coala 0.10 - PolarBear

                  `++-    -o+`
           -oo:  :yhho    ohhy:  :oo.
           :hhhoohhh+      +hhhoohhy:
       ``.--shhhhhy:        /yhhhhho--..`
      +hhhhhhhhhhh+          ohhhhhhhhhhh/
      `/+/////+hhhh/        +hhhy+///////`
               -yhhhs     hshhhy-
  .os/           hhhhy-  -yhhhh           +ss.
  .yhho           shhho``ohhhs          `ohhy`
   -yhhs`          +hhhsshhh+          `shhy-
 -::shhhs++++yhy////shhhhhhs          +shhhs::.
   -yhhs`          +hhhsshhh+          `shhy-
  .yhho`          shhho``ohhhs           ohhy.
  .ss+           hhhhy   -yhhhh           /so.
               -yhhhs      shhhy-
      `///////+yhhh+        /hhhh+/////+/`
      /hhhhhhhhhhho          +hhhhhhhhhhh+
       `..--ohhhhhy/        :yhhhhhs--.``
           :hhhoohhh+      +hhhoohhh:
           -oo:  :yhho    ohhy:  :oo-
                  `+o-    -++`

For this release we had 168 commits contributed by 66 unique contributors over 2.5 months.

The name of this release is PolarBear to reflect changes we have made to our release process. We have implemented a release freeze before all releases to serve as a testing period for all staged changes. This should also help us keep releases on schedule.

This release is an enhancement release which brings the usual slew of improvements to documentation and API. We have started preparing the codebase for the big changes that are outlined in the cEPs like section inheritance and the next generation core.

Known Bugs

  • Results are cached even if a bear does not run. This can lead to empty results where there should be errors. To temporarily deal with this run coala with the --flush-cache option


  • Test cases have been improved across the board so they catch more errors before production.
  • Log output via json has been added which is accessible by using the --log-json option.
  • coala domain has been changed from to Please file a bug if you find any broken links or instances of the old url.


  • emacs has been added to list of editors that coala supports.
  • coala will now output a warning if you specify an editor that is not known.
  • The noqa keyword used by other linters as an ignore keyword is now supported as a coala ignore keyword.
  • libclang-py3 update to 3.4 is known to cause problems for some users. Please uninstall and reinstall it if coala tells you there is a version mismatch in libclang-py3.
  • C# now has proper language support and should work with AnnotationBear and all other bears which require language configuration.


  • change_line method in has been deprecated and has been scheduled for removal.
  • format_str setting has been completely removed after being deprecated last release. Use format instead to specify a formatting string.


  • Travis has been enabled for developers to test their changes on their own CI.
  • Bears will now check for prerequisites using specified requirements before running. Either override check_prequisites in the bear or write a new requirement class if you wish to have a custom check.
  • When a language is not known by coala, an Unknown language will be used.
  • @linter decorator now warns when using unsupported or anonymous capture groups.
  • New dependency_management package has been created to contain package manager and dependency classes used by coala. All of the old *Requirement classes have been moved here. Some new dependencies classes are CabalRequirement and MavenRequirement. Developers should add requirement classes there now for the requirement types they wish to support.
  • DistributionRequirement can now check if a package is installed in many popular linux distros.
  • Diffs are able to add a single line using the add_line method now.
  • Language class ignores leading and trailing spaces in language lookups.
  • Language class should auto-complete when using languages that have been defined.


