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Config files: dot or not?

Thursday 25 April 2013

Coverage.py reads a configuration file, which by default is in .coveragerc, with a leading dot. For years I thought Pylint had no default config file, because it wouldn't find .pylintrc, it turns out it looks by default for pylintrc, no leading dot.

Which is correct?

I guess I was modeling .coveragerc on .bashrc, .vimrc, and all the other files that clutter home directories everywhere. But is that right? I asked on twitter a few months ago:

Should config files have initial dots or not? tox.ini vs .gitignore, for example. Reasons?

A few people said they should have dots if they are in your home directory, which is clearly true. But these config files are not meant for the home directory.

Larry Price responded,

essential versus incidental, .gitignore or .bashrc are incidental to any given task, but tox.ini or settings.py are the task itself.

Hmm, an interesting point. So is .coveragerc essential to coverage.py? It's only for overriding defaults, so it isn't required. But it does specify how coverage.py should behave.

Should it be coveragerc instead? Or coverage.rc? Opinions? Of course, .coveragerc files will still be recognized if a new default is used. I know this is a small point, but I'd like to follow the consensus if there is one.

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