamed num_points, generally considered a less ambiguous name. Separately, num_interals (which one might mistakenly assume is what was meant by num_steps) is also stored.

v0.8.0 (2017-01-03)


  • If some plan or callback has hung the RunEngine and blocked its normal ability to respond to Ctrl+C by pausing, it is not possible to trigger a “halt” (emergency stop) by hammering Ctrl+C more than ten times.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix bug where failed or canceled movements could cause future executions of the RunEngine to error.

  • Fix bug in plan_mutator so that it properly handles return values. One effect of this fix is that baseline_wrapper properly passed run uids through.

  • Fix bug in LiveFit that broke multivariate fits.

  • Minor fixes to example detectors.

Breaking Changes

  • A KeyboardInterrupt exception captured during a run used to cause the RunEngine to pause. Now it halts instead.

v0.7.0 (2016-11-01)


  • Nonlinear least-squares minimization callback LiveFit with LiveFitPlot

  • Added RunEngine.clear_suspenders() convenience method.

  • New RunEngine.preprocessors list that modifies all plans passed to the RunEngine.

  • Added RunEngine.state_hook to monitor state changes, akin to msg_hook.

  • Added pause_for_debug options to finalize_wrapper which allows pauses the RunEngine before performing any cleanup, making it easier to debug.

  • Added many more examples and make it easier to create simulated devices that generate interesting simulated data. They have an interface closer to the real devices implemented in ophyd.

  • Added mv, a convenient plan for moving multiple devices in parallel.

  • Added optional RunEngine.max_depth to raise an error if the RunEngine thinks it is being called from inside a function.

Bug Fixes

  • The ‘monitor’ functionality was completely broken, packing configuration into the wrong structure and starting seq_num from 0 instead of 1, which is the (regrettable) standard we have settled on.

  • The RunEngine coroutines no longer mutate the messages they receive.

  • Fix race condition in post_run callback.

  • Fix bugs in several callbacks that caused them not to work on saved documents from the databroker. Also, make them call super() to play better with multiple inheritance in user code.

Breaking Changes

  • The flag RunEngine.ignore_callback_exceptions now defaults to False.

  • The plan complete, related to fly scans, previously had wait=True by default, although its documentation indicated that False was the default. The code has been changed to match the documentation. Any calls to complete that are expected to be blocking should be updated with the keyword wait=True.

  • Completely change the API of Reader and Mover, the classes for definding simulated devices.

  • The bluesky interface now expects the stop method on a device to accept an optional success argument.

  • The optional, undocumented fig argument to LivePlot has been deprecated and will be removed in a future release. An ax argument has been added. Additionally, the axes used by LiveGrid and LiveScatter is configurable through a new, optional ax argument.

  • The “shortcut” where mashing Ctrl+C three times quickly ran RE.abort() has been removed.

  • Change the default stream name for monitors to <signal_name>_monitor from signal_name>-monitor (underscore vs. dash). The impact of this change is minimal because, as noted above, the monitor functionality was completely broken in previous releases.

v0.6.4 (2016-09-07)


  • Much-expanded and overhauled documentation.

  • Add aspect argument to LiveGrid.

  • Add install_nb_kicker to get live-updating matplotlib figures in the notebook while the RunEngine is running.

  • Simulated hardware devices Reader and Mover can be easily customized to mock a wider range of behaviors, for testing and demos.

  • Integrate the SPEC API with mew global state attribute gs.MONITORS.

  • Callbacks that use the databroker accept an optional Broker instance as an argument.

Bug Fixes

  • Minor fix in the tilt computation for spiral scans.

  • Expost ‘tilt’ option through SPEC-like API

  • The “infinite count” (ct with num=None) should spawn a LivePlot.

  • finalize_decorator accepts a callable (e.g., generator function) and does not accept an iterable (e.g., generator instance)

  • Restore gs.FLYERS integration to the SPEC API (accidentally removed).

Breaking Changes

  • The API for the simulated hardware example devices Reader and Mover has been changed to make them more general.

  • Remove register_mds metadatastore integration.

v0.6.3 (2016-08-16)


  • Change how “subscription factories” are handled, making them configurable through global state.

  • Make PeakStats configurable through global state.

  • Add an experimental utility for passing documents over a network and processing them on a separate process or host, using 0MQ.

  • Add monitor_during_wrapper and corresponding decorator.

  • Add stage_wrapper and corresponding decorator.

  • Built-in plans return the run uid that they generated.

  • Add a new ramp_plan for taking data while polling the status of a movement.

Bug Fixes

  • Boost performance by removing unneeded “sleep” step in message processing.

  • Fix bug related to rewinding in preparation for resuming.

Breaking Changes

  • Remove the planify decorator and the plan context managers. These were experimental and ultimately proved problematic because they make it difficult to pass through return values cleanly.

  • Remove “lossy” subscriptions feature, rendered unnecessary by the utility for processing documents in separate processes (see Enhancements, above).

v0.6.2 (2016-07-26)

Bug Fixes

  • Make make_decorator return proper decorators. The original implementation returned functions that could not actually be used as decorators.

v0.6.1 (2016-07-25)

This release contained only a minor UX fix involving more informative error reporting related to Area Detector plugin port configuration.

v0.6.0 (2016-07-25)


  • Address the situation where plan “rewinding” after a pause or suspension interacted badly with some devices. There are now three ways to temporarily turn off rewinding: a Msg with a new ‘rewindable’ command; a special attribute on the device that the trigger_and_read plan looks for; and a special exception that devices can raise when their pause method is called. All three of these features should be considered experimental. They will likely be consolidated in the future once their usage is tested in the wild.

