[Python-Dev] PEP 257 and __init__

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Mon Jan 4 12:18:01 EST 2016

On Sun, Jan 3, 2016 at 11:49 PM, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 4 January 2016 at 17:01, Terry Reedy <tjreedy at udel.edu> wrote:
> > Ask the PSF/pypi people to either prohibit such names or require a
> > disclaimer of some sort.  They are inherently confusing: "I took a look
> at
> > pep008" does not mean that one even looked at the PEP.  Even when the
> > context makes clear that the referent is the module, there is confusion
> as
> > to its authoritativeness.  That Facudo would post here about the module's
> > output illustrates that. To me, the name copying violates our informal
> > trademark within Pythonland on 'PEP####'.
> I don't think that's the right answer, as opinionated tools do serve a
> useful purpose in preventing bikeshedding during code review (people
> *expect* computers to be annoyingly pedantic, which frees up the human
> reviewers to focus on higher level concerns). As projects evolve over
> time, they may develop their own tweaks and customisations in their
> style guide and switch to a more configurable tool, or they may not.
> When some of the default settings for the pep8 utility became a
> problem, I was able to talk to the developers and persuade them to
> tune their defaults to be more in line with the actual PEP text, and
> keep their extensions to optional settings.
> A similar approach may work for PEP 257, by clarifying which aspects
> tools should be leaving to human judgement (beyond the question of
> whether or not to opt in to following PEP 257 at all - it's far less
> universal than PEP 8).

Hm. I don't want the PSF to flex its muscles about trademarks, but I still
don't like that there are tools named after PEPs (especially since the
tools are not written by the same people that wrote the PEPs). I still
recall the first time someone emailed me about a "pep8" issue (I had never
heard of the tool by that name) and I was thoroughly confused for a long

That said I expect it's too late to try and get the pep8 authors to rename
it; but I filed an issue with the pep257 project and they are going to
change the name: https://github.com/GreenSteam/pep257/issues/172 .

FWIW I am happy that the tools exist! They can be very useful and I use
pep8 myself. But I always let it know who's boss. :-)

--Guido van Rossum (python.org/~guido)
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