[Mailman-Users] UnicodeDecodeError: 'ascii' codec can't decode byte

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Wed Mar 21 15:07:04 CET 2007

Steve Burling wrote:

>Almost a year ago, in 
>Mark Sapiro wrote (in response to a question about this error):
>> This error caused the message to be shunted (placed in the shunt
>> queue). You can run bin/unshunt to reprocess the message, but unless
>> you change the character set of the list language first, the error
>> will occur again and the message will be shunted again.
>> To change the character set to e.g. western european, you can put
>> add_language('en',    'English (USA)',       'iso-8859-1')
>> in mm_cfg.py and then do
>> bin/mailmanctl restart
>> followed by
>> bin/unshunt
>Is there any downside to making this change?  I notice that iso-8859-1 is 
>the standard charset for the majority of the languages listed in Defaults.py
>(As you can probably guess, I'm seeing the above error...)

I'm not aware of any real downside, but there may be one I'm not aware

However, that response was to a specific occurrence of this exception
in Decorate.py. If you are seeing this exception with a different
traceback, changing the language character set won't eliminate the

A more common cause of the exception is non-encoded, non-ascii
characters in the message Subject:, and that won't be fixed by this
change. Note that such messages are almost always spam.

Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net>       The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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