More on PEP8

Well I certainly got some robust comments on my previous PEP8 post. A few people chimed on my side, so to speak. Someone else found it “discouraging” when faced with “non-compliant code”. But it was Luke who obviously felt most strongly about the matter, and it’s his points that I’m really addressing here.

First of all, it seems that you’ve got me coming and going: on the one hand, I’m unreasonable to expect people to adopt my project’s style when contributing to it; but on the other I’m unreasonable if I expect to program the same way in every environment. Let me say again what I said in the previous post: if I contribute to, say, core Python, then I *do* expect to have to change my style to match the project guidelines. Likewise, if I contribute to Pyro — a fairly well-known Python project — then I use camelCase method names, because that’s what its maintainer uses. I don’t find that so very difficult and I doubt it anyone else does either. (Of course my “anyone else does” here is as anecdotal as the generalisations in Luke’s comments and can be treated the same way).

Luke’s basic point seems to be that all Python code *should* look the same, regardless of any other consideration, and that to do otherwise is not to be a team player, to indicate that you don’t care, and to leave open the suspicion that your code is of as poor quality as… well, your PEP8-ness. And I find that position far beyond what I consider reasonable. If that leaves me turning people away at the door then please write and tell me. Perhaps I’m being a single-minded curmudgeon on this issue, but I am honestly bemused at the idea that *all* Python code should follow what is, basically, one person’s preferences.

In short, I would be genuinely interested to hear from other people if they think that publishing Python code which follows a consistent style but which is not PEP8-compliant is that much of an issue. For them, for would-be contributors, or for the image of Python.

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