Rory Rory - 11 days ago 7
Python Question

Parse a .py file, read the AST, modify it, then write back the modified source code

I want to programmatically edit python source code. Basically I want to read a

.py
file, generate the AST, and then write back the modified python source code (i.e. another
.py
file).

There are ways to parse/compile python source code using standard python modules, such as
ast
or
compiler
. However, I don't think any of them support ways to modify the source code (e.g. delete this function declaration) and then write back the modifying python source code.

UPDATE: The reason I want to do this is I'd like to write a Mutation testing library for python, mostly by deleting statements / expressions, rerunning tests and seeing what breaks.

Answer

Pythoscope does this to the test cases it automatically generates as does the 2to3 tool for python 2.6 (it converts python 2.x source into python 3.x source).

Both these tools uses the lib2to3 library which is a implementation of the python parser/compiler machinery that can preserve comments in source when it's round tripped from source -> AST -> source.

The rope project may meet your needs if you want to do more refactoring like transforms.

The ast module is your other option, and there's an older example of how to "unparse" syntax trees back into code (using the parser module). But the ast module is more useful when doing an AST transform on code that is then transformed into a code object.

The redbaron project also may be a good fit (ht Xavier Combelle)

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