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A wrapper for black adding new features

Project description

Globality black

Tech talk

A wrapper for black, adding pre- and post-processing to better align with Globality conventions.

globality-black performs the following steps:

  • pre-processing: to protect from black actions.
  • black
  • postprocessing: to revert / correct black actions.

Note: if you are not familiar with black (or need a refresh), please read our Black refresh.

Table of contents

  1. Usage
    1. CLI
    2. Pycharm
    3. JupyterLab
    4. VSCode
  2. Features
    1. Blank lines
    2. Dotted chains
    3. Comprehensions
    4. Partially disable Globality Black
  3. Pending / Future work
  4. Black refresh
    1. Magic comma
  5. FAQ


pip install globality-black


There are two ways to use globality-black, via CLI, or importing the helpers in the library. Next, we show some typical use cases:


Please see command line arguments running globality-black --help.


To use globality-black in PyCharm, go to PyCharm -> Preferences... -> Tools -> External Tools -> Click + symbol to add new external tool.

img Recommended configuration to format the current file:

  • Program: path to globality-black, e.g. /Users/marty-mcfly/miniconda3/envs/gb/bin/globality-black
  • Arguments: $FilePath$
  • Working directory: $ProjectFileDir$

Recommended configuration to check the whole repo (but not formatting it it):

  • Program: path to globality-black, e.g. /Users/marty-mcfly/miniconda3/envs/gb/bin/globality-black
  • Arguments: . --check
  • Working directory: $ProjectFileDir$

Next, configure a keymap, as in here.



We can leverage this extension, with a custom formatter. Here we explain how to get the following options:


There are two ways to apply globality-black, see left-hand-side, or by clicking on the button next to "Code". We will configure the extension to make it apply the isort + globality-black pipeline when clicking such button.

To do so, install the extension, generate the config for jupyter lab and edit it:

pip install jupyterlab_code_formatter
jupyter lab --generate-config
vim ~/.jupyter/ 

You might already have some config in jupyter_lab_config. If so, you might want to omit the second command above, and edit it (vim) instead.

In any case, we will add the following code:

from jupyterlab_code_formatter.formatters import SERVER_FORMATTERS
from globality_black.jupyter_formatter import GlobalityBlackFormatter
SERVER_FORMATTERS['globality-black'] = GlobalityBlackFormatter(line_length=100)

Then, go to the extension preferences, and add:

    "preferences": {
        "default_formatter": {
            "python": [
    "isort": {            
           "combine_as_imports": true,
           "force_grid_wrap": 4,
           "force_to_top": "true",
           "include_trailing_comma": true,
           "known_third_party": ["wandb", "tqdm"],
           "line_length": 100,
           "lines_after_imports": 2,
           "multi_line_output": 3,


  • The last step above translates into user settings saved in ~/.jupyter/lab/user-settings/@ryantam626/.
  • The extension is applied to all cells in the notebook. It can be configured to be applied just to the current cell, if interested.
  • The extension is applied to each cell in isolation. Hence, if multiple imports appear in different cells, they won't be merged together on top of the notebook.


To use globality-black in VScode go to Preferences: Keyboard Shortcuts (JSON) from the Palette (command+shift+p)
It will open a file named keybindings.json, then add to this file :

        "key": "the shortcut you want (ctrl+b for example)",
        "command": "workbench.action.terminal.sendSequence",
        "args": {
          "text": "globality-black ${file}"

This will allow you to run globality-black per file. To run globality-black to the folder opened in VSCode just replace file by workspaceFolder.
You can also add any arguments supported by the CLI (--check or --diff are recommended to avoid formatting the whole repo)


Blank lines

Black would remove those blank lines after wandb and scikit-learn below:



    # we love pandas

globality-black protects those assuming the developer added them for readability.

Dotted chains

In a similar fashion to the "blank lines" feature, "dotted chains" allows to keep the block:

return (

LABELS = set(
    df[df.labels.apply(len) > 0]

the same. In this feature, we don't explode anything but rather protect code assuming it was written by this in purpose for readability.

