TypeError: ‘str’ object is not callable

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

This is a common TypeError that you will come across in Python, it is actually easy to diagnose how it occurred.

To start off we need to understand “str” is a function in python, and it converts any value into a string.

As a result , because it is a function your ability to call it has limitations.

So in essence it has parenthesis () beside it, and allows parameters to be passed to it.

So lets first look at how the string function works:

x = str("10")
y = 10

print(type(x))
print(type(y))
print(x)
print(y)

With output:
<class 'str'>
<class 'int'>
10
10

As you will see the above the value 10, on its own is an integer, but when you call the string function, it now becomes a string.

For this reason this , calling a string function , completes a conversion to string of ten, but what if the variable is called str?

Lets take an example below from an input:

str = input("what year where you born?")
print(str(str))

Output:

what year where you born?2021
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "str obj is not callable.py", line 2, in <module>
    print(str(str))
TypeError: 'str' object is not callable

Process finished with exit code 1

The reason for this error above , is that we have named the variable “str”.

As can be seen the programme is trying to use the first str in the print statement as a function.

As we know by now string variables are not callable.

Accordingly the function str() which the programme is trying to run, fails with the TypeError identified.

For this reason to fix this problem we would change the variable called str to “year”, the error then disappears.

The updated code will work as when calling str(), it is not conflicted with a variable name.

year = input("what year where you born?")
print(str(year))

Output:
"str obj is not callable.py"
what year where you born?2021
2021

Process finished with exit code 0

So to summarise:

  • Strings are not callable
  • Don’t name a variable as str, or any function name, these are reserved words by the system.
  • Functions are callable, strings are not.

TypeError object of type ‘int’ has no len()

I have seen this data type error come up numerous times while working on my data analytics projects, and recently decided to investigate further. On initial inspection, it can seem a bit of a funny one, but in actual fact, it is quite straight forward.

Lets break it down and see what is going on

So in the below code, there are a number of things:

On line 1 we have a variable that is an integer. If we think about this logically, something that is a single numeric number cannot have a length.

An integer by design is purely to count up a number of apples or no of people, it cannot be viewed as having a length as it is descriptive of the number of occurrences of an object.

data = 100
print(type(data))
print(len(data))

Output Error:
<class 'int'>
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "object of type int.py", line 3, in <module>
    print(len(data))
TypeError: object of type 'int' has no len()

So for it to in anyway allow a length to be calculated, the object needs to be one of the following data types:

  • List
  • String
  • Tuple
  • Dictionary

Opposite to an integer, these are datatypes that have values that would be more appropriate to having values that a length can be calculated on.

data = "100"
print(type(data))
print("Length of string is: ", len(data))

data = [100,200,300]
print(type(data))
print("Length of list is: ", len(data))

data = (100,200,300)
print(type(data))
print("Length of tuple is: ", len(data))

data = {"Age": 1, "Name": 2}
print(type(data))
print("Length of dictionary is: ", len(data))

And the output is:
<class 'str'>
Length of string is:  3
<class 'list'>
Length of list is:  3
<class 'tuple'>
Length of tuple is:  3
<class 'dict'>
Length of dictionary is:  2

In summary, to understand this error and fix it:

An integer describes the number of things that exist for an object, they are actually not the actual object in existence.

Anything that can have a length method applied to it actually exists and can be counted. In the above four examples, they are actually values that you could describe as existing as you can count each one of them.

The explanation here hopefully clears up the matter, if you have any questions leave a comment and I will answer for you!

raise an exception in python

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

In a computer programme, there is a lot of different moving parts, that the programmer has created themselves.

And depending on the sophistication of the code written exceptions can occur, usually no one has an understanding of what they mean!

So we have established problems can occur, what next?

As part of the process of building out the logic , knowledge will lie with the computer programmer.

In this case the errors that they know about and programme for, may not always be understood by everyone.

If the computer programme does not explain them correctly, frequently it can lead to long hours trying to figure out the problem.

This is usually because the error message they code to explain the problem, may not always be designed with ease of understandability.

It must be remembered:

  • Not all errors may be known when the programme was developed.
  • Some error messages can be generated automatically, not on the request of the programmer.

Step into the frame, the ability to create your own error messages with understandable explanations.

Good programmers have a lot of traits that makes what they develop so powerful.

Surprisingly it is the simple things can be missed, but based on time and budget, generic error messages may be needed, certainly not ideal though.

