Frequently Asked Questions

Is NWB:N 2 stable?

Yes! NWB:N 2.0 was officially released in January 2019, and the schema is now stable. Any changes that will be made now will be backwards compatible.

I would like to use NWB:N. How do I get started?

See the Getting Started page for more information.

What is the difference between pynwb, nwb-schema and api-python?

PyNWB is the current Python reference read/write API for the NWB:N 2.x format. The nwb-schema repo is used to manage development on the data standard schema. End-users who want to use NWB:N typically do not need to worry about the nwb-schema repo as the current schema is always installed with the corresponding API (whether it is PyNWB for Python or MatNWB for Matlab). api-python is a deprecated write-only API designed for NWB:N 1.0.x files. PyNWB also provides support for reading some NWB:N 1.0.x files from popular data repositories, such as the Allen Cell Types Atlas via the pynwb/legacy module.

Does PyNWB support NWB:N 1.0.x files?

PyNWB includes the pynwb/legacy module which supporta reading of NWB:N 1.0.x files from popular data repositories, such as the Allen Cell Types Atlas . For NWB:N 1.0.x files from other sources the millage may vary in particular when files are not fully format compliant, e.g., include arbitrary custom data or are missing required data fields.

What has changed between NWB:N 1.0x and 2.0?

See the release notes of the NWB:N format schema for details about changes to the format schema. For details about changes to the specification language see the specification language release notes. With reagrd to software, NWB:N 2 marks a full reboot and introduced with PyNWB, MatNWB, nwb-docutils, nwb-schema etc. several new packages and repositories while tools, e.g., api-python that were created for NWB:N 1.x have been deprectated.

How do I install PyNWB?

See the PyNWB documentation for details here

Who can I contact for questions?

For details please review our Contributing Guidelines

How do I contribute to PyNWB?

For details on how to contribute to PyNWB see our Contributing Guidelines

Does PyNWB support both Python 2.7 and >3.5?

Up to PyNWB v.1.0.3 (and HDMF v1.1.2) we supported both Python 2.7 and >3.5. We have ended support for Python 2.7 in later versions of PyNWB and HDMF (see #1028 and #126) as numpy, pandas and other major packages we rely on have dropped Python 2 support in their latest versions and as Python 2 end-of-life is approaching already in 01/01/2020.