An event which disrupts the normal flow of program is called an exception. Whenever python encounters an exception it raises an exception.

Whenever an exception is raised we have two options

  •     We can handle the exception
  •     The program execution ends

To make programmers life easier python provides something called the try...except...else

Syntax and Example with a little explanation

Declaring multiple exceptions in except

We can use the except clause to declare multiple statements at once.

Syntax

Serialization is a process of converting structured data into a format that can be shared and stored such that it can be recovered to remake structured data. 

Serialization minimizes the memory and bandwidth requirements.

We use pickle to serialize data in python

Syntax and Example

Assertions in Python


An assertion is a sanity-check that you can turn on or turn off when you are done with your testing of the program.

The easiest way to think of an assertion is to liken it to a raise-if statement (or to be more accurate, a raise-if-not statement). An expression is tested, and if the result comes up false, an exception is raised.

Assertions are carried out by the assert statement, the newest keyword to Python, introduced in version 1.5.

Programmers often place assertions at the start of a function to check for valid input, and after a function call to check for valid output. The assert Statement

When it encounters an assert statement, Python evaluates the accompanying expression, which is hopefully true. If the expression is false, Python raises an AssertionError exception.

The syntax for assert is −

assert Expression[, Arguments]

If the assertion fails, Python uses ArgumentExpression as the argument for the AssertionError. AssertionError exceptions can be caught and handled like any other exception using the try-except statement, but if not handled, they will terminate the program and produce a traceback.

Example

Here is a function that converts a temperature from degrees Kelvin to degrees Fahrenheit. Since zero degrees Kelvin is as cold as it gets, the function bails out if it sees a negative temperature −

#!/usr/bin/python
def KelvinToFahrenheit(Temperature):
   assert (Temperature >= 0),"Colder than absolute zero!"
   return ((Temperature-273)*1.8)+32
print KelvinToFahrenheit(273)
print int(KelvinToFahrenheit(505.78))
print KelvinToFahrenheit(-5)

When the above code is executed, it produces the following result −

32.0
451
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "test.py", line 9, in <module>
print KelvinToFahrenheit(-5)
File "test.py", line 4, in KelvinToFahrenheit
assert (Temperature >= 0),"Colder than absolute zero!"
AssertionError: Colder than absolute zero!

What is Exception?


An exception is an event, which occurs during the execution of a program that disrupts the normal flow of the program's instructions. In general, when a Python script encounters a situation that it cannot cope with, it raises an exception. An exception is a Python object that represents an error.

When a Python script raises an exception, it must either handle the exception immediately otherwise it terminates and quits. Handling an exception

If you have some suspicious code that may raise an exception, you can defend your program by placing the suspicious code in a try: block. After the try: block, include an except: statement, followed by a block of code which handles the problem as elegantly as possible. Syntax

Here is simple syntax of try....except...else blocks −

try:
   You do your operations here;
   ......................
except ExceptionI:
   If there is ExceptionI, then execute this block.
except ExceptionII:
   If there is ExceptionII, then execute this block.
   ......................
else:
   If there is no exception then execute this block.

Here are few important points about the above-mentioned syntax −

  • A single try statement can have multiple except statements. This is useful when the try block contains statements that may throw different types of exceptions.

  • You can also provide a generic except clause, which handles any exception.

  • After the except clause(s), you can include an else-clause. The code in the else-block executes if the code in the try: block does not raise an exception.

  • The else-block is a good place for code that does not need the try: block's protection.

Example

This example opens a file, writes content in the, file and comes out gracefully because there is no problem at all −

#!/usr/bin/python
try:
   fh = open("testfile", "w")
   fh.write("This is my test file for exception handling!!")
except IOError:
   print "Error: can\'t find file or read data"
else:
   print "Written content in the file successfully"
   fh.close()

This produces the following result −

Written content in the file successfully

Example

This example tries to open a file where you do not have write permission, so it raises an exception −

#!/usr/bin/python

try:
   fh = open("testfile", "r")
   fh.write("This is my test file for exception handling!!")
except IOError:
   print "Error: can\'t find file or read data"
else:
   print "Written content in the file successfully"

This produces the following result −

Error: can't find file or read data

The except Clause with No Exceptions

You can also use the except statement with no exceptions defined as follows −

try:
   You do your operations here;
   ......................
except:
   If there is any exception, then execute this block.
   ......................
else:
   If there is no exception then execute this block.

This kind of a try-except statement catches all the exceptions that occur. Using this kind of try-except statement is not considered a good programming practice though, because it catches all exceptions but does not make the programmer identify the root cause of the problem that may occur.

Try

The except Clause with Multiple Exceptions

You can also use the same except statement to handle multiple exceptions as follows −

try:
   You do your operations here;
   ......................
except(Exception1[, Exception2[,...ExceptionN]]]):
   If there is any exception from the given exception list,
   then execute this block.
   ......................
else:
   If there is no exception then execute this block.

Try-Finally clause

The code declared in the finally block assumes control immediately after the try block, regardless of whether an exception was raised or not.

When an exception is raised the finally block is executed immediately after the try block. If the exception still exists the control is then ceded to a except clause(if declared).
 

Arguments in an exception

An except clause can also have an argument passed into it. This argument gives additional information about the problem. The content of the argument may vary based on the type of exception that has been raised.

Syntax

try:
   You do your operations here;
   ......................
except ExceptionType, Argument:
   You can print value of Argument here...

The information in the variable generally consists of the error name, error code and error location. In cases where there are multiple exceptions declared for a single except clause the values in the argument are stored in the form of a tuple.

Example

Following is an example for a single exception −

#!/usr/bin/python

# Define a function here.
def temp_convert(var):
   try:
      return int(var)
   except ValueError, Argument:
      print "The argument does not contain numbers\n", Argument
# Call above function here.
temp_convert("xyz");

This produces the following result −

The argument does not contain numbers
invalid literal for int() with base 10: 'xyz'

Raising Exceptions

We can raise exceptions in python using the raise clause. 

Syntax

raise [Exception [, args [, traceback]]]

We use raise clause to raise exceptions that can be called when we deem fit.

The exception raised by this clause is handled by the except clause hence raise clause should be declared only within the try clause.

Example

An exception can be a string, a class or an object. Most of the exceptions that the Python core raises are classes, with an argument that is an instance of the class. Defining new exceptions is quite easy and can be done as follows −

def functionName( level ):
   if level < 1:
      raise "Invalid level!", level
      # The code below to this would not be executed
      # if we raise the exception

Note: In order to catch an exception, an "except" clause must refer to the same exception thrown either class object or simple string. For example, to capture above exception, we must write the except clause as follows −

try:
   Business Logic here...
except "Invalid level!":
   Exception handling here...
else:
   Rest of the code here...

Try

User-Defined Exceptions


In python we can define our own exceptions by inheriting a few classes from standard built-in exceptions.

Syntax and Examples.

class Networkerror(RuntimeError):
   def __init__(self, arg):
      self.args = arg

So once you defined above class, you can raise the exception as follows −

try:
   raise Networkerror("Bad hostname")
except Networkerror,e:
   print e.args