doctest.testfile fails on text files with Windows line endings

Steven D'Aprano steve at
Sat Apr 10 23:16:13 EDT 2010

After converting a text file containing doctests to use Windows line 
endings, I'm getting spurious errors:

ValueError: line 19 of the docstring for examples.txt has inconsistent 
leading whitespace: '\r'

I don't believe that doctest.testfile is documented as requiring Unix 
line endings, and the line endings in the file are okay. I've checked in 
a hex editor, and they are valid \r\n line endings.

In doctest._load_testfile, I find this comment and code:

    # get_data() opens files as 'rb', so one must do the equivalent
    # conversion as universal newlines would do.
    return file_contents.replace(os.linesep, '\n'), filename

which I read as an attempt to normalise line endings in the file to \n.

(But surely this will fail? If you're running, say, Linux or MacOS, 
linesep will already be '\n' not '\r\n', and consequently the replace 
does nothing, any Windows line endings aren't normalised, and doctest 
will choke on the \r characters. It's only useful if running on Windows.)

But the above only occurs when using a package loader. Otherwise, 
_load_testfile executes:

    return open(filename).read(), filename

which doesn't do any line ending normalisation at all.

To my mind, this is a bug in doctest. Does anyone disagree? I think the 
simplest fix is to change it to:

    return open(filename, 'rU').read(), filename



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