My Flake8 Setup

Flake8 is a linter for Python source code. Out of the box, it will (mostly) enforce the style guidelines defined in PEP 8, but its real power comes from its rich list of plugins. Below is a list of plugins I use when developing Python projects.

  • flake8-commas makes sure that all of your lists, dictionaries, function calls, etc. have trailing commas where appropriate. Using this plugin puts an end to noisy diffs and pesky merge conflicts.

  • flake8-comprehensions is one of my favorites lately. It prevents redundant function calls and prefers dict, list, set, and tuple literals over function calls when possible. Fixes for its warnings nearly always involve deleting code, and the results are more readable and idiomatic.

  • flake8-docstrings enforces the rules listed in PEP 257. At a bare minimum, code should be documented – enough said.

  • flake8-per-file-ignores allows developers to more granularly configure suppressed Flake8 warnings. This is especially useful in cases such as autogenerated database migrations (via Django or Alembic) and allowing unused imports inside of files.

I’m sure I’m missing plenty of plugins from this list, and I’m constantly tweaking my configuration. I’m also working on replacing linters with automatic formatters such as yapf and isort where possible. From time to time, I’ll update this post with any noteworthy additions.