JSONDecodeError: Expecting value: line 1 column 1 (char 0)


I am getting error Expecting value: line 1 column 1 (char 0) when trying to decode JSON.

The URL I use for the API call works fine in the browser, but gives this error when done through a curl request. The following is the code I use for the curl request.

The error happens at return simplejson.loads(response_json)

response_json = self.web_fetch(url)
response_json = response_json.decode('utf-8')
return json.loads(response_json)

def web_fetch(self, url):
    buffer = StringIO()
    curl = pycurl.Curl()
    curl.setopt(curl.URL, url)
    curl.setopt(curl.TIMEOUT, self.timeout)
    curl.setopt(curl.WRITEFUNCTION, buffer.write)
    response = buffer.getvalue().strip()
    return response


File "/Users/nab/Desktop/myenv2/lib/python2.7/site-packages/django/core/handlers/base.py" in get_response
  111.                         response = callback(request, *callback_args, **callback_kwargs)
File "/Users/nab/Desktop/pricestore/pricemodels/views.py" in view_category
  620.     apicall=api.API().search_parts(category_id= str(categoryofpart.api_id), manufacturer = manufacturer, filter = filters, start=(catpage-1)*20, limit=20, sort_by='[["mpn","asc"]]')
File "/Users/nab/Desktop/pricestore/pricemodels/api.py" in search_parts
  176.         return simplejson.loads(response_json)
File "/Users/nab/Desktop/myenv2/lib/python2.7/site-packages/simplejson/__init__.py" in loads
  455.         return _default_decoder.decode(s)
File "/Users/nab/Desktop/myenv2/lib/python2.7/site-packages/simplejson/decoder.py" in decode
  374.         obj, end = self.raw_decode(s)
File "/Users/nab/Desktop/myenv2/lib/python2.7/site-packages/simplejson/decoder.py" in raw_decode
  393.         return self.scan_once(s, idx=_w(s, idx).end())

Exception Type: JSONDecodeError at /pricemodels/2/dir/
Exception Value: Expecting value: line 1 column 1 (char 0)


Your code produced an empty response body, you’d want to check for that or catch the exception raised. It is possible the server responded with a 204 No Content response, or a non-200-range status code was returned (404 Not Found, etc.). Check for this.


  • There is no need to use simplejson library, the same library is included with Python as the json module.

  • There is no need to decode a response from UTF8 to unicode, the simplejson / json .loads() method can handle UTF8 encoded data natively.

  • pycurl has a very archaic API. Unless you have a specific requirement for using it, there are better choices.

Either the requests or httpx offers much friendlier APIs, including JSON support. If you can, replace your call with:

import requests

response = requests.get(url)
response.raise_for_status()  # raises exception when not a 2xx response
if response.status_code != 204:
    return response.json()

Of course, this won’t protect you from a URL that doesn’t comply with HTTP standards; when using arbirary URLs where this is a possibility, check if the server intended to give you JSON by checking the Content-Type header, and for good measure catch the exception:

if (
    response.status_code != 204 and
        return response.json()
    except ValueError:
        # decide how to handle a server that's misbehaving to this extent

Source: StackOverflow.com

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