Coding standards

Parts of this document are copied from netconf’s coding standards.


  • Python code adheres to PEP-8 coding guidelines.
  • Write all code for Python 2.5; thus, all features up until and including Python 2.5 may be used.
  • If the choice is between a Python 2.5 way of implementing something, and a pre-2.5 way, the former should be taken.
  • Existing pre-2.5 constructs which have been deprecated by Python 2.5 must be reimplemented accordingly.
  • Existing pre-2.5 constructs which can merely be expressed more concisely with Python 2.5 can be migrated, and probably should be.
  • Use the docs/py.template file as a start to all Python files. Alter author and copyright information if needed.
  • Use Python unicode strings – u'foo' instead of 'foo'.
  • Private Python functions’ names should start with an underscore.


  • Use UTF-8 everywhere.
  • Limit line width to 100 characters.
  • Everything is in English (including comments, variable names, etc.)
  • All text that will be shown to users must be localized using the Pylons framework
  • Create tests using the Pylons framework for all functions or features that it is feasible for
  • When showing potentially long lists of things use the paginate module.
  • Use the logging module to log activity, and use the three severity levels.

Directory structure

  • Functions that deal with the database models should go into model/.
  • Functions that provide general functionality go into lib/helpers/.

Mako Templates

  • Start all templates with # -*- coding: utf-8 -*- on the first line.
  • Use correct, validated, XHTML.
  • Try to use the webhelpers where possible.
  • Indent XHTML properly – 4 spaces per level, as in the Python code.