Coding Style Guide

We rely on the Python Style Guide PEP-8

The only exception to it is regarding the "80 columns" rule. Since Python is a very concise/compact language, we can afford to be a little bit more flexible on the line length than languages such as C.

When deciding whether or not you should split your line when it exceeds 79 characters, ask yourself: "Does it truly improve legibility?"

What this translates to is:

  • Avoid having very long lines.

  • When the contents only slightly exceeds the 80 chars limit, consider keeping it on one line. Otherwise it just hurts legibility and gives a weird "shape" to the code.


The function names, method names and other class attributes should be small_caps_with_underscore. For example:

def some_function():
    return ""

class MyClass:

    def a_really_important_method(self):

    def water_level(self):
        """The level of the water in meters."""
        return self.__water_level

To illustrate how private a method or other class field is, prepend one or two underscores:

  class MyClass:

     def public_method(self):

     def _protected_method(self):

     def __private_method(self):

Unused arguments in methods should be prefixed with unused_. The most common place where this would happen is in callbacks from gobject signals. For example, below we don't use the second argument, but we do use pad.

     def __pad_added_cb(self, unused_element, pad):

The name of a callback method should:

  • be prepended with two underscores since it's private
  • be appended with cb
  class MyClass:

     def some_method(self):
         self.someobject.connect('event', self.__some_object_event_cb)

     def __some_object_event_cb(self, object, arg):
         print "our callback was called"

Imports order

You can guess the order of the imported modules by looking at some py files. The pre-commit hook has authority in this case as it will reorder the imports if the order is not good.

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