[Python-Dev] deleting setdefaultencoding iin site.py is evil

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at v.loewis.de
Thu Aug 27 10:02:47 CEST 2009

>> One specific problem is dictionaries will stop working correctly if you
>> set the default encoding to anything but ASCII. 
> ...except they haven't.

In your application. Can you please agree that this a semantical problem
that is completely unacceptable for language design?

> Indeed, but this doesn't happen because the app never has a situation
> where strings and unicodes are put in the same dict. However, it does
> have plenty of situations where lists containing a mixture of utf-8
> encoded strings and unicodes exist, where changing the default encoding
> removes a *lot* of pain.

So you should convert all byte strings to UTF-8 before adding them
to the list. Assuming you have used proper encapsulation and
object-oriented design, it shouldn't be too difficult to find, for each
such list, where the places are that modify the list.

> Would anyone object if I added this snippet to the .rst that generates:
> http://docs.python.org/library/sys.html

The snippet explaining the problem? I don't mind, but Raymond is on
record for objecting to any addition of a warning box to the
documentation, because it gives the impression that Python is full of
problems, when many these warnings really refer to boundary cases only.


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