Importing a filter package

Filter packages are imported by providing a filter specification at one of several places in the bibolamazi app or command-line tool.

How to import a package

You have different ways to import a filter package to make the corresponding filters available for use in your bibolamazi file:

  • Use a package: directive in your bibolamazi file. Along with your sources and filters, specify something like:

    package: <filter-package-specification>

    To import the corresponding filter package. See below for possible values of <filter-package-specification>.

  • (In the bibolamazi application only:) Open the settings dialog (from the main window). Then select the local filter packages tab, and click on the button “Add filter package” to specify your local filter package. You should specify the directory that defines the python package, i.e., the directory that contains the file.

  • You may globally enable and import a filter package by setting the environment variable BIBOLAMAZI_FILTER_PATH. This variable may be set to a list of filter packages separated by : on Unix/Mac systems and by ; on Windows systems (as for the PATH environment variable).

  • (In the bibolamazi command-line tool only:) Use the option --filter-package=<filter-package-specification>

After importing a filter package, you can then use all the filters defined in that package in your bibolamazi file. You can also refer to a filter in a specific package, in case two filters from different packages have the same name, with the syntax mypackage:filtername. For instance:

filter: mypackage:filtername -dOption1 -sOption2=default ...

Filter Package Specification

A filter specification, indicated by <filter-package-specification> above, is a string of one of the following forms:

  • /path/to/some/package — if a path is given, this must be a folder that defines a Python package (ie., which contains an file). This package is the filter package.

  • packagename=/some/path/ or packagename= — using this syntax, you specify a python package name and the path that needs to be added to the PYTHONPATH in order to load that package. For instance, if you have a Python package located at /home/me/python/packages/pkga (which contains an file), you would specify pkga=/home/me/python/packages.

  • github:<user or org>/<repo>[/<branch>] — specify a filter package as a remote github repository. The branch name is optional, and you can use a tag name or commit ID instead of a branch name. Examples:

    package: github:phfaist/mybibolamazifilters
    package: github:phfaist/mybibolamazifilters/mybranch
    package: github:phfaist/mybibolamazifilters/4c84fd92ec9189ebf28ebd30916d3c9c9e53a8fb

    When a github repository is specified, the repository must either be the contents of the filter package (it contains a file directly in the root directory of the repository), or it must contain a folder of the same name as the repo (possibly with hyphens converted to underscores) which is assumed to be the python filter package.

New in version 4.2: Remote github repositories can be specified and automatically accessed since Bibolamazi 4.2

Security Considerations for Remote Packages

Downloading remote filter packages presents a security risk, because filters are python scripts that can execute arbitrary code. For this reason, a warning is displayed to the user the first time you access a remote repository. You should acknowledge this risk and remember to be careful.

You’re asked once only, and the setting is then stored in the configuration file. You can modify the configuration file directly if you would like to change this setting. The configuration file resides in a system-dependent location which is typically ~/.config/bibolamazi/ on Unix-like systems, C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\bibolamazi\ on Windows, and ~/Library/Application Support/bibolamazi/ on Macs; we use the appdirs Python package to determine this.

Github Authentication for Private Repositories

It’s a good idea to set up github authentication if you use github remote packages, as you have two main advantages:

  • you can access your private repositories;
  • the github API server has higher rate limits and you will be much less likely to reach their query limits.

Bibolamazi uses personal access tokens to authenticate to github. You simply create a dedicated personal access token for bibolamazi by visiting and specify the resulting token to bibolamazi. The token can be revoked at any later time and bibolamazi never sees your password.

In the bibolamazi application, go to SettingsRemote filter packages tab, and turn on Use authentication. This will prompt you with specific settings to carry out to generate your personal access token and provide it to bibolamazi.

In the command-line application, run bibolamazi --github-auth. This will enter interactive setup mode where instructions are provided on how to generate the access token and provide it to bibolamazi. To un-set any previously set authentication data, use bibolamazi --github-auth=-.

New in version 4.2: Remote github repositories can be specified and automatically accessed since Bibolamazi 4.2

Local Caches for Remote Packages

The code for remote filter packages (github package specifications) is downloaded and stored in a local cache dir (for instance, this path is ~/Library/Caches/bibolamazi on Mac OS X). Github repos are checked for updates when the package is requested, unless a check has been performed recently already (currently, this timeout is set to 10 minutes).

If you’d like to force a refresh and re-download a package, you can clear bibolamazi’s local package cache by simply removing the entire bibolamazi cache directory (of course, this will also clear the cache for other downloaded packages and they will be refreshed, too).