  • A Code of Conduct has been added. This will guide conflict resolution if the need ever arises.
  • API docs are now part of the coala repository.
  • Developer contribution documentation has received a major update


  • Fixed an issue where using linter bears on windows had thrown an exception. Issue 3323
  • coala -c (config file) option properly supports specifying directories. Previously it has thrown an exception. Issue 3221
  • Documentation status github badge has been fixed.
  • Console interaction uses a unicode dot to represent spaces instead of the bullet for better cross platform rendering. Issue 2751
  • Language class raises proper exception to fix hasattr behavior. Issue 3160
  • Ignore statements in multi-line comments should be supported properly now. Issue 3441

coala 0.9.1

This bugfix release addressed the following issues:

  • The installer has been fixed to only install on supported python versions. Issue #3310 Issue #3383
  • The format_str option to specify a format string has been restored to coala run in format mode. This is deprecated and was only restored to provide plug-in developers a grace period to switch to the replacement setting format. Issue #3303
  • Setuptools was removed from our requirements list because having it only only caused dependency problems for other packages installed on the system coala Bears Issue #751
  • PyPrint dependency was updated to a version which does not pull in setuptools anymore.
  • API change: An auto-apply disable option was added to run_coala to fix issue detection by unattended services that use coala when the coafile contains a default_action Issue #3212
  • A few specific language class behaviors were changed. This should only affect developers Pull #3175 Pull #3167

coala 0.9.0 - GlobalBear

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    dMMM*""'`'      .oM"HM?.
  ,MMM'          "HLbd< ?&H\
 .:MH ."\          ` MM  MM&b
. "*H    -        &MMMMMMMMMH:
.    dboo        MMMMMMMMMMMM.
.    MMMMMMMP        *MMMMMP .
     `#MMMMM           MM6P ,
 '    `MMMP"           HM*`,
  '    :MM             .- ,
   '.   `#?..  .       ..'
      -.   .         .-

For this release only we had 58 different contributors from all around the globe contributing way over 200 commits over 2.5 months to coala.

The name of this release is GlobalBear to honour our GlobalBear class and leave a statement on how global the community grows: gone are the days when we visit conferences and we have to explain the project to all the people. More and more people know the project before we meet them and this is great! This is a huge step in our conquest to take over the world!

The GlobalBear class serves our users by providing project wide “global” analysis. This release it will probably make its last appearance because it will be deprecated in favour of a more sophisticated concept in the near future.

We have also worked a lot towards building our dream of letting users declare code analysis configuration completely language independently: to take a sneak peek at what we want to do, check this out. You will see that the first aspects are already in our source code and that bears can already associate results with them so future versions of coala will be able to tell the user a plethora of facts around the type of issue pointed out.

For users, we have added a lot of usability improvements as well as for example the ability to merge patches within one line: if you previously had to run coala multiple times because of patch conflicts, this is likely not the case anymore!

As a Bear writer you now have access to our Language facilities: they will give you facts about programming languages that you analyse so you can build truly language independent bears. Also, you now can use to get more information about our classes and functions you work with.

Command Line Interface Changes:

  • coala-ci and coala-json have been deprecated. You can now use coala --non-interactive and coala --json respectively.
  • Multiple patches within one line, even from different bears, can be automatically merged by coala.
  • coala returns the exitcode 2 when not passing any --bears or --files as well as when no section is enabled and nothing was done.
  • coala can now automatically add Ignore ...Bear comments to your source code. Simply use the Add ignore comment action when offered.
  • Users can press enter to dismiss a result by default.
  • Result action descriptions have been compressed to make them easier readable.
  • The section name is now displayed when asking the user for missing settings.
  • coala --non-interactive shows results and patches by default now.
  • coala-dbus has been removed as it wasn’t used by anyone.
  • A --no-color argument allows to run coala with uncoloured results.
  • Log messages are printed on stderr now.
  • coala --json doesn’t output log messages in JSON anymore. This is a technical issue. Log messages can easily be fetched from the stderr stream.
  • Some performance improvements could be achieved.
  • A lot more strings, like roger or no way are allowed for boolean values. (

Bear API Changes:

  • LanguageDefinition has been deprecated. Use coalib.bearlib.languages.Language instead. Consult for usage hints.
  • The deprecated Lint class has now been removed.
  • The CondaRequirement has been removed.
  • The multiple constructor for PackageRequirement classes has been removed.
  • A deprecate_bear decorator is now available so bears can be renamed seamlessly.
  • The Diff object has now dedicated functions to replace, insert and remove SourceRange objects.

