Python's 8-bit cleanness deprecated?

Anders J. Munch andersjm at
Wed Feb 5 11:55:12 CET 2003

"Erik Max Francis" <max at> wrote:
> "Anders J. Munch" wrote:
> > "Roman Suzi" <rnd at> wrote:
> >
> > > I do not necessary agree. Comments are meta-information.
> > 
> > Yes, but source file encoding is not meta-information.  It has direct
> > consequences for program execution.
> This seems to be a definitional issue.  Since when is there a
> prohibition that "metainformation" having consequences for program
> execution?

Source file encoding has direct consequences for program execution.
The shebang and Emacs/vim encoding comments do not.  I might describe
this difference by saying that the shebang og Emacs/vim encoding
comments are meta-information and that for the interpreter to
recognise encoding comments makes it regular information, part of the
Python syntax.  But it's not the word I care about, it's the

Speaking of definitional issues, the term "encoding comment" is
misleading.  It's not a comment: It's a syntactic construct that has a
remarkable similarity to a comment.

- Anders

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