Title: col_offset is -1 and lineno is wrong for multiline string expressions
Type: enhancement Stage: patch review
Components: Interpreter Core Versions: Python 3.8, Python 3.7
Status: open Resolution:
Dependencies: Superseder:
Assigned To: Nosy List: Aivar.Annamaa, Anthony Sottile, asottile, benjamin.peterson,, inada.naoki, karamanolev, terry.reedy
Priority: normal Keywords: patch

Created on 2012-12-29 00:08 by, last changed 2019-01-13 04:50 by Anthony Sottile.

File name Uploaded Description Edit
issue16806.diff, 2012-12-29 10:59 Test case and patch resolving the issue review
python2.7.3.diff, 2012-12-30 21:25 Patch for Python 2.7.3
Pull Requests
URL Status Linked Edit
PR 1800 lukasz.langa, 2017-05-25 02:29
PR 10021 merged Anthony Sottile, 2018-10-21 01:08
Messages (14)
msg178444 - (view) Author: Carsten Klein ( Date: 2012-12-29 00:08
Given an input module such as

class klass(object):
    """multi line comment
    continued on this line

    """single line comment"""

    Another multi

and implementing a custom ast.NodeVisitor such as

import as

class CustomVisitor(ast.NodeVisitor):

    def visit_ClassDef(self, node):

        for childNode in node.body:


    def visit_Expr(self, node):


and feeding it the compiled ast from the module above

f = open('./')
source =
node = ast.parse(source, mode = 'exec')
visitor = CustomVisitor()

should yield -1/-1 for the docstring that is the first
child node expression of the classdef body.

it will, however, yield the correct col_offset of 4/4 for
the single line docstring following the first one.

the multi line docstring following that will again
yield a -1/-1 col_offset.

It believe that this behaviour is not correct and instead
the col_offset should be 4 for both the expression node
and its str value.
msg178445 - (view) Author: Carsten Klein ( Date: 2012-12-29 00:10
Please note that, regardless of the indent level, the col_offset for multi line str expressions will always be -1.
msg178452 - (view) Author: Carsten Klein ( Date: 2012-12-29 01:08
In addition, the reported lineno will be set to the last line of the multi line string instead of the first line where parsing the parse began parsing the string.
msg178483 - (view) Author: Carsten Klein ( Date: 2012-12-29 10:50
Please see the attached patch that will resolve the issue. It also includes a test case in

What the patch does is as follows:

- tok_state is extended by two fields, namely first_lineno
  and multi_line_start

- first_lineno will be set by tok_get as soon as the beginning
  of a STRING is detected and it will be set to the current line

- multi_line_start is the beginning of the first line of a string

- in parsetok we now distinguish between STRING nodes and other
  nodes. in case of STRING nodes, we will use the values of the
  above fields for determining the actual lineno and the col_offset,
  otherwise tok->col_offset and tok->lineno will be used when
  creating the token.

The included test case ensures that the col_offset and lineno of
multi line strings is calculated correctly.
msg178614 - (view) Author: Carsten Klein ( Date: 2012-12-30 21:25
I have created a patch for Python 2.7.3 that fixes the issue for that release, too.
msg179096 - (view) Author: Terry J. Reedy (terry.reedy) * (Python committer) Date: 2013-01-05 01:24
If this is really an 'enhancement', it will only go in 3.4. If it is a bug/behavior issue, then it should be marked as such and 2.7,3.2,3.3 selected. I have not read the doc and messages well enough to know, so I leave that to you and Benjamin.

