AttributeError: 'str' object has no attribute 'cursor'

After the method getAuthorDetials() runs 10 times, I get the following error:
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "make.py", line 421, in ?
  ... (no problem here)
  File "make.py", line 398, in makeCategoryArticles
    f = f + '<h4>Written by '+ article.getAuthorDetails()[0] + '</h4>'
  File "make.py", line 69, in getAuthorDetails
    acursor = db.cursor()
AttributeError: 'str' object has no attribute 'cursor'

**** What's going wrong? How do I fix it?

def getAuthorDetails(self):
        db = connectToDb()
        acursor = db.cursor()
        acursor.execute("select * from authors where author_id='"+
                       str(self.author_id) + "\'")
        # there should only be one row, so no need to worry about looping      
        row = acursor.fetchone()
        first_name    = row[1]
        last_name     = row[2]
        fullname      = first_name +" "+ last_name
        position      = row[3]
        email         = row[4]
        passwd        = row[5]
        article_count = row[6]
        biography     = row[7]
        portrait      = row[8]
        # return tuple of details                                              
        return (fullname, position, email, passwd, article_count, biography,
                portrait,)


def connectToDb(host="localhost", user="user", passwd="pass",
                    dbname="dbn"):
        try:
            thedb = MySQLdb.connect(host, user, passwd, dbname)
            return thedb
        except:
            print "custom db ERROR message"
            return "ERROR"
UltrakapyAsked:
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cjjcliffordConnect With a Mentor Commented:
btw, take care, the DB connections/cursors are not being closed in the code you posted... (wrap the work with a try...finally, and close the connection in the finally block)
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cjjcliffordCommented:
it could be that "connectToDb()" is returning "ERROR", which is not checked for in the calling loop - rather than returning "ERROR" raise an exception, or swallow the exception and "return None", checking the return value before using the DB Connection.

basically, connectToDb() can be replaced with:

def connectToDb(host="localhost", user="user", passwd="pass",
                    dbname="dbn"):
    return MySQLdb.connect( host, user, passwd, dbname )

and its usage then becomes:

def getAuthorDetails(self):
        try:
            db = connectToDb()
        except:
            print 'Failed to connect to DB....'
            return None

        acursor = db.cursor()
        acursor.execute("select * from authors where author_id='"+
                       str(self.author_id) + "\'")
        # there should only be one row, so no need to worry about looping      
        row = acursor.fetchone()
        first_name    = row[1]
        last_name     = row[2]
        fullname      = first_name +" "+ last_name
        position      = row[3]
        email         = row[4]
        passwd        = row[5]
        article_count = row[6]
        biography     = row[7]
        portrait      = row[8]
        # return tuple of details                                              
        return (fullname, position, email, passwd, article_count, biography,
                portrait,)
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UltrakapyAuthor Commented:
Thanks! The problem was because I didn't close the db connections!
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cjjcliffordCommented:
thanks for the points - I'd say the two are related, the exception was getting raised after a while as connections were not being closed, your application ran out of connections, thus raising the exception, thus returning the string, which does not have the "cursor" attribute...
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