# Python function to hash a python function

I'm working on a sort of distributed build system. The system allows execution of snippets of scripts as build steps. I need to be able to hash these snippets of code in a way that comments and doc strings don't affect the hash. I'm getting part way there by using the ast module to parse the code, then doing an ast.dump and hashing the resulting string. The natural next step for me is to clear the first Expr(str()) node in the body of every FunctionDef node.

This is the best solution I've found so far.

Is there a better way to solve this problem?

import ast
import hashlib
import inspect

def _remove_docstring(node):
'''
Removes all the doc strings in a FunctionDef or ClassDef as node.
Arguments:
node (ast.FunctionDef or ast.ClassDef): The node whose docstrings to
remove.
'''
if not (isinstance(node, ast.FunctionDef) or
isinstance(node, ast.ClassDef)):
return

if len(node.body) != 0:
docstr = node.body[0]
if isinstance(docstr, ast.Expr) and isinstance(docstr.value, ast.Str):
node.body.pop(0)

#-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
def hash_function(func):
'''
Produces a hash for the code in the given function.
Arguments:
func (types.FunctionObject): The function to produce a hash for
'''
func_str = inspect.getsource(func)
module = ast.parse(func_str)

assert len(module.body) == 1 and isinstance(module.body[0], ast.FunctionDef)

# Clear function name so it doesn't affect the hash
func_node = module.body[0]
func_node.name = ""

# Clear all the doc strings
for node in ast.walk(module):
_remove_docstring(node)

# Convert the ast to a string for hashing
ast_str = ast.dump(module, annotate_fields=False)

# Produce the hash
fhash = hashlib.sha256(ast_str)
result = fhash.hexdigest()
return result

#-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
# Function 1
def test(blah):
'This is a test'
class Test(object):
'''
My test class
'''
print blah
def sub_function(foo):
'''arg'''
print hash_function(test)

#-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
# Function 2
def test2(blah):
'This is a test'
class Test(object):
'''
My test class
'''
print blah
def sub_function(foo):
'''arg meh'''
print hash_function(test2)

• What about a function with closure? – dhu Apr 24 '18 at 16:43
• ---I think you should use RegEx for this.--- Look into building a parse tree that is valid for all Python statements. You'll find a good many other uses for it besides this, I wager. – Hosch250 Apr 24 '18 at 17:31
• In my opinion, RegExes are only good for quick find-replace. It's better to avoid them in programs. – Solomon Ucko Apr 24 '18 at 18:00
• @dhu are you asking whether this will work for closures? I've tested it with functions within functions and classes within functions and it seems to work fine. – Luke Apr 25 '18 at 7:08
• @Hosch250 I don't think it's a good idea to build another parser when python comes with a module already that already parses python perfectly. I would see this as over complicating the solution. – Luke Apr 25 '18 at 7:09

Looking at the source code for ast.get_docstring your code more or less does what it does. Here is their code for reference:

def get_docstring(node, clean=True):
"""
Return the docstring for the given node or None if no docstring can
be found.  If the node provided does not have docstrings a TypeError
will be raised.
"""
if not isinstance(node, (AsyncFunctionDef, FunctionDef, ClassDef, Module)):
raise TypeError("%r can't have docstrings" % node.__class__.__name__)
if not(node.body and isinstance(node.body[0], Expr)):
return
node = node.body[0].value
if isinstance(node, Str):
text = node.s
elif isinstance(node, Constant) and isinstance(node.value, str):
text = node.value
else:
return
if clean:
import inspect
text = inspect.cleandoc(text)
return text


A couple of the things they mention are only a concern for Python 3+ like AsyncFunctionDef. Also, it seems Constant is a grammar rule introduced in Python 3+. (However, you may want to account for this in the future.)

You seem to be also removing docstrings from ClassDef, I am not one hundred percent sure, but you may also want to add Module as well.

There is also a ast.NodeTransformer. However, I find it rather weird stylistically compared to your current method of looping. So... I'm not confident in making any comments about whether you should be using it or not. Nevertheless, I'm putting it out there so you are aware in case you weren't.

• thanks for this. Yes I wrote it for python 2.7. Any suggestions for making it work with both? I included ClassDef because it's possible to define a class inside of a function, but I don't think its possible to declare a new module inside of a function which is why I left it out. I did try with ast.NodeTransformer and ast.NodeVisitor, but both seemed to be a few more lines of code and more difficult to read. – Luke Apr 25 '18 at 7:24