Your task is to write a file which contains a line with many pep8 violations.

The rules:

  • We use pep8 version 1.5.7 and the default settings.
  • Calling pep8 with other command line options or using a custom rc file is not allowed.
  • Maximum line length 120 characters. You can violate E501, sure, but the line which your score is calculated on has to be <= 120 characters.
  • Your module can have other lines before or after, but only one line contributes to your score.
  • Your file can contain SyntaxErrors or any kind of garbage, it needn't import or run.

Example of scoring:

The following module thing.py has a score of 2, because it contains a line (line 1) with 2 pep8 violations.


To check a score:

~$ mktmpenv 
(tmp-ae3045bd2f629a8c)~/.virtualenvs/tmp-ae3045bd2f629a8c$ pip install pep8==1.5.7
(tmp-ae3045bd2f629a8c)~/.virtualenvs/tmp-ae3045bd2f629a8c$ echo -n "spam='potato'" > thing.py
(tmp-ae3045bd2f629a8c)~/.virtualenvs/tmp-ae3045bd2f629a8c$ pep8 thing.py 
thing.py:1:5: E225 missing whitespace around operator
thing.py:1:14: W292 no newline at end of file
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Is this a... language-specific challenge? Because we don't really like these. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 17:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess it's not really language specific (because the file can contain any garbage) but obviously people familiar with python coding will have some advantage \$\endgroup\$
    – wim
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 17:38

2 Answers 2



if you want the most error, just go crazy with semicolon

$ cat test.py

$ cat test.py | wc -m

$ pep8 test.py | wc -l

most of the error are:

test.py:1:119: E231 missing whitespace after ';'
test.py:1:119: E702 multiple statements on one line (semicolon)

with those error at the end:

test.py:1:120: E703 statement ends with a semicolon
test.py:1:121: W292 no newline at end of file
  • \$\begingroup\$ @wim couldn't reply to your post so i just put it here. you were right about the advantage, i be surprise if someone figure out something else that cause more error then what i posted above \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 0:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you are a semicolon short. wc counts the trailing newline, but we don't count that for character counts on this site. As you can see in your code quote, your last character is #119. You should get 240, 2 for each semicolon except the last one, 1 for the overly long line, and 1 for ending with a semicolon. \$\endgroup\$
    – isaacg
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 2:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @isaacg ah, you are right, i thought it was weird that it gotten less error than number of character * 2, i blame gedit for adding the invisible newline :P \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 3:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ haha, kind of cheap .. but effective! +1 \$\endgroup\$
    – wim
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 10:13


Yes, more violations than characters!

$ curl -s http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=RwLJfa0Q | cat
 (  =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =
$ curl -s http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=RwLJfa0Q | wc -m
$ curl -s http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=RwLJfa0Q | pep8 - | wc -l

The trick is that an = after a ( makes pep think you're doing a keyword in a function call (e.g. foo(bar=12)). In this context, doing [TAB]= triggers both

killpep.py:1:3: E223 tab before operator
killpep.py:1:3: E251 unexpected spaces around keyword / parameter equals

And doing =[TAB] triggers both

killpep.py:1:5: E224 tab after operator
killpep.py:1:5: E251 unexpected spaces around keyword / parameter equals

Gleefully enough, you can just chain these.

This gives a violation count of one per character. I need ( to set it up, but not providing the ) gives us:

killpep.py:2:1: E901 TokenError: EOF in multi-line statement

That's 120. No newline = 121. It managed to trigger the "line too long" error, so that's 122. Finally, using one character to start with a space (thanks eric_lagergren) gives 2 violations instead of 1:

killpep.py:1:2: E111 indentation is not a multiple of four
killpep.py:1:2: E113 unexpected indentation


  • \$\begingroup\$ Add a leading whitespace and remove the last z and you'll end up with 103... but whenever I copy this code I get 83 instead of 102. I think the spacing is getting messed up. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 2:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @eric_lagergren: I'm using tabs instead of spaces and I guess they aren't copying properly. Will pastebin it I guess! \$\endgroup\$
    – Claudiu
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 11:56

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