Is there really a default source encoding?

Alexander Schmolck a.schmolck at
Fri Jan 24 00:05:03 CET 2003

Brian Quinlan <brian at> writes:

> UTF-8 is certainly