Why am I seeing "TypeError: string indices must be integers"?


Question

I'm playing with both learning python and trying to get github issues into a readable form. Using the advice on How can I convert JSON to CSV? I came up with this:

import json
import csv

f=open('issues.json')
data = json.load(f)
f.close()

f=open("issues.csv","wb+")
csv_file=csv.writer(f)

csv_file.writerow(["gravatar_id","position","number","votes","created_at","comments","body","title","updated_at","html_url","user","labels","state"])

for item in data:
        csv_file.writerow([item["gravatar_id"], item["position"], item["number"], item["votes"], item["created_at"], item["comments"], item["body"], item["title"], item["updated_at"], item["html_url"], item["user"], item["labels"], item["state"]])

Where "issues.json" is the json file containing my github issues. When I try to run that, I get

File "foo.py", line 14, in <module>
csv_file.writerow([item["gravatar_id"], item["position"], item["number"], item["votes"], item["created_at"], item["comments"], item["body"], item["title"], item["updated_at"], item["html_url"], item["user"], item["labels"], item["state"]])

TypeError: string indices must be integers

What am I missing here? Which are the "string indices"? I'm sure that once I get this working I'll have more issues, but for now , I'd just love for this to work!

UPDATE: When I tweak the for statement to simply

for item in data:
    print item

what I get is ... "issues" -- so I'm doing something more basic wrong. Here's a bit of my json:

{"issues":[{"gravatar_id":"44230311a3dcd684b6c5f81bf2ec9f60","position":2.0,"number":263,"votes":0,"created_at":"2010/09/17 16:06:50 -0700","comments":11,"body":"Add missing paging (Older>>) links...

when I print data it looks like it is getting munged really oddly:

{u'issues': [{u'body': u'Add missing paging (Older>>) lin...
1
158
5/23/2017 12:17:55 PM

Accepted Answer

item is most likely a string in your code; the string indices are the ones in the square brackets, e.g., gravatar_id. So I'd first check your data variable to see what you received there; I guess that data is a list of strings (or at least a list containing at least one string) while it should be a list of dictionaries.

87
5/20/2011 9:16:53 PM

The variable item is a string. An index looks like this:

>>> mystring = 'helloworld'
>>> print mystring[0]
'h'

The above example uses the 0 index of the string to refer to the first character.

Strings can't have string indices (like dictionaries can). So this won't work:

>>> mystring = 'helloworld'
>>> print mystring['stringindex']
TypeError: string indices must be integers

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