Fixing the “module ‘mistune’ has no attribute ‘blockgrammar'” Error in Python

When working with the popular Mistune markdown parsing library in Python, you may encounter the frustrating error:

"AttributeError: module 'mistune' has no attribute 'blockgrammar'"

This attribute error occurs due to significant breaking changes between Mistune versions. This comprehensive guide will explain the cause of this issue and walk through different solutions to resolve it.

Overview of the Issue

The core reasons for the “no attribute ‘blockgrammar'” error include:

  • Using an older version of Mistune that has the blockgrammar attribute
  • Upgrading to Mistune 2.0.0 or above which removed some attributes like blockgrammar
  • Having code that still tries to reference the now-removed blockgrammar attribute

We’ll explore these causes in more detail throughout the article. The main solutions involve:

  • Upgrading any Mistune 1.x code by migrating to the new 2.x syntax
  • Pinning to Mistune 1.x if migrating old code is not feasible
  • Modifying the code not directly to access the blockgrammar attribute

We’ll walk through all of these resolution options with code examples. Let’s dive in and conquer this confusing error!

Typical Cause 1: Using Old Mistune 1.x Code

The blockgrammer attribute was available in Mistune prior to version 2.0.0. For example:

import mistune

# Mistune 1.x
markdown = mistune.Markdown()
grammar = mistune.blockgrammar

This would allow accessing blockgrammar without issues.

However, when you upgrade to Mistune 2.0.0 or higher, the blockgrammar attribute is no longer present, hence the error.

Typical Cause 2: Upgrading to Mistune 2.0.0

Many users encounter the “no attribute ‘blockgrammar'” error after upgrading from an older Mistune 1.x release to the modern 2.x versions:

pip install mistune         # Upgrades to latest 2.x

This will break any code that still tries to reference blockgrammar like:

import mistune

grammar = mistune.blockgrammar # AttributeError!

So the issue arises from the major syntax changes between Mistune 1.x and 2.x after upgrading.

Typical Cause 3: Referencing Removed Attribute

The root cause is code that tries to directly access the blockgrammar attribute which no longer exists in Mistune 2.0.0+.

For example, this snippet would error:

import mistune

# Raises AttributeError 
grammar = mistune.blockgrammar  

The key is understanding why your code needs to access blockgrammar and how that can be achieved in modern Mistune versions.

Solution 1: Migrate Code to Mistune 2.x Syntax

The recommended solution is to migrate your Mistune 1.x code to the new 2.x syntax.

While time-consuming, this will ensure compatibility with current Mistune versions and avoid the blockgrammar issue.

Here is an overview of key differences in 2.x:

  • Markdown class replaced by create_markdown() function
  • blockgrammar attribute removed
  • New plugin system for extensions
  • Lots of parsing changes

Refer to the official Mistune 2.0 release notes for detailed migration guidance.

Adapting your code may require some trial and error. But doing the upgrade work resolves the root cause of the AttributeError by moving away from the obsolete blockgrammar attribute entirely.

Solution 2: Pin Mistune Version

If migrating old code to the latest syntax is not feasible, an alternative is to pin your Mistune version dependency to 1.x.

In your Python package requirements, specify a maximum version to avoid accidental upgrades:


This will install Mistune 1.x so blockgrammer remains available.

However, pinning versions is not ideal, as you miss out on Mistune improvements and bug fixes. But it at least lets existing code continue working.

Solution 3: Modify Code to Avoid Direct Attribute Access

Sometimes it may not be possible to upgrade Mistune versions or your codebase for reasons outside your control.

In these cases, you can modify the code to avoid directly accessing the blockgrammar attribute.

For example:

import mistune

# Wrap in try/except
    grammar = mistune.blockgrammar
except AttributeError:
    grammar = None

# Or check hasattr first
if hasattr(mistune, 'blockgrammar'):
    grammar = mistune.blockgrammar
    grammar = None  

This makes the code resilient to Mistune versions where blockgrammer does not exist.

While not as clean, it’s a workaround that avoids wholesale upgrades.

Key Takeaways and Lessons Learned

Here are some key lessons on avoiding “no attribute” errors:

  • Always check release notes when upgrading dependencies
  • Watch for breaking changes between versions
  • Favor official migration guides over quick upgrades
  • Validate code still works after upgrading packages
  • Limit direct access to attributes when possible
  • Know how to pin versions as a fallback

And for the blockgrammar issue specifically:

  • blockgrammar was removed in Mistune 2.0.0
  • Upgrade old code to new 2.x syntax
  • Or pin to Mistune < 2.0.0
  • Avoid directly accessing blockgrammar

With these lessons in mind, you can troubleshoot and fix similar “module X has no attribute Y” errors!

Summary of Fixes

To recap, you can resolve the "module 'mistune' has no attribute 'blockgrammar'" error by:

  1. Migrating any Mistune 1.x code to the 2.0.0+ syntax
  2. Pinning your Mistune version dependency to < 2.0.0
  3. Modifying code to avoid directly accessing the blockgrammar attribute

Implementing one of these solutions will ensure your Python code runs smoothly with modern

Mistune versions.


The “module ‘mistune’ has no attribute ‘blockgrammar'” AttributeError is caused by major syntax changes between Mistune versions 1.x and 2.x.

Upgrading code, pinning Mistune versions, and avoiding direct attribute access provide ways to fix programs still relying on the now-removed blockgrammar attribute.

Carefully tracking release notes, validating upgrades, and learning migration best practices helps avoid and troubleshoot similar issues when packages introduce breaking changes.

Now you have a guide to solving the confusing “blockgrammar attribute error” in Python and continuing using the Mistune markdown library without interruptions!

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