Title: IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL should ignore the module name
Type: behavior Stage: committed/rejected
Components: Tests Versions: Python 3.2, Python 2.7
Status: closed Resolution: accepted
Dependencies: Superseder:
Assigned To: ncoghlan Nosy List: Julian.Scheid, barry, benjamin.peterson, georg.brandl, lregebro, maubp, ncoghlan, r.david.murray
Priority: high Keywords: patch

Created on 2009-12-13 11:11 by lregebro, last changed 2010-07-29 03:43 by r.david.murray. This issue is now closed.

File name Uploaded Description Edit
python-trunk-exception-detail.diff lregebro, 2010-01-22 15:09
python-py3k-exception-detail.diff lregebro, 2010-01-22 15:15
Messages (28)
msg96329 - (view) Author: Lennart Regebro (lregebro) Date: 2009-12-13 11:11
In Python 3.x [1] the exception formatting prints the module path, while
under 2.x it prints only the exception class name. This makes it very
tricky to make doctests that pass under both Python 2 and Python 3
without resorting to ugly tricks.

Since IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL was implemented to hide differences
between exception messages in 2.3 and 2.4, it was suggested on
python-dev [2] that IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL should be extended to also
ignore the module name, so that `` and
`ExceptionClass` would match each other. This is easily done by just
changing the regexp that is done for matching.

I'll attach diffs both for trunk and for py3k-branch, so that both forms
can be used on both versions. The diffs include tests and suggested
documentation changes (although I reserve the right to be useless at
writing documentation).

[1] And possibly in some cases under Python 2.7 according to reports in
the thread on python-dev about this issue, although I haven't been able
to confirm this. I'll include a 2.7 diff anyway, as it would be good if
both syntaxes work under both versions, if people start using 3to2, for

msg96366 - (view) Author: Nick Coghlan (ncoghlan) * (Python committer) Date: 2009-12-13 23:33
The only design level question I can see is as follows:

ExceptionName matches ExceptionName (always)
a.b.ExceptionName matches ExceptionName (under IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL)
ExceptionName matches a.b.ExceptionName (under IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL)
a.b.ExceptionName matches x.y.ExceptionName (???)

Should that 4th case still match under IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL? My
personal inclination is that it should match, but figured the point was
worth discussing explicitly.

The main reason I think it should match is that it would allow
reasonably graceful handling of module renames between 2.x and 3.x.
msg96367 - (view) Author: R. David Murray (r.david.murray) * (Python committer) Date: 2009-12-14 01:30
My impression is that IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL is designed to allow you
to have a doctest as an example with a fully typed out exception detail,
but have it pass even if the exception detail changes.  If that is
indeed the original design, then I think your case 4 should pass.]

The one argument against it that I can see is the hypothetical case of
an x.y.Error passing when the code actually raised an a.b.Error when a
rename is *not* involved.  But that seems like a marginal enough case
that we could just ignore it.  Especially since having case 4 pass makes
the behavior of the modified IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL more consistent.
msg96369 - (view) Author: Nick Coghlan (ncoghlan) * (Python committer) Date: 2009-12-14 02:46
Agreed - particularly since that corner case can still be tested through
doctest if desired by using ELLIPSIS instead of IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL.

The patches mostly look good, but the doc changes should be updated to
indicate that using ELLIPSIS doesn't handle the case of mismatched
module names.

E.g. """Note that :const:`ELLIPSIS` can also be used to ignore the
details of the exception message, but such a test may still fail based
on whether or not the module details are printed as part of the
exception name. Using :const:`IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL` is also the only
clear way to write a doctest that doesn't care about the exception
detail yet continues to pass under Python releases prior to 2.4 (doctest
directives appear to be comments to them)."""
msg96370 - (view) Author: Lennart Regebro (lregebro) Date: 2009-12-14 07:33
Yes, x.y.Exception and a.b.Exception should match. I just realized I
didn't add an explicit test for that, but maybe that's not strictly
msg96439 - (view) Author: Barry A. Warsaw (barry) * (Python committer) Date: 2009-12-15 13:43
@Lennart: yes, I do think you should add a test for that case.  I
haven't yet decided whether this should go into 2.6.
msg98147 - (view) Author: Lennart Regebro (lregebro) Date: 2010-01-22 15:09
New diff for trunk, with the additional test
msg98149 - (view) Author: Lennart Regebro (lregebro) Date: 2010-01-22 15:15
New diff for Py3k with the additional test
msg103191 - (view) Author: Julian Scheid (Julian.Scheid) Date: 2010-04-15 10:53
Having this in 2.6/2.7 would be great.

