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On investigating I found that this was because the venv (created by pipenv) did not have the checkers pylint in my case installed as it was targeted as a minimal deliverable environment that was going to be built into windows executables.

Two possible solutions were found:

  1. pip install the checker into the venv *this was considered undesirable as it was "polluting" the build environment
  2. Modify the checker command to replace ${WING:PYTHON} with a command to run the system python at the same version as the venv used but with the checker installed.

The second option was selected but the user needs to be aware of a couple of potential "gotchas":

  1. You need to make sure that it is the same python as the venv
  2. You obviously need the checker installed in that python but also need to make sure that all of the other libraries provided in the venv are present and at the same version.
  3. When you add imports to the project files that are installed in your checker python but not in the venv then the checker is not going to complain and point this out to you.