Development happens on github and the preferred contribution method is by forking the repository and issuing a pull request. Alternatively, just sending a patch to email@example.com will work just as well.
If you don’t know git (or another distributed version control system), which is a fantastic tool in general, there are several good git and github tutorials. You can start with their official documentation.
If you compile mahotas in debug mode, then it will run slower but perform a lot of runtime checks. This is controlled by the DEBUG environment variable.
There are two levels:
The Makefile that comes with the source helps you:
make clean make debug make test
will rebuild in debug mode and run all tests. When you are done testing, use the fast Make target to get the non-debug build:
make clean make fast
Using make will not change your environment. The DEBUG variable is set internally only.
If you don’t know about it, check out ccache which is a great tool if you are developing in compiled languages (this is not specific to mahotas or even Python). It will allow you to quickly perform make clean; make debug and make clean; make fast so you never get your builds mixed up.