I don't think the ELLIPSIS workaround suggested by Barry works, have you actually tried it?

Below is an example where ELLIPSIS doesn't seem to help (run in 2.6.5).  I have also tried "...Error:" and "...:", and tried replacing ". . ." by "...", to no avail.

I'm assuming this has to do with issue #1192554, or am I making a silly mistake?

Otherwise, are there any other workarounds you can suggest?

Without ellipsis the following example works in 2.6 but of course fails in 3.x.

Failed example:
    Redacted.from_str('1-7@') #doctest: +ELLIPSIS
    Traceback (most recent call last):
      . . .
    ...ParserError: <message redacted>:
    expected digit
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    ParserError: <message redacted>:
    expected digit
msg103194 - (view) Author: Lennart Regebro (lregebro) Date: 2010-04-15 11:00
The ellipsis doesn't work, because when you have an ellipsis at the beginning of the message, doctest will not understand that it's supposed to be an Exception, so it doesn't even try to match exceptions, and it will therefore always fail.
msg103195 - (view) Author: Julian Scheid (Julian.Scheid) Date: 2010-04-15 11:00
Here's a better example that you can cut and paste.

import optparse

def foo():
    >>> foo() #doctest: +ELLIPSIS
    Traceback (most recent call last):
          . . .
    ...OptionError: option bar: foo
    raise optparse.OptionError('foo', 'bar')

if __name__ == "__main__":
    import doctest
msg103196 - (view) Author: Julian Scheid (Julian.Scheid) Date: 2010-04-15 11:01
Ah, right... so there is no easy workaround at present?
msg103197 - (view) Author: Lennart Regebro (lregebro) Date: 2010-04-15 11:06
Sure: Catch the exception in the test, and fail if it isn't catched.

>>> try:
...     do_something_that_raises_exception()
...     raise Assertionerror("Exception Blah was not raised")
... except Blah:
...     pass

Ugly, yes, but easy. To make it less ugly you can make a "assertRaises()" like the one that exists on standard unit tests and call that. Not so ugly.
msg103198 - (view) Author: Julian Scheid (Julian.Scheid) Date: 2010-04-15 11:26
Thank you for the suggestion but in my mind that's not a viable workaround, and not just because of uglyness:  I'm using doctest to validate code examples, which are included in the documentation and are meant to be educational.  If I'd change my examples to match the pattern you suggest they might still serve their purpose as a test but they'd become useless as an example.

So it appears there is no real workaround for this issue.  Any chance we can get the patch into 2.7?

By the way, I said earlier that Barry suggested the ELLIPSIS workaround but it was actually ncoghlan who did so - apologies for the confusion.
msg103199 - (view) Author: Julian Scheid (Julian.Scheid) Date: 2010-04-15 11:35
Hmm, wait.  Here's a variation of your suggestion that works OK-ish even as an example:

>>> try:
...    # ... code that fails ...
... except mypkg.MyException, e:
...    print(str(e))
Expected error message.

This works because it omits the exception type in the output.

It's still far from ideal, because as an example it's more complicated than it would need to be, but I guess it works as a stop-gap solution.

Still, +1 for including the patch.
msg103211 - (view) Author: Nick Coghlan (ncoghlan) * (Python committer) Date: 2010-04-15 13:59
The corner case I was talking about was the one where you actually *want* the old, more restrictive behaviour (i.e. you specifically want to receive 'x.y.Exception' and receiving 'a.b.Exception' instead should fail), but still want to ignore the details of the exception string representation.

With this change in place, that corner case could be handled fairly easily by using the ELLIPSIS option instead of IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL (or else mandating the exception details as well the type).