The patch includes a test. It needs a patch to Misc/ACKS to add Carsten Klein between Reid Kleckner and Bastian Kleineidam
msg179097 - (view) Author: Benjamin Peterson (benjamin.peterson) * (Python committer) Date: 2013-01-05 01:27
I left comments on Rietveld a few days ago.
msg235448 - (view) Author: Anthony Sottile (asottile) * Date: 2015-02-05 19:30
Any updates on this? I'm running into this as well (still a problem in 3.4)

```$ python3.4
Python 3.4.2 (default, Oct 11 2014, 17:59:27) 
[GCC 4.4.3] on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import ast
>>> ast.parse("""'''foo\n'''""").body[0].value.col_offset
msg294339 - (view) Author: Ivailo Karamanolev (karamanolev) Date: 2017-05-24 09:41
What's the status on this? Anything preventing it getting fixed? Still the same in 3.6.1:

>>> import ast
>>> ast.parse("""'''foo\n'''""").body[0].value.col_offset
msg298016 - (view) Author: Anthony Sottile (Anthony Sottile) * Date: 2017-07-10 01:05
pypy seems to have this right (though I don't know enough about their internals to know if cpython can benefit from their patch)

$ venvpypy/bin/pythonPython 2.7.10 (3260adbeba4a, Apr 19 2016, 17:42:20)
[PyPy 5.1.0 with GCC 4.8.4] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>>> import ast, astpretty
>>>> astpretty.pprint(ast.parse('"""\n"""'))
            value=Str(lineno=1, col_offset=0, s='\n'),
msg313126 - (view) Author: Anthony Sottile (Anthony Sottile) * Date: 2018-03-02 04:18
Still a problem in 3.7:

$ python3.7
Python 3.7.0b2 (default, Feb 28 2018, 06:59:18) 
[GCC 5.4.0 20160609] on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import ast
>>> ast.parse("""x = '''foo\n'''""").body[-1].value
<_ast.Str object at 0x7fcde6898358>
>>> ast.parse("""x = '''foo\n'''""").body[-1].value.col_offset
msg333537 - (view) Author: Inada Naoki (inada.naoki) * (Python committer) Date: 2019-01-13 04:04
Should we backport this to 3.7?
AST changes including bugfix affects existing software unexpectedly.
msg333538 - (view) Author: Inada Naoki (inada.naoki) * (Python committer) Date: 2019-01-13 04:05
New changeset 995d9b92979768125ced4da3a56f755bcdf80f6e by INADA Naoki (Anthony Sottile) in branch 'master':
bpo-16806: Fix `lineno` and `col_offset` for multi-line string tokens (GH-10021)
msg333544 - (view) Author: Anthony Sottile (Anthony Sottile) * Date: 2019-01-13 04:50
I agree -- probably safer to not backport to 3.7 in case someone is relying on this behaviour.
Date User Action Args
2019-01-13 04:50:03Anthony Sottilesetmessages: + msg333544
2019-01-13 04:05:22inada.naokisetmessages: + msg333538
2019-01-13 04:04:52inada.naokisetnosy: + inada.naoki
messages: + msg333537
2019-01-13 04:01:33inada.naokisetversions: - Python 3.6
2018-10-21 01:08:41Anthony Sottilesetpull_requests: + pull_request9361
2018-03-02 04:18:50Anthony Sottilesetmessages: + msg313126
versions: + Python 3.6, Python 3.7, Python 3.8, - Python 3.4
2017-07-10 01:05:41Anthony Sottilesetnosy: + Anthony Sottile
messages: + msg298016
2017-05-25 02:29:35lukasz.langasetpull_requests: + pull_request1890
2017-05-24 09:41:10karamanolevsetnosy: + karamanolev
messages: + msg294339
2015-11-16 15:24:15serhiy.storchakalinkissue24623 superseder
2015-02-05 19:30:51asottilesetmessages: + msg235448
2015-02-05 19:27:28asottilesetnosy: + asottile
2014-04-18 11:02:30Aivar.Annamaasetnosy: + Aivar.Annamaa
2013-07-06 16:51:43brett.cannonlinkissue18370 superseder
2013-01-05 01:27:46benjamin.petersonsetmessages: + msg179097
2013-01-05 01:24:07terry.reedysetnosy: + terry.reedy

messages: + msg179096
stage: patch review
2012-12-31 21:15:26benjamin.petersonsetnosy: + benjamin.peterson
2012-12-30 21:25:46carsten.klein@axn-software.desetfiles: + python2.7.3.diff

messages: + msg178614
2012-12-29 10:59:55carsten.klein@axn-software.desetfiles: + issue16806.diff
2012-12-29 10:59:17carsten.klein@axn-software.desetfiles: - issue1680.diff
2012-12-29 10:56:30carsten.klein@axn-software.desettitle: col_offset is -1 for multiline string expressions resembling docstrings -> col_offset is -1 and lineno is wrong for multiline string expressions
2012-12-29 10:50:56carsten.klein@axn-software.desetfiles: + issue1680.diff
keywords: + patch
messages: + msg178483
2012-12-29 01:08:42carsten.klein@axn-software.desetmessages: + msg178452
2012-12-29 00:10:11carsten.klein@axn-software.desetmessages: + msg178445
2012-12-29 00:08:22carsten.klein@axn-software.decreate