curses fails when calling addch on the bottom right corner

I am starting to learn curses in Python. I am using Python 3.5 on Mac OS X. When I try to write in the bottom-right corner, the program crashes with the following error:

$ python
  File "", line 19, in do_curses
    screen.addch(mlines, mcols, 'c')
  _curses.error: add_wch() returned ERR

The example program is:

import curses

def do_curses(screen):

    (line, col) = 12, 0
    screen.addstr(line, col, "Hello world!")
    line += 1
    screen.addstr(line, col, "Hello world!", curses.A_REVERSE)

    screen.addch(0, 0, "c")

    (mlines, mcols) = screen.getmaxyx()
    mlines -= 1
    mcols -= 1
    screen.addch(mlines, mcols, 'c')

    while True:
        event = screen.getch()
        if event == ord("q"):

if __name__ == "__main__":

I have a feeling that I’m missing something obvious, but I don’t know what.


That is expected behavior (a quirk) because addch attempts to wrap to the next line after adding a character. There is a comment in lib_addch.c dealing with this:

 * The _WRAPPED flag is useful only for telling an application that we've just
 * wrapped the cursor.  We don't do anything with this flag except set it when
 * wrapping, and clear it whenever we move the cursor.  If we try to wrap at
 * the lower-right corner of a window, we cannot move the cursor (since that
 * wouldn't be legal).  So we return an error (which is what SVr4 does).
 * Unlike SVr4, we can successfully add a character to the lower-right corner
 * (Solaris 2.6 does this also, however).