Siggen (Socorro signature generator) v0.2.0 released!

Note: This is an old post in a blog with a lot of posts. The world has changed, technologies have changed, and I've changed. It's likely this is out of date and not representative. Let me know if you think this is something that needs updating.


Siggen (sig-gen) is a Socorro-style signature generator extracted from Socorro and packaged with pretty bows and wrapping paper in a Python library. Siggen generates Socorro-style signatures from your crash data making it easier for you to bucket your crash data using the same buckets that Socorro uses.

The story

Back in June of 2017, the signature generation code was deeply embedded in Socorro's processor. I spent a couple of weeks extracting it and adding tooling so as to:

  1. make it easier for others to make and test signature generation changes

  2. make it easier for me to review signature generation changes

  3. make it easier to experiment with algorithm changes and understand how it affects existing signatures

  4. make it easier for other groups to use with their crash data

I wrote a blog post about extracting signature generation. That project went really well and as a result, we've made many big changes to signature generation with full confidence about how they would affect things. I claim this was a big success.

The fourth item in that list was a "hope", but wasn't meaningfully true. While it was theoretically possible, because while the code was in its own Python module, it was still all tied up with the rest of Socorro and effectively impossible for other people to use.

A year passed....

Early this summer, Will Lachance took on Ben Wu as an intern to look at Telemetry crash ping data. One of the things Ben wanted to do was generate Socorro-style signatures from the data. Then we could do analysis on crash ping data using Telemetry tools and then do deep dives on specific crashes in Socorro.

I forked the Socorro signature generation code and created Siggen and released it on PyPI. Ben and I fixed some really rough edges and did a few releases. We documented parts of signature generation that had never been documented before.

Ben wrote some symbolication code to convert the frames to symbols, then ran that through Siggen to generate a Socorro style signature. That's in fix-crash-sig. He did some great things with his internship project!

So then I had this problem where I had two very different versions of Socorro's signature generation code. I did several passes at unifying the two versions and fixing both sides so the code worked inside of Socorro as well as outside of Socorro. It was effectively a rewrite of the code.

The result of that work is Siggen v0.2.0.


Siggen can be installed using pip:

$ pip install siggen

Siggen comes with two command line tools.

You can generate a signature from crash data on Socorro given crashids:

$ signature <CRASHID> [<CRASHID> ...]

This is the same as doing socorro-cmd signature in the Socorro local development environment.

You can also generate a signature from crash data in JSON format:

$ signify <JSONFILE>

You can use it as a library in your Python code:

from siggen.generator import SignatureGenerator

generator = SignatureGenerator()

crash_data = {

ret = generator.generate(crash_data)

The schema is "documented" in the README which can be viewed online at

There's more Siggen documentation in the README though that's one area where this project is sort of lacking. There's also more documentation about the signature generation algorithm in the Socorro docs on signature generation.

What's the future of this library

This is alpha-quality software. It's possible the command line tools and API bits will change as people use it and issues pop up. Having said that, it's in use in a couple of places now, so it probably won't change much.

Some people want different kinds of signature generation. That's cool--this neither helps nor hinders that.

This doesn't solve everyone's Socorro signature generation problems, but I think it gives us a starting point for some of them and it was a doable first step.

Some people want to produce Socorro-style signatures from their crash data. This will help with that. Unless you need the code in some other language in which case this is probably not helpful.

I wrote some tools to update Siggen from changes in Socorro. That was how I built v0.2.0. I think that worked well and it's pretty easy to do, so I plan to keep this going for a while.

If you use this library, please tell me where you're using it. That's how I'll know it's being used and that the time and effort to maintain it are worth while. Even better, add a star in GitHub so I have a list of you all and can contact you later. Plus it's a (terrible) indicator of library popularity.

If no one uses this library or if no one tells me (I can't tell the difference), then I'll probably stop maintaining it.

If there's interest in this algorithm, but implemented with a different language, please let me know. I'm interested in helping to build a version in Rust. Possibly other languages.

If there's interest in throwing a webapp with an API around this, chime in with specifics in [bug 828452].

Hopefully this helps. If so, let me know! If not, let me know!

Want to comment? Send an email to willkg at bluesock dot org. Include the url for the blog entry in your comment so I have some context as to what you're talking about.