cannot create PyString with non-byte value

03selee's Avatar


16 Sep, 2022 02:57 PM

Hello, I am a student who is learning node box in school class.

I was copying the tutorial, but the phrase 'cannot create PyString with non-byte value' keeps popping up.

I don't know where the hell it went wrong.

I tried reinstalling the program, but I couldn't solve the problem.
I checked with another computer that I have, and the same error occurs here.

I'm using a window.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by john on 17 Sep, 2022 12:37 AM

    john's Avatar

    I'm sorry you are having this problem. You are not the first Windows user to experience this issue.

    Previous cases were fixed by reinstalling Nodebox. I know you've done that once, but please try again. Be sure you use the latest version:

    Windows users can download the new version by going to the download page or clicking this link:

    The new version will show as 3.0.53 for Windows users. Mac users are not affected by this. Mac users can continue to use the current Mac 3.0.52 version.

    Give that a try and let me know either way.

    Good luck!


  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by john on 17 Sep, 2022 01:09 AM

    john's Avatar

    A followup. Here is a comment I made in an earlier case:

    I also did some more research on the Nodebox forum and found a few other similar reports over the years. This problem only occurs on Windows systems, and seems to happen to people who may have unicode characters in the user directory of their file path (Russian, Chinese, Portuguese, etc.). Yet other Windows users, even with unicode characters in their names, are able to run the exact same file with no issues.

    So it seems like there is some subtle bug in the Windows version of NodeBox interacting with something unusual in your particular file system.

    Looking out on the web I found other references to this error. Apparently it relates to a known issue in Jython (the Java-based version of Python used by NodeBox) involving unicode characters, often Chinese characters. But there seems to be no easy fixes.

    If you have access to some other machine, you could try repeating your tutorial on that machine and see if you have better luck. In one similar case Frederik suggested moving Nodebox up to the C: level to eliminate unicode file path issues, but that didn't work for one user. You could also try installing a previous version of NodeBox (again a long shot).

    This is frustrating. I'm sorry you are having this issue. I wish there was more I could do.

  3. 3 Posted by 03selee on 17 Sep, 2022 03:42 AM

    03selee's Avatar

    I downloaded the version you sent me, but the error keeps coming up. Is there any other way?

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by john on 17 Sep, 2022 08:43 AM

    john's Avatar

    I'm sorry, but I don't see an easy fix for this problem.

    It seems to be rare - most users do not encounter it. Because it involves interactions with your particular file system it would be very hard to debug remotely. You can try moving Nodebox to the C: level as Frederik suggested or rename your files or anything else in your file path to eliminate unicode characters, but those are all long shots.

    One solution - which may not be practical - is to gain access to a different machine, maybe borrowing a friend's PC or using one at a school or library. Maybe a partition on your machine with a clean install of Windows. If you can find one, Macs do not experience this issue.

    I am adding Frederik (the inventor of Nodebox) to this thread in case he has anything to add. But as I said in my followup this problem seems to lie beyond Nodebox itself so there is little we can do. Removing your current copy of Nodebox completely and then reinstalling is the only thing that has worked in past cases, but apparently every user is different.

    I find this almost as frustrating as you do. I hate to see new Nodebox users stymied before they can even begin. If you do find a solution of some kind, please let us know.


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