Bug Fixes:


Internal Changes:

  • Deprecated parameters are stored in the function metadata.
  • Python builtin logging is now used.
  • Numerous changes to get started on have been implemented. The first aspects are already defined in coalib.bearlib.aspects and bears can already append aspects to results.
  • coalang files now have an alias dictionary.

coala 0.8.1

This bugfix release addressed the following issues:

coala 0.8.0 - grizzly

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      .     mMd`     :Nd.
     :h     /ss/`     +md.
     dN`    :NMMMy`  .ymmy. -+`
     dM+    dMMMMMm`.NMMMMN. +Mo
  `  -sddy: yMMMMMM/+MMMMMMo  dMo
 s/  +MMMMMy.dMMMMM-:MMMMMM+ -yhs`
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-MN.  hMMMMMh  `/osssoos+-  dMMMMMs
 oyhho.+mMMm:+dMMMMMMMMMm+  sMMMMMs

For this release, we have had 46 developers from around the world contributing over 150 commits in the last 9 weeks.

Improving the API available for bear writers is one of the areas we’ve focused on for this release, with several new and exciting features. General performance has also been improved heavily with some major changes under the hood. The documentation has also been worked on, with an emphasis on user-friendliness and design.

There have also been major internal changes in preparation for the complete decentralization of bears, which would allow the installation of individual bears.

Below are some of the important changes introduced for this release:

New Features

  • coala now supports syntax highlighting in results!
  • Questions are now printed in color; this will improve visibility when a lot of text is written to the screen.
  • coala-json now supports --show-bears and --filter-by-language
  • Added a --show-capabilities flag that displays the types of issues coala can detect and fix for a particular language.
  • Display the line number when a line is missing; this could happen if a bear that had run previously overwrites it.

For Bear Writers

  • Bears now have a new REQUIREMENTS attribute which will be used to automatically resolve bear dependencies. This includes:
    • Native requirements (from package managers such as apt-get, dnf, pacman, ...)
    • Conda requirements
    • Python requirements through pip3
    • go requirements
    • Ruby requirements through gem
    • NodeJS requirements through npm
    • RScript requirements
    • Julia requirements
  • Language independent documentation parsing routines: these can be used to make bears for linting documentation without having to worry about the language.
  • coalang now supports C, C++, CSS, Java, Python3 and Vala.
  • A new bear creation tool has been released: with this tool, it’s easier than ever before to create external linter based bears for coala!
  • A new ASCIINEMA_URL attribute has been added to bears. This should contain an URL to an asciinema video displaying the bear’s capabilities in action.
  • Bear results may now have a confidence parameter: this is supposed to quantify the confidence, on a scale of 1 to 100, the bear has when flagging results.
  • A deprecate_settings decorator has been created to deprecate old, unsupported bear parameters. Please see here for an example usage.
  • Code Simplification has been added to the set of possible fixes that bears can offer.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where errors were generated for lines containing only a single tab character. Issue #2180
  • Fixed an issue with question where stray escape characters may be present. Issue #2546
  • Group questions about missing values in a coafile by bears. Issue #2530
  • An issue where an exception was raised wrongly when the same diff was generated multiple times has been fixed. PR #2465


  • Caching is now enabled by default. This is a huge performance improvement for HDD users - we’ve seen a 2x improvement when coala is run on coala. To disable caching run coala with the --disable-caching flag.
  • An issue where coala takes over 2 seconds to print the help manual through --help has been fixed. Issue #2344
  • A small performance improvement from reusing already loaded file contents.


  • A complete overhaul to the README page with a focus on design and readability.
  • A new FAQ page has been created.
  • Various other documentation pages have been improved with new resources, better explanations, and some corrections.
  • The whole documentation has been moved to a separate repository. Please file any documentation related issues over there.


