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Python variable not defined

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While working with a programming example for my students, I ran into an interesting run-time error when I changed their approach to importing Python’s random module. Here’s the raised error message:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 84, in <module>
    speed = [choice([-2,2]), choice([-2,2])]
NameError: name 'choice' is not defined

You raise the missing choice identifier when two things occur. The first thing requires you to use a standard import statement, like the following example, and the second thing requires you to continue to reference the identifier as “choice“.

import random

You can avoid the error by making the import of random like this:

from random import *

Or, you can leave the ordinary import statement and fully qualify the choice identifier with the random module name, like this:

    speed = [random.choice([-2,2]), random.choice([-2,2])]

As always, I hope this helps those who encounter a similar problem.

Written by maclochlainn

March 27th, 2017 at 12:23 am