  • Add new plan wrappers and decorators: inject_md_wrapper, run_wrapper, rewindable_wrapper.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix bug where RunEngine was put in the “running” state, encountered an error before starting the _run coroutine, and thus never switch back to “idle.”

  • Ensure that plans are closed correctly and that, if they fail to close themselves, a warning is printed.

  • Allow plan to run its cleanup messages (finalize) when the RunEngine is stopped or aborted.

  • When an exception is raised, give each plan in the plan stack an opportunity to handle it. If it is handled, carry on.

  • The SPEC-style tw was not passing its parameters through to the underlying tweak plan.

  • Silenced un-needed suspenders warnings

  • Fix bug in separating devices

Internal Changes

  • Reduce unneeded usage of bluesky.plans.single_gen.

  • Don’t emit create/save messages with no reads in between.

  • Re-work exception handling in main run engine event loop.

v0.5.3 (2016-06-06)

Breaking Changes

  • LiveTable only displays data from one event stream.

  • Remove used global state attribute gs.COUNT_TIME.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix “infinite count”, ct(num=None).

  • Allow the same data keys to be present in different event streams. But, as before, a given data key can only appear once per event.

  • Make SPEC-style plan ct implement baseline readings, referring to gs.BASELINE_DETS.

  • Upon resuming after a deferred pause, clear the deferred pause request.

  • Make bluesky.utils.register_transform character configurable.

v0.5.2 (2016-05-25)


  • Plans were reimplemented as simple Python generators instead of custom Python classes. The old “object-oriented” plans are maintained for back-compatibility. See plans documentation to review new capabilities.

Breaking Changes

  • SPEC-style plans are now proper generators, not bound to the RunEngine.

v0.5.0 (2016-05-11)

Breaking Changes

  • Move bluesky.scientific_callbacks to bluesky.callbacks.scientific and bluesky.broker_callbacks to

  • Remove bluesky.register_mds whose usage can be replaced by: import metadatastore.commands; RE.subscribe_lossless('all', metadatastore.commands.insert)

  • In all occurrences, the argument block_group has been renamed group for consistency. This affects the ‘trigger’ and ‘set’ messages.

  • The (not widely used) Center plan has been removed. It may be distributed separately in the future.

  • Calling a “SPEC-like” plan now returns a generator that must be passed to the RunEngine; it does not execute the plan with the global RunEngine in gs.RE. There is a convenience wrapper available to restore the old behavior as desired. But since that usage renders the plans un-composable, it is discouraged.

  • The ‘time’ argument of the SPEC-like plans is a keyword-only argument.

  • The following special-case SPEC-like scans have been removed

    • hscan

    • kscan

    • lscan

    • tscan

    • dtscan

    • hklscan

    • hklmesh

    They can be defined in configuration files as desired, and in that location they will be easier to customize.

  • The describe method on flyers, which returns an iterable of dicts of data keys for one or more descriptors documents, has been renamed to describe_collect to avoid confusion with describe on other devices, which returns a dict of data keys for one descriptor document.

  • An obscure feature in RunEngine.request_pause has been removed, which involved removing the optional arguments callback and name.

v0.4.3 (2016-03-03)

Bug Fixes

  • Address serious performance problem in LiveTable.

v0.4.2 (2016-03-02)

Breaking Changes

  • Stage the ultimate parent (“root”) when a device is staging its child, making it impossible to leave a device in a partially-staged state.

v0.4.1 (2016-02-29)


  • Give every event stream a name, using 'primary' by default.

  • Record a mapping of device/signal names to ordered data keys in the EventDescriptor.

  • Let LiveRaster account for “snaked” trajectories.

Bug Fixes

  • is a scalar, not a single-element array.

  • Restore Python 3.4 compatibility.

v0.4.0 (2016-02-23)


v0.3.2 (2015-10-28)


v0.3.1 (2015-10-15)


v0.3.0 (2015-10-14)

Breaking Changes

  • Removed RunEngine.persistent_fields; all fields in persist between runs by default.

  • No metadata fields are “reserved”; any can be overwritten by the user.

  • No metadata fields are absolutely required. The metadata validation function is user-customizable. The default validation function behaves the same as previous versions of bluesky, but it is no longer manditory.

  • The signature of RunEngine has changed. The logbook argument is now keyword-only, and there is a new keyword-only argument, md_validator. See docstring for details.

  • The configure method on readable objects now takes a single optional argument, a dictionary that the object can use to configure itself however it sees fit. The configure method always has a new return value, a tuple of dicts describing its old and new states: old, new = obj.configure(state)

  • Removed method increment_scan_id

  • API and docstring brought into agreement. The API is change to expect a callable with signature foo(doc_name, doc) rather than

    • a callable which takes a document (as documented)

    • an object with start, descriptor, event and stop methods (as implemented).

    If classes derived from CallbackBase are being used this will not not have any effect on user code.

v0.2.3 (2015-09-29)


v0.2.2 (2015-09-24)


v0.2.1 (2015-09-24)


v0.2.0 (2015-09-22)


v0.1.0 (2015-06-25)

Initial release