Length one tuples

This is a very simple and specific feature. Black (at least up to 21.9b0) has a bug so that tuples with one element are compressed as in

x = (


x = (3,)

See With globality-black, will protect these.


Explode comprehensions

  • all dict comprehensions
  • any comprehension with an if
  • any comprehension with multiple for loops (see examples below)
  • list / set comprehensions where the element:
    • has a ternary operator (see examples below)
    • has another comprehension

For everything else, we rely on black. Examples:

Before globality-black

[3 for _ in range(10)]

[3 for i in range(10) if i < 4]

{"a": 3 for _ in range(4)}

{"a": 3 for _ in range(4) if i < 4}

["odd" if i %% 2 == 0 else "even" for _ in range(10)]

double_comp1 = [3*i*j for i in range(10) for j in range(4)]

double_comp2 = [[i for i in range(7) if i < 5] for j in range(10)]

double_comp3 = {i: [i for i in range(7) if i < 5] for j in range(10) if i < 2}

After globality-black

[3 for _ in range(10)]

    for i in range(10)
    if i < 4

    "a": 3
    for _ in range(4)

    "a": 3
    for _ in range(4)
    if i < 4

    "odd" if i %% 2 == 0 else "even" 
    for _ in range(10)

double_comp1 = [
    3 * i * j 
    for i in range(10) 
    for j in range(4)

double_comp2 = [
    [i for i in range(7) if i < 5] 
    for j in range(10)

double_comp3 = {
    i: [i for i in range(7) if i < 5] 
    for j in range(10) 
    if i < 2

Note that in the last two comprehensions, the nested comprehensions are not exploded even though having an if. This is a limitation of globality-black, but we believe not very frequent in everyday cases. If you really want to explode those and make globality-black respect it, please use the feature explained next.

Partially disable globality-black

If you see some block where you don't want to apply globality-black, wrap it with # and # fmt:on and it will be ignored. Note that this is the same syntax as for black. For example, for readability you might want to do something as:

# fmt: off
files_to_read = [
    (f"{key1}_{key2}", key1, key2, key1 + key2)
    for key1 in range(10)
# fmt: on

Note that as a default (same as black), globality-black will write the expression above as a one-liner.

Pending / Future work

  • Explode ternary operators under some criteria
  • Nested comprehensions

Please give us feedback if you find any issues

Black refresh

black is an opinionated Python formatter that tries to save as much vertical space as possible. In this regard, it compresses lines to the maximum character length that has been configured. black's default is 88, whereas in globality-black we use a default of 100 characters, as agreed for Globality repos globally. If you want to have a custom max character length, add a pyproject.toml file to the root of your repo. This works the same way as in black, and globality-black will take your config from there.

See how black works in their README. It is especially useful to review this section, where important recent features are explained.

Magic comma

black added a feature at the end of 2020 that we used to call the "magic comma". It's one of the first examples where black is giving a bit of freedom to the developer on how the final code will look like (apart from fmt:off and fmt:on to ignore black entirely). Read more about it here.


Here we list a number of questions and solutions raised when presenting this project to other teams:

I like this project, but this would destroy all our git history and git blames

Our recommendation is:

  1. Create a big PR for all your repo, and do the effort of reviewing the changes just once.
  2. Add a .git-blame-ignore-revs file to your repo, ignoring the bulk commit where globality-black is applied. See here for more details.

I like most of the changes, but in some places I really prefer the way I write the code

No problem, for those specific cases where you like more your style, just wrap the block with fmt:off and fmt:on, see the Partially disable Globality Black section.

100 characters per line is too short / too long for me

Just add a pyproject.toml to the root of your repo (as the one in this very own project) and specify your preferred length, see the Black refresh section.

I want to know what will be changed before applying the changes

Please use the --diff option from the CLI, see the CLI section.

I want to explode list of arguments, but globality-black is compressing them into one line

Please use the magic comma feature, see Magic comma.

=============== Globality black


  • TODO

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