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Panache is a simple way to create style checkers for various languages. It does simple parsing of source files and then applies user-specified rules to detect style violations.

Code parsing is not full lexing; it is an intentional design goal to limit code introspection in order to avoid overlap with tasks best left to language-specific linters and static analysis tools. To that end, the code parsing is done with Textpow, which uses TextMate syntax files and annotates source with tags (so that we can detect things like comments, string literals, etc). Then rules are applied based on Textpow tags.


$ gem install panache
$ panache [-s panache_styles] code_path [code_path ...]

panache_styles is the directory where your style files are stored and each code_path is a file or directory to check.

One of the most useful ways to use Panache is as a pre-commit or post-commit hook in your repository. For example, to check each file that was modified after you commit your git post-commit hook could look like:


panache -s ~/repos/panache_styles $(git show --pretty="format:" --name-only)

Creating new styles

To create a new style, you will need a Textmate syntax file and a rules file written in the Panache DSL.

The easiest way to get Textmate syntax files is to copy them out of a Textmate installation on your computer. They should have the path


This is a binary plist file, and Panache requires it to be in the text XML format; you can convert it like this:

$ plutil -convert xml1 <your-language>.plist

(Of course, you'll want to copy the plist file into the project directory to avoid corrupting your TextMate installation). You can download other, more exotic TextMate syntax files from the TextMate subversion repository.

Next, you need to write your rules file.

TODO(caleb): Update steps below.

  1. Make a file called <language>_style.rb, where <language> is the type of file you want to check.
  2. Use the DSL implemented in this file to write your style.
    • The regex you give to Panache::Style#create matches the filenames you wish to check.
    • Each rule consists of a regex and a message to indicate what the violation was.
    • The regex may contain a match. The offset of the beginning of this match will be used to indicate exactly where a style violation occurred.

Dumb example:

Panache::Style.create(/\.txt$/) do
  rule /(q)/, "The letter 'q' is not allowed in text files."

Output formats

TODO(caleb) Implement these. Ideas:

  • Colorized console output
  • Summary output suitable for consumption by other tools (# of tests / # of failures)
  • Markdown? (For automatic CR bot)