urllib attribute error

Feb 6, 2024 ยท 2 min read

The urllib module in Python provides useful functions for fetching data from the web. However, you may encounter confusing errors like "attribute error" when using urllib. Here are some common reasons and solutions for these errors.

Missing Attribute on urllib Module

Sometimes you may get an error like:

AttributeError: module 'urllib' has no attribute 'urlopen'

This happens because you have imported urllib instead of urllib.request. The urlopen function actually lives in the request submodule.

So instead import:

import urllib.request

And use:

urllib.request.urlopen(url)

Invalid URL String

Another attribute error can occur if you pass an invalid URL:

AttributeError: 'NoneType' object has no attribute 'read'

This happens because urlopen() returns None if the URL is invalid or malformed. Double check that the URL string is formatted properly before passing it to urlopen().

Handling Redirects

Sometimes a URL will redirect to another location. To handle this automatically, use:

from urllib.request import urlopen, HTTPError, URLError

try:
    response = urlopen(url)
except HTTPError as e: 
    print('Error code: ', e.code)
except URLError as e:
    print('Reason: ', e.reason)
else:
    # URL opened successfully, process response
    print(response.read())

The key is structuring your code to handle redirects and errors gracefully when working with urllib.

I hope these examples help explain some common "attribute errors" and how to avoid them when using urllib in Python! Let me know if any part needs more explanation.

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