This change trips my "feature" meter, so it's probably too late for 2.7 (adding Benjamin to confirm), but definitely a good candidate for 3.2 later in the year.
msg103216 - (view) Author: R. David Murray (r.david.murray) * (Python committer) Date: 2010-04-15 14:09
I think this one is worth making an exception for, since it would mean that a project could have 3.x doctests that also work with 2.7, whereas if we leave it out of 2.7 the doctests have to stay in 2.x format even if the project has (at some future point) dropped support for all earlier versions of 2.x.  (Unless 3to2 can reformat Exceptions in doctest output?)
msg103217 - (view) Author: Lennart Regebro (lregebro) Date: 2010-04-15 14:20
It's not possible for 2to3 to reformat exceptions, as the formatting would need to go from TheException to themodule.TheException, and there is no way to figure out the module name...
msg103218 - (view) Author: Nick Coghlan (ncoghlan) * (Python committer) Date: 2010-04-15 14:21
With a little more thought, I'm actually keen on including it as well (although the docs still need a bit more tweaking). The 2.x/3.x compatibility point is a good one.

If Benjamin OKs it, I'll include this in the list of things I want to get to for beta2 (said list seems to be getting longer rather than shorter, but...)
msg103222 - (view) Author: R. David Murray (r.david.murray) * (Python committer) Date: 2010-04-15 15:18
@Lennart: no, in that direction (2.7 to 3.x) there's less of a problem.  You leave the module name off in the doctest, and have 2to3 add the IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL to the doctest during translation.

I was looking at the farther future case, where a project has moved to 3.x, but is still supporting 2.7 by using *3to2*.  3to2 could theoretically peel off the IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL and the module name, but I know that 2to3 doesn't touch the *output* of doctests, so I'm thinking that 3to2 probably doesn't either.  (Maybe it could, for the limited case of Exceptions, but that seems like a big enough project to motivate including this patch in 2.7.)
msg103223 - (view) Author: Lennart Regebro (lregebro) Date: 2010-04-15 15:24
Sure, but +IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL will only work on Python 3.2+, so 2to3 can't solve the issue. It can only help once 3.2 does the actual solving. ;)

3to2 could simply remove the module name from exceptions in the output. You don't need to touch IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL for that.
msg103229 - (view) Author: R. David Murray (r.david.murray) * (Python committer) Date: 2010-04-15 16:44
By that logic, 2to3 can't solve anything.  I don't think there's any question that this patch should be applied to 3.2.  3.1 might be an issue as it is a new feature, but maybe we can claim it is a bug fix :)

As for 3to2, like I said I don't think 3to2 touches doctest *output*, so removing the module name would be require the addition of a whole new feature (IIUC).
msg103253 - (view) Author: Benjamin Peterson (benjamin.peterson) * (Python committer) Date: 2010-04-15 20:49
2010/4/15 Nick Coghlan <>:
> Nick Coghlan <> added the comment:
> With a little more thought, I'm actually keen on including it as well (although the docs still need a bit more tweaking). The 2.x/3.x compatibility point is a good one.
> If Benjamin OKs it, I'll include this in the list of things I want to get to for beta2 (said list seems to be getting longer rather than shorter, but...)

I'm ok with it if you or someone else takes care of it.
msg104432 - (view) Author: Nick Coghlan (ncoghlan) * (Python committer) Date: 2010-04-28 14:31
Committed for 2.7 in r80578

I'll forward port to 3.2 at some point after the next 2.7 beta is out.
msg107654 - (view) Author: Nick Coghlan (ncoghlan) * (Python committer) Date: 2010-06-12 13:48
And done for 3.2 in r81944 (that checkin included a correction to the docs example which I backported to 2.7 in r81945)
msg111807 - (view) Author: Peter (maubp) Date: 2010-07-28 13:40
I take it the IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL should ignore the module name
fix will not be applied to Python 3.1.x?

Is there a separate bug to enhance 2to3 to turn IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL
msg111865 - (view) Author: Nick Coghlan (ncoghlan) * (Python committer) Date: 2010-07-28 22:25
On Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 11:40 PM, Peter <> wrote:
> Peter <> added the comment:
> I take it the IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL should ignore the module name
> fix will not be applied to Python 3.1.x?

Correct (it's a new feature rather than a bug fix)

> Is there a separate bug to enhance 2to3 to turn IGNORE_EXCEPTION_DETAIL
> on?

