e-nouri e-nouri - 3 months ago 28x
Python Question

How to raise an exception in the init method for a CPython module

I am writing a

extension on top of a library that was written in
and I couldn't find a solution on how to raise an exception in the
method. So, I split it up and, basically, the constructor will save the attributes to the object and then you have to call an init method

I find this method a bit ugly, and I want to find a solution to raise a
exception in the constructor, here is my current code:

static int libzihc_MRLoader_init(libzihc_MRLoader *self, PyObject *args, PyObject *kwds) {
double error_rate;
const char *in;
unsigned int capacity;

static char *kwlist[] = {"in", NULL};
if (!PyArg_ParseTupleAndKeywords(args, kwds, "s", kwlist, &in)) {
return -1;
if (self->dataPath) {
self->dataPath = malloc(sizeof(char)*(strlen(in)+1));
if (self->dataPath) {
strcpy(self->dataPath, in);
} else {
return 0;

And the added initialize method like so:

static PyObject* initialize(libzihc_MRLoader *self, PyObject *args, PyObject *kwds) {
const char * msgError = NULL;
int status = openRes(self->dataPath, &(self->ienaKey), &msgError);

if(status != 0) {
PyErr_SetString(PyExc_ValueError, msgError);
printf("openRes returns %d\n", status);
return (PyObject *) NULL;
return Py_BuildValue("i", status);

From the
doc, if you want the interpreter to raise the exception you need to call one of the methods used to raise an exception in my case I use
PyErr_SetString(PyExc_ValueError, msgError)
, and return

In this case the init method in
have to be
static int
, so I cannot return
, I did, however, remove the
statement, I saw the exception in
, but the interpreter did not stop.

How can I achieve this ?

Jim Jim

You should return a negative value in libzihc_MRLoader_init, usually -1 for Python to catch it, search if an exception is set and end execution. At least, that's what type_call checks for after calling an objects __init__ method:

    type = obj->ob_type;
    if (PyType_HasFeature(type, Py_TPFLAGS_HAVE_CLASS) &&
        type->tp_init != NULL &&
        type->tp_init(obj, args, kwds) < 0) {  // if res < 0 returns NULL
        obj = NULL;

So, in your specific case, you can move the code from initialize in libzihc_MRLoader_init and, if an error has occurred, return -1 instead of null to signal it.