  • Dropped Python 3.3 support

Internal Changes

  • There has been a shift of several modules from coala to coala-utils <>. This includes the whole StringProcessing library, ContextManagers, and some decorators.

coala 0 7 0 - baloo

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(Release logo by Fabian Neuschmidt)

For this release, 32 people from all over the world have contributed about 200 commits over almost two months.

The focus of this release is certainly on the usability of coala. Usability testing has made us aware of some important difficulties, users have to face when trying out coala. We have implemented a lot of countermeasures to lower this barrier.

The changelog below summarizes the most important user facing changes. Not listed are especially lots of internal improvements and documentation fixes.

New Features:

  • Shell Autocompletion
  • Patches are shown without prompting the user if small enough, otherwise diffstats.
  • Bears have metadata and can be browsed. Browse the bear documentation repository for more information on all the bears.
  • Lots of usability improvements! coala will suggest using certain options if no meaningful configuration was supplied.
  • The help was revamped completely and is way easier to read.
  • A --verbose alias is available for -L DEBUG.
  • The default_actions setting accepts globs for bears now.
  • The --apply-patches argument was added to automatically apply all patches.
  • coala supports experimental caching. This can lower the run time to a fraction of the time needed to perform the full analysis. It will be enabled by default in the next release. To use it, invoke coala with --changed-files.
  • Bear showing is divided into a new set of settings: --show-bears shows all bears, --filter-by-language allows to filter them, --show-details and --show-description allow changing verbosity of the output.

Feature Removals:

  • Tagging was removed.
  • linter does no longer show the executable of the bear by default.

Performance Improvements:

  • Globs will be internally cached now so they don’t need to be retranslated every time. This may show improvements of several seconds when working with a large set of files.
  • coala supports experimental caching. See New Features for more information.
  • coala does not delete *.orig files on startup anymore. This was a huge performance hit especially on HDDs or big file trees. The cleanup can be performed manually by running coala-delete-orig. Instead coala will keep track of *.orig files more smartly.


  • **.py can again be used instead **/*.py.
  • If errors happen before the initialization of logging, tracebacks will be shown.

For bear writers:

  • Bears can have a number of attributes now, including author information, supported languages or categories. A requirements attribute will help generating requirements definition files more easily in the future.
  • The linter wrapper provides a result_severity and a result_message parameter now.
  • Bears can now delete and rename files.
  • The LanguageDefinition doesn’t need a language_family anymore to load language definitions.
  • Results can be created directly from the Bear class more conveniently with self.new_result(...).

coala 0.6.0 - honeybadger

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d8P         .ooOO8bo._                   dPo.    O#O   .oPb
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 YA                        68o68**8Oo.    W8888O888888888W
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                                           +oO8+    +8Oo+
                                           'bo.      .od'

This release is shaped a lot by working on high quality bear writing tools. Our codebase has matured further (improved tests, various internal improvements) and key features for writing and organizing bears were introduced.

Over the last 1.5 months, 22 unique contributors have helped us at the coala core project.

This time, the release logo is carefully hand crafted by Max Scholz!

New features:

  • Smart globbing: use backslashes without an extra escape now if they don’t escape delimiters.
  • Results now can have additional information appended.
  • Bears expose information on which languages they support. You can query for bears e.g. with coala --show-language-bears C++ for C++.


For bear writers:

  • A tutorial for managing bear dependencies is available in our documentation now.
  • The Result object has a field additional_info which can be used to give an elaborate description of the problem.
  • A typechain() function is now available for easy conditional type conversion. (
  • Bears have a name() shortcut now which provides the bear class name.
  • A get_config_directory() function is available that returns the root directory of the project guessed by coala or provided (overridden) by the user.
  • A new linter decorator makes it even easier to write new linter wrappers. (

Notable internal/API changes:

  • FunctionMetadata has a new merge function that can be used to merge function signatures and documentation comments.

coala 0.5.0 - joey

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With this release we declare coala proudly as beta. Most features are now available and coala is ready for daily use.