That would be a separate request, but I'm not sure it is even feasible
(doctests live inside strings, so I believe 2to3 has trouble fixing
them - otherwise we would just get it to handle the exception renaming
directly). Feel free to post an RFE though - the 2to3 folks can take a
look at it.
msg111888 - (view) Author: R. David Murray (r.david.murray) * (Python committer) Date: 2010-07-29 03:43
2to3 can convert doctests, it just can't convert the *output* portion of doctests. because they are arbitrary strings and not syntactically valid Python code.  Since turning on this flag would require recognizing something in the output portion of the doctest (which 2to3 doesn't handle), it can't be turned on by 2to3.

On the other hand, it seems like it wouldn't be too hard to write a special purpose script to handle this specific case...since I don't know 2to3, I don't know how hard it would be to integrate such a special purpose script.  (I do remember Benjamin saying 2to3 really ought to have a plugin my guess is the answer is "not too easy").

In any case, as Nick said, that would be a separate RFE, and will likely get nowhere without someone volunteering to write the script/patch.
Date User Action Args
2013-12-20 18:16:05r.david.murraylinkissue20036 superseder
2010-07-29 03:43:53r.david.murraysetmessages: + msg111888
2010-07-28 22:25:25ncoghlansetmessages: + msg111865
2010-07-28 13:40:41maubpsetnosy: + maubp
messages: + msg111807
2010-06-12 13:48:46ncoghlansetstatus: pending -> closed

messages: + msg107654
2010-04-28 14:31:14ncoghlansetstatus: open -> pending
resolution: accepted
messages: + msg104432

stage: patch review -> committed/rejected
2010-04-16 14:04:28ncoghlansetassignee: ncoghlan
2010-04-15 20:49:34benjamin.petersonsetmessages: + msg103253
2010-04-15 16:44:49r.david.murraysetmessages: + msg103229
2010-04-15 15:24:08lregebrosetmessages: + msg103223
2010-04-15 15:18:30r.david.murraysetmessages: + msg103222
2010-04-15 14:21:49ncoghlansetmessages: + msg103218
2010-04-15 14:20:09lregebrosetmessages: + msg103217
2010-04-15 14:09:40r.david.murraysetmessages: + msg103216
2010-04-15 13:59:08ncoghlansetnosy: + benjamin.peterson

messages: + msg103211
versions: + Python 3.2, - Python 3.1
2010-04-15 11:35:54Julian.Scheidsetmessages: + msg103199
2010-04-15 11:26:04Julian.Scheidsetmessages: + msg103198
2010-04-15 11:06:50lregebrosetmessages: + msg103197
2010-04-15 11:01:54Julian.Scheidsetmessages: + msg103196
2010-04-15 11:00:56Julian.Scheidsetmessages: + msg103195
2010-04-15 11:00:26lregebrosetmessages: + msg103194
2010-04-15 10:53:36Julian.Scheidsetnosy: + Julian.Scheid
messages: + msg103191
2010-04-05 11:59:43georg.brandlsetnosy: + georg.brandl
2010-01-22 15:15:43lregebrosetfiles: + python-py3k-exception-detail.diff

messages: + msg98149
2010-01-22 15:09:10lregebrosetfiles: + python-trunk-exception-detail.diff

messages: + msg98147
2010-01-22 15:08:39lregebrosetfiles: - python-py3k-exception-detail.diff
2010-01-22 15:08:34lregebrosetfiles: - python-trunk-exception-detail.diff
2009-12-15 13:43:19barrysetnosy: + barry
messages: + msg96439
2009-12-14 07:33:17lregebrosetmessages: + msg96370
2009-12-14 02:46:53ncoghlansetmessages: + msg96369
2009-12-14 01:30:14r.david.murraysetnosy: + r.david.murray
messages: + msg96367
2009-12-13 23:33:49ncoghlansetmessages: + msg96366
2009-12-13 23:27:52ncoghlansetnosy: + ncoghlan
2009-12-13 14:24:04r.david.murraysetpriority: high
stage: patch review
2009-12-13 11:12:13lregebrosetfiles: + python-trunk-exception-detail.diff
2009-12-13 11:11:41lregebrocreate