PEP8 Checking in Vim

Follow proper coding standards.

Following proper coding standards is important to ensure others can read and modify your code. I make use of the following tools when writing Python to ensure I am formatting my code properly.

Install Dependencies

Let’s start by installing a dependency of the Vim plugin we are going to use. The Flake8 module will be needed for our vim-flake8 setup. As root (or using sudo), run the following commands:

easy_install pip
pip install flake8

The first command installs the latest version of pip, a tool for installing and managing Python packages. The second command uses pip to install the flake8 package. Now let’s configure vim.

vim-pathogen

The github repository for vim-pathogen has a great set of installation instructions for this tool. We will use this to load the vim-flake8 plugin that is used to check compliance. Follow their installation instructions, and then move on to the next step.

vim-flake8

Here is the plugin that will work our magic. Go follow the installation instructions for vim-flake8. Just clone this repository into the ~/.vim/bundle directory. If you’ve followed the instructions properly up to this point, everything should be working as expected. Here is my .vimrc file for comparison. Note that I’ve added a few additional options I find useful when coding in Python.

execute pathogen#infect()
syntax on
filetype plugin indent on
set smartindent
set tabstop=4
set shiftwidth=4
set expandtab

Icing on the Cake

There’s one more plugin I load into vim to make things easier. The vim-sensible plugin sets some useful and sensible defaults that have made my vim experience easier. It installs just like vim-flake8, and is immediately available the next time you start vim.

Now go and write your Python code!

 
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