All bears have been moved out of coala into the coala-bears package. If you want to develop bears for coala, you can now install it without the bears just as before. If you want to use the coala official bears, make sure to install the coala-bears package and if needed follow the instructions to install linters needed by the bears for your language.

According to git shortlog -s -n 5fad168.. 56 people contributed to this release. We sadly cannot name all the new coalaians here but every single one of them helped making coala as awesome and polished as it is today.

New features:

Exitcode changes:

  • coala returns 5 if patches were applied successfully but no other results were yielded, i.e. the code is correct after the execution of coala but was not before.
  • coala returns 4 now if executed with an unsupported python version.


For bear writers:

  • A new built-in type is available from Setting for using inside run() signature: url.
  • Lint based bears have a new argument which can be set to test whether a command runs without errors. This can be used to check for example the existence of a Java module. (
  • The CorrectionBasedBear and Lint class have been merged into the new and more powerful Lint class to make linter integration even easier. It also supports you if you need to generate an actual configuration file for your linter.
  • LocalBearTestHelper as well as the verify_local_bear have been revamped to make it even easier to test your bears and debug your tests.
  • File dictionaries are now given as tuples and are thus not modifiable.
  • A number of new tutorials about bear creation have been written.
  • Bears can now be registered at coala and thus be distributed as own packages.

Notable internal changes:

  • API documentation is now available at
  • coala switched to PyTest. Our old own framework is no longer maintained. (
  • As always loads of refactorings to make the code more stable, readable and beautiful!
  • The main routines for the coala binaries have been refactored for less redundancy. If you are using them to interface to coala directly, please update your scripts accordingly.
  • Loads of new integration tests have been written. We’re keeping our 100% test coverage promise even for all executables now.

coala 0.4.0 - eucalyptus

    88        .o88Oo._
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  8\ | /8    YA                      '*Y8b   __
 8  \|/ 8     YA                        68o68**8Oo.
 8\  Y  8      "8D                       *"'    "Y8o
 8 \ | /8       Y8     'YB                       .8D
8   \|/ /8     '8               d8'             8D
8\   Y / 8       8       d8888b          d      AY
8 \ / /  8       Y,     d888888         d'  _.oP"
8  \|/  8         q.    Y8888P'        d8
8   Y   8          "q.  `Y88P'       d8"
 8  |  8             Y           ,o8P
  8 | 8                    oooo888P"

New features:

  • Auto-apply can be enabled/disabled through the autoapply setting in a coafile.
  • Auto-applied actions print the actual file where something happened.
  • A new bear was added, the GitCommitBear! It allows to check your current commit message at HEAD from git!
  • Filenames of results are now printed relatively to the execution directory. (


coala 0.3.0 - platypus

We are dropping Python 3.2 support (and so PyPy). Also we are removing translations, the default language is English.

This release contains these following feature changes:

  • Auto-apply feature added! Results can directly be processed without user interaction specifying the desired action!
  • A missing coafile that is explicitly wanted through the --config flag throws an error instead of a warning. Only default coafile names (ending with .coafile) raise a warning.
  • Various new bears integrating existing linter tools, e.g. for C/C++, Python, Ruby, JSON and many more!
  • Allow to ignore files inside the coafile.
  • Results can now be stored and tagged with an identifier for accessing them later.
  • OpenEditorAction lets the user edit the real file instead of a temporary one.
  • All usable bears can now be shown with --show-all-bears.
  • Only # is supported for comments in the configuration file syntax.
  • Multiple actions can now be executed on the CLI.
  • Patches can now be shown on the CLI.
  • A coala-format binary was added that allows customized formatting for results to ease integration in other systems.
  • Printing utilities have moved into the PyPrint library.

Bear API changes:

  • A bear can implement check_prerequisites to determine whether it can execute in the current runtime.
  • The PatchResult class was merged into the Result class.

