[Python-Dev] PEP 263 -- Python Source Code Encoding
Tue, 26 Feb 2002 21:15:40 +0100
Guido van Rossum wrote:
> > """
> > Python will default to Latin-1 as standard encoding if no other
> > encoding hints are given.
> > """
> I missed this. Why not default to ASCII like any decent programming
> language does in the absence of an explicit encoding?
Jack had the same question. The simple answer is: we need this
in order to maintain backward compatibility when we move to
phase two of the implementation.
Here's the longer one:
ASCII is the standard encoding for Python keywords and identifiers.
There is no standard source code encoding for string literals.
Unicode literals are interpreted using 'unicode-escape' which
is an enhanced Latin-1 with escape semantics.
This makes Latin-1 the right choice:
* Unicode literals already use it today
* As soon as we get to phase two of the implementation,
8-bit string literals will be have to make the round trip
raw binary -> Unicode -> raw binary and this only works
if you make Latin-1 the default.
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