Python linters

I was playing around with Python lint tools. There’s a lot of terrific info in this StackOverflow question, so all I really have to offer is some very simple knee jerk opinions.

  • pyflakes is very brief, but did a good job finding actual errors
  • pep8 is a nice way to check specifically for code style issues and nothing else.
  • pychecker is useless, since it executes the code
  • pylint is amazingly detailed and anal. Also useless because it prints way way too much. I really don’t care that my test functions don’t have docstrings or that my comments are more than 80 characters. Maybe if I were working on more team projects I’d build up a set of “ignore this message” rules and turn it into a useful tool to me.
Conclusion: pyflakes. If I cared more, I’d use pylint. If I were contributing code to libraries, pep8.