On Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 3:47 PM, Chris Barker - NOAA Federal <chris.barker@noaa.gov> wrote:

>> Presumably you're getting byte strings (with  unknown encoding.
> No -- thus is for creating and using mostly ascii string data with python and numpy.
> Unknown encoding bytes belong in byte arrays -- they are not text.

You are welcome to try to convince Thomas of that. That is the status quo for him, but he is finding that difficult to work with.

> I DO recommend Latin-1 As a default encoding ONLY for  "mostly ascii, with a few extra characters" data. With all the sloppiness over the years, there are way to many files like that.

That sloppiness that you mention is precisely the "unknown encoding" problem. Your previous advocacy has also touched on using latin-1 to decode existing files with unknown encodings as well. If you want to advocate for using latin-1 only for the creation of new data, maybe stop talking about existing files? :-)

> Note: the primary use-case I have in mind is working with ascii text in numpy arrays efficiently-- folks have called for that. All I'm saying is use Latin-1 instead of ascii -- that buys you some useful extra characters.

For that use case, the alternative in play isn't ASCII, it's UTF-8, which buys you a whole bunch of useful extra characters. ;-)

There are several use cases being brought forth here. Some involve file reading, some involve file writing, and some involve in-memory manipulation. Whatever change we make is going to impinge somehow on all of the use cases. If all we do is add a latin-1 dtype for people to use to create new in-memory data, then someone is going to use it to read existing data in unknown or ambiguous encodings.

Robert Kern