Bear changes:

  • SpaceConsistencyBear offers more verbose and precise information about the problem.

coala 0.2.0 - wombat

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              oooo888P"               `Y         .o8P"

This release features the following feature changes:

  • --find-config flag: Searches for .coafile in all parent directories.
  • Add code clone detection bears and algorithms using CMCD approach.
  • Console color gets properly disabled now for non-supporting platforms (like Windows).
  • coala results can be outputted to JSON format using the coala-json command.
  • Automatically add needed flags to open a new process for some editors.
  • Save backup before applying actions to files.
  • Return nonzero when erroring or yielding results.
  • Write newlines before beginning new sections in coafiles when appropriate.
  • The default_coafile can now be used for arbitrary system-wide settings.
  • coala can now be configured user-wide with a ~/.coarc configuration file.
  • Manually written documentation is now hosted at
  • Changed logging API in Bears (now: debug/warn/err).
  • clang python bindings were added to the bearlib.
  • Exitcodes were organized and documented. (
  • Handling of EOF/Keyboard Interrupt was improved.
  • Console output is now colored.
  • Bears can now easily convert settings to typed lists or dicts.
  • Bears have no setUp/tearDown mechanism anymore.
  • Colons cannot be used for key value separation in configuration files anymore as that clashes with the new dictionary syntax. Use = instead.
  • The --job-count argument was removed for technical reasons. It will be re-added in the near future.
  • A --show-bears parameter was added to get meta information of bears.
  • The coala versioning scheme was changed to comply PEP440.
  • coala --version now gives the version number. A released dev version has the build date appended, 0 for local versions installed from source.
  • A coala-dbus binary will now be installed that spawns up a dbus API for controlling coala. (Linux only.)
  • The StringProcessing library is there to help bear writers deal with regexes and similar things.
  • A new glob syntax was introduced and documented. (
  • The --apply-changes argument was removed as its concept does not fit anymore.
  • Bears can now return any iterable. This makes it possible to yield results.

New bears:

  • ClangCloneDetectionBear
  • LanguageToolBear
  • PyLintBear

Infrastructural changes:

  • Tests are executed with multiple processes.
  • Branch coverage raised to glorious 100%.
  • We switched from Travis CI to CircleCI as Linux CI.
  • AppVeyor (Windows CI) was added.
  • Travis CI was added for Mac OS X.
  • Development releases are automatically done from master and available via pip3 install coala --pre.
  • Rultor is now used exclusively to push on master. Manual pushes to master are no longer allowed to avoid human errors. Rultor deploys translation strings to Zanata and the PyPI package before pushing the fast-forwarded master.

Internal code changes:

  • Uncountable bugfixes.
  • Uncountable refactorings touching the core of coala. Code has never been more beautiful.

We are very happy that 7 people contributed to this release, namely Abdeali Kothari, Mischa Krüger, Udayan Tandon, Fabian Neuschmidt, Ahmed Kamal and Shivani Poddar (sorted by number of commits). Many thanks go to all of those!

coala’s code base has grown sanely to now over 12000 NCLOC with almost half of them being tests.

We are happy to announce that Mischa Krüger is joining the maintainers team of coala.

Furthermore we are happy to announce basic Windows and Mac OS X support. This would not have been possible without Mischa and Abdeali. coala is fully tested against Python 3.3 and 3.4 on Windows and 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 and Pypy3 on Mac while not all builtin bears are tested. coala is also tested against Pypy3 and Python 3.5 beta (in addition to 3.3 and 3.4) on Linux.

coala 0.1.1 alpha

This patch release fixes a major usability issue where data entered into the editor may be lost.

For more info, see release 0.1.0.

coala 0.1.0 alpha

Attention: This release is old and experimental.

coala 0.1 provides basic functionality. It is not feature complete but already useful according to some people.

For information about the purpose of coala please look at the README provided with each source distribution.

Note that this is a prerelease, thus this release will be supported with only important bugfixes for limited time (at least until 0.2.0 is released). Linux is the only supported platform.

Documentation for getting started with coala is provided here:

If you want to write static code analysis routines, please check out this guide:

We love bugs - if you find some, be sure to share them with us: