PEP: Defining Python Source Code Encodings

Roman Suzi rnd at
Wed Jul 18 18:56:42 CEST 2001

On Wed, 18 Jul 2001, M.-A. Lemburg wrote:

>Here's an update of the pre-PEP. After this round of comments, the
>PEP will be checked into CVS (provided Barry assigns a PEP number,
>hi Barry ;-)

>    This PEP proposes to introduce a syntax to declare the encoding of
>    a Python source file. The encoding information is then used by the
>    Python parser to interpret the file using the given encoding. Most
>    notably this enhances the interpretation of Unicode literals in
>    the source code and makes it possible to write Unicode literals
>    using e.g. UTF-8 directly in an Unicode aware editor.

I have not understood: will Unicode encoding be directly allowed or only
ASCII-compatible encodings (like UTF-8)?

>    In Python 2.1, Unicode literals can only be written using the
>    Latin-1 based encoding "unicode-escape". This makes the
>    programming environment rather unfriendly to Python users who live
>    and work in non-Latin-1 locales such as many of the Asian
>    countries. Programmers can write their 8-bit strings using the
>    favourite encoding, but are bound to the "unicode-escape" encoding
>    for Unicode literals.

Isn't it time for better gettext support in Python? Then for i18n-enabled
programs, encodings will belong to .mo, .po or whatever called files...

>Proposed Solution
>    I propose to make the Python source code encoding both visible and
>    changeable on a per-source file basis by using a special comment
>    at the top of the file to declare the encoding.
>    To make Python aware of this encoding declaration a number of
>    concept changes are necessary with repect to the handling of
>    Python source code data.

>    This PEP only affects Python source code which makes use of the
>    proposed magic comment.

>    Without the magic comment in the proposed
>    position, Python will treat the source file as it does currently
>    to maintain backwards compatibility.

This is what I like most. Will optimization be mentioned here?

Sincerely yours, Roman Suzi
_/ Russia _/ Karelia _/ Petrozavodsk _/ rnd at _/
_/ Wednesday, July 18, 2001 _/ Powered by Linux RedHat 6.2 _/
_/ "Hard work never killed anyone, but why chance it?" _/

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