Problem with UnicodeError and xml.dom.minidom

Gustaf Liljegren gustafl at
Mon Jun 11 17:08:45 EDT 2001

Paul Prescod <paulp at> wrote:

>Sprinkle some calls to that around your code and even around the library
>code if you have to.

Thanks Paul, I'm closer to the solution now. I found a specific message in 
the mailbox that gives the program trouble. Well, it isn't so specific -- 
it merely has some Swedish characters in the "From:" field...

The idea is to check if the "From:" field contains some of my friend's e-
mails, to sort them out. It looks like this:

for e in myFriend.getEmails():       # Friends often change e-mails...
  if string.find(m.get('from'), e):  # Here's the line that fails!

When I found this message, I could cut it out, and paste it at the 
beginning of the mailbox file, and then provoke same error in Idle. I found 
that the string returned from m.get('from') has some kind of hexadecimal 
escaping for non-ASCII characters ('ä' is represented as '\xe4'), while the 
'e' string containing the e-mail has a 'u' (for Unicode) in front. So that 
explains why there is a problem when comparing them.

So, I wrapped a unicode() function around m.get('from'), but I still have 
this same error: "UnicodeError: ASCII decoding error: ordinal not in 
range(128)". Acctually, all I need to do to get this error is to write:

print unicode(m.get('from'))  # Works fine without unicode() though

Hope this is enough info for someone to solve it. Otherwise, I'd gladly 
share the complete code if you need. But it may be too much for a 


Gustaf Liljegren

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