Python source code checking tools to help you find common bugs

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Pylint is a static type checker for Python (compare with PyChecker 0.4)

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Please remember that eGroups before it was bought by Yahoo was a huge Python project (more than 180,000 lines of Python doing everything from a 100% dynamic website to all email delivery, pumping out 200 messages/second on a single 400 MHz Pentium!)

PyChecker is a python source code checking tool to help you find common bugs.

The latest version of PyChecker is 0.8.19

PyChecker is a tool for finding bugs in python source code. It finds problems that are typically caught by a compiler for less dynamic languages, like C and C++. It is similar to lint. Because of the dynamic nature of python, some warnings may be incorrect; however, spurious warnings should be fairly infrequent.

PyChecker works in a combination of ways. First, it imports each module. If there is an import error, the module cannot be processed. The import provides some basic information about the module. The code for each function, class, and method is checked for possible problems.

Types of problems that can be found include:

Here's an article about PyChecker in Unix Review by Cameron Laird and Kathryn Soraiz.

Using PyChecker

To use PyChecker, pass options and the python source files (or packages) you want to check on the command line:

	pychecker [options] file1.py file2.py ...

Some of the most commonly used options are:

Options Description Default value
--only only warn about files passed on the command line no
-#, --limit the maximum number of warnings to be displayed 10
--no-shadowbuiltin check if a variable shadows a builtin off
-q, --stdlib ignore warnings from files under standard library off
-T, --argsused unused method/function arguments on

Note: On Windows, use pychecker.bat. You may also need to add python/scripts to your PATH.

pychecker and pychecker.bat will only exist if pychecker has been installed. To install, do: python setup.py install

Note: If you haven't installed pychecker, it can be run by doing: python pychecker/checker.py

An alternate way to use PyChecker is to import it in your code. See Importing PyChecker below for more details.

If there are import dependencies in your source files, you should import those files first on the command line in order to get as many files checked as possible.

PyChecker works with Python 2.0 through 2.7. Some features don't work on earlier versions of Python. PyChecker is tested with Python 2.2 through 2.7 using buildbot.

You can use the test files as examples:

	pychecker test_input/*.py

If you want to change the default behaviour, you can pass command line options or define a .pycheckrc file. For an example, look at pycheckrc.

	pychecker -h
will show the available options.

There is a simple GUI which is not maintained much. It is good for showing all the options and also allows you to run pychecker. To run options, you will need to start it manually:

	python pychecker/options.py

If you want to suppress warnings on a module/function/class/method, you can define a suppressions dictionary in .pycheckrc. Examples of keys are: 'module', 'module.function', 'module.class', 'module.class.method', etc.

You can also define suppressions in your code by doing:

        __pychecker__ = 'no-namedargs maxreturns=0 unusednames=foo,bar'

The format for __pychecker__ values and values in the suppressions dictionary are the same. Dashes (--) are optional when preceding long option names.

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Last modified: November 20, 2019