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MySQLdb Manage Columns

without comments

Sometimes trying to keep a post short and to the point raises other questions. Clearly, my Python-MySQL Program post over the weekend did raise a question. They were extending the query example and encountered this error:

TypeError: range() integer end argument expected, got tuple.

That should be a straight forward error message because of two things. First, the Python built-in range() function manages a range of numbers. Second, the row returned from a cursor is actually a tuple (from relational algebra), and it may contain non-numeric data like strings and dates.

The reader was trying to dynamically navigate the number of columns in a row by using the range() function like this (where row was a row from the cursor or result set):

    for j in range(row):

Naturally, it threw the type mismatch error noted above. As promised, the following Python program fixes that problem. It also builds on the prior example by navigatung an unknown list of columns. Lines 16 through 31 contain the verbose comments and programming logic to dynamically navigate the columns of a row.

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#!/usr/bin/python
 
# Import sys library.
import MySQLdb
import sys
 
try:
  # Create new database connection.
  db = MySQLdb.connect('localhost','student','student','studentdb')
  # Create a result set cursor.
  rs = db.cursor()
  rs.execute("SELECT item_title, item_subtitle, item_rating FROM item")
  # Assign the query results to a local variable.
  for i in range(rs.rowcount):
    row = rs.fetchone()
    # Initialize variable for printing row as a string.
    data = ""
    # Address an indefinite number of columns.
    count = 0
    for j in range(len(row)):
      # Initialize column value as an empty string.
      datum = ""
      # Replace column values when they exist.
      if str(row[count]) != 'None':
        datum = str(row[count])
      # Append a comma when another column follows.
      if count == len(row) - 1:
        data += datum
      else:
        data += datum + ", "
      count += 1
    # Print the formatted row as a string.
    print data
except MySQLdb.Error, e:
  # Print the error.
  print "ERROR %d: %s" % (e.args[0], e.args[1])
  sys.exit(1)
finally:
  # Close the connection when it is open.
  if db:
    db.close()

There are a couple Python programming techniques that could be perceived as tricks. Line 24 checks for a not null value by explicitly casting the column’s value to a string and then comparing its value against the string equivalent for a null. The MySQLdb returns a 'None' string for null values by default. The if-block on lines 27 through 30 ensure commas aren’t appended at the end of a row.

While the for-loop with a range works, I’d recommend you write it as a while-loop because its easier to read for most new Python programmers. You only need to replace line 20 with the following to make the change:

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    while (count < len(row)):

Either approach generates output like:

The Hunt for Red October, Special Collectornulls Edition, PG
Star Wars I, Phantom Menace, PG
Star Wars II, Attack of the Clones, PG
Star Wars II, Attack of the Clones, PG
Star Wars III, Revenge of the Sith, PG-13
The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, PG
RoboCop, , Mature
Pirates of the Caribbean, , Teen
The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Everyone
MarioKart, Double Dash, Everyone
Splinter Cell, Chaos Theory, Teen
Need for Speed, Most Wanted, Everyone
The DaVinci Code, , Teen
Cars, , Everyone
Beau Geste, , PG
I Remember Mama, , NR
Tora! Tora! Tora!, The Attack on Pearl Harbor, G
A Man for All Seasons, , G
Hook, , PG
Around the World in 80 Days, , G
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, , PG
Camelot, , G

As always, I hope this helps those looking for clarity.

Written by maclochlainn

April 13th, 2015 at 10:05 pm

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