With that in mind lets look at the following code:

def checkvalue():
    try:
        integervalues = input("Type something to test this out: ")
        if integervalue != "55" and integervalue.isdecimal():
            raise ValueError
        elif integervalue.isalpha():
            raise TypeError
        else:
            print("55 entered correctly")
    except ValueError:
        raise ValueError("Integervalue needs to be fifty five")
    except TypeError:
        raise TypeError("Number needs to be entered")
    finally:
        print("All checks completed")


checkvalue()
It returns:
NameError: name 'integervalue' is not defined

The problem is that the variable used has a misspelling.

Luckily we can easily see that the variable “integervalue” is misspelt with an extra “s”, however removing that will fix the issue.

In the light of that say we took the above code, without the try and except:

from distlib.compat import raw_input
def checkvalue():
    integervalue =raw_input("Type something to test this out: ")

    if integervalue == int(55):
        print("success")
    else:
        print("integervalue needs to be a fifty five")


checkvalue()
It returns:
Type something to test this out: aa
integervalue needs to be a fifty five

In essence, both do the same thing, above all the first piece of code allows for better customization.

This allows us to test for specific types of errors, resulting in more specific error trapping like:

  • Value Error
  • Type Error

The above two are just examples you can use for built in exceptions coded to trap errors.

But what if we want to create our own exception list?

The simple way around this is to build your own class that has the errors you need to capture.

Then you reference that class in the try/except and bingo, there you have it.

In order to achieve this, the first step is to build classes with the errors you want to catch:

class ValueTooSmall(Exception):
    """Raised when the input value is too small"""
    pass
class ValueLength(Exception):
    """Raised when the value entered is empty"""
    pass
class ValueAlphabetic(Exception):
    """Raised when the value is alphabetic"""
    pass

Then create a function that will hold all the try except logic to check for the errors

try:
        integervalue = input("Type something to test this out: ") # Creates a string here
        if len(integervalue) == 0:
            raise ValueLength
        elif integervalue.isalpha():
            raise ValueAlphabetic
        elif int(integervalue) != 55 and int(integervalue) < 10: # converting to integer to allow comparison
            raise ValueTooSmall
        elif int(integervalue) != 55 and int(integervalue) > 10: # converting to integer to allow comparison
            raise ValueError
        else:
            print("55 entered correctly")
    except ValueError:
        raise ValueError("Integervalue needs to be fifty five")
    except TypeError:
        raise TypeError("Number needs to be entered")
    except ValueTooSmall:
        raise ValueTooSmall("Number needs to be greater than 10")
    except ValueLength:
        raise ValueLength("Number needs to be entered, can't be empty")
    except ValueAlphabetic:
        raise ValueAlphabetic("You cannot enter an alphabetic value")
    finally:

Putting it all together

class ValueTooSmall(Exception):
    """Raised when the input value is too small"""
    pass
class ValueLength(Exception):
    """Raised when the value entered is empty"""
    pass
class ValueAlphabetic(Exception):
    """Raised when the value is alphabetic"""
    pass

def checkvalue():
    try:
        integervalue = input("Type something to test this out: ") # Creates a string here
        if len(integervalue) == 0:
            raise ValueLength
        elif integervalue.isalpha():
            raise ValueAlphabetic
        elif int(integervalue) != 55 and int(integervalue) < 10: # converting to integer to allow comparison
            raise ValueTooSmall
        elif int(integervalue) != 55 and int(integervalue) > 10: # converting to integer to allow comparison
            raise ValueError
        else:
            print("55 entered correctly")
    except ValueError:
        raise ValueError("Integervalue needs to be fifty five")
    except TypeError:
        raise TypeError("Number needs to be entered")
    except ValueTooSmall:
        raise ValueTooSmall("Number needs to be greater than 10")
    except ValueLength:
        raise ValueLength("Number needs to be entered, can't be empty")
    except ValueAlphabetic:
        raise ValueAlphabetic("You cannot enter an alphabetic value")
    finally:
        print("All checks completed")


checkvalue()

You will notice that the Classes we created are referenced within the code to call the exact exception we are looking to capture.

For this reason what are the benefits of approaching it this way:

  • You can capture exceptions tailored to the code you are writing.
  • Controls can easily be created and implemented so that specific errors with your data can be flagged straight away.
  • If you are going to be looking to catch the same exceptions in numerous places, this methodology will help to implement a better structure to handle those.
  • You can start to build a centralised repository of centralized exceptions and how to handle them.
  • All contributors to your project know how to raise an exception in python , you do not get multiple different v.

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