This Python error may occur because you are trying to create an array but not importing necessary packages accordingly, or the variable/identifier being accessed has not been defined in the code.
- 1 Case 1: Importation of packages
- 2 Case 2: The identifier being accessed is not defined
Case 1: Importation of packages
Improper importation of Python packages or failing to import the necessary packages altogether can cause this error. For example, attempting to convert the list [1, 5, 6] using the following code snippet will lead to NameError,
c = array([1, 5, 6])
NameError: name 'array' is not defined
To fix this error, we need to import the Python packages and methods correctly.
Solution 1: Using the NumPy package
The array function and all other functions in the NumPy package are accessible under the alias name np in this solution. If you are interested in the array function of NumPy only you can use the following code snippet, instead:
import numpy as np # import package b = np.array([1.1, 2.0, 5.4]) #list to array print(b) #print b print(type(b))
[1.1 2. 5.4] <class 'numpy.ndarray'>
Solution 2: Using the array package as follows
from array import array # import package c = array("i", [1, 5, 6]) #list to array print(c) # print the just created array print(type(c)) # print the data-type
array('i', [1, 5, 6]) <class 'array.array'>
Note: array package requires the data type that the array will hold to be explicitly defined. The “i” string stands for integer. You can read more about array at https://docs.python.org/3/library/array.html.
Case 2: The identifier being accessed is not defined
In this case, you are trying to access a variable, or a function named “array” or otherwise when it has not been defined or has been defined in a different scope. This case captures all other causes of NameError in Python. They include:
a) Calling a function/ variable before it is declared
Python executes a script from top to bottom except for functions. The contents of any function are only executed when the function is called.
print(books) # accessing a variable books = 4 # initializing a variable
NameError: name 'books' is not defined
books_collections() # calling function def books_collections():# declaring function print(books)
NameError: name 'books_collections' is not defined
In the first case, the variable ‘books’ is referred to before it is initialized and the function ‘books_collections’ is called before it is declared in the second case, hence the error.
The NameError created here is equivalent to when we try to access a variable/function that has not been declared at all.
b) Defining a variable out of the scope
The variable defined inside the function is called a local variable and can only be accessed inside the function. In contrast, a variable defined outside a function (global variable) is accessible anywhere in the script after being declared. Referencing a local variable outside the function causes NameError. Here is an example.
rulers = 8 def classroom(): pens = 3 books = 4 # pens, books declared inside function # they are local variables # rulers is declared outside function # it is a global variable print("pens (local): ", pens) print("rulers (global): ", rulers) classroom() print(pens)
pens (local): 3 rulers (global): 8 NameError: name 'pens' is not defined
The last line leads to NameError because the “pens” variable is defined inside the function (local variable) and therefore cannot be accessed as we are trying to do.
c) Misspelled built-in functions
For example, using “power” instead of “pow” to imply exponent leads to NameError.
power(4, 2) # it should be pow(4, 2)