Take a stance against long lines.

Clearly, no program should ever use more than 80 characters per line, for a whole host of reasons. First and foremost, for readability and maintainability, it is important to have a solid standard, so we can adjust the width of our text editors appropriately. As a secondary benefit, code can easily be transferred onto media that may have restrictions, and where adding line-breaks can be distracting, like print pages for review in a meeting, or punch cards.

But is 80 characters too high? Some suggest 79, or even as low as 75, to allow for an 80 character wide terminal to fit the code with a few columns devoted to line numbers. Clearly, ultimately, lower is better, as lower limits allow for the code to be used in more situations without reformatting.

Introducing the max6 standard.

In Python there is no excuse to ever use more than six characters per line. This is plenty of width to code any conceivable program, and, in practice, is not overly restrictive.

Provided is a linter, max6.py, which will clean up your Python codebase to comply with the max6 recommendation. Using max6 is incredibly easy:

$ python max6.py input.py compliant_output.py

We eat our own dogfood.

To show just how easy and freeing it is to code in max6 Python style, the entire max6 codebase is written in max6 style. Take a look at the max6 source, and I'm sure you'll be compelled that this formatting style is more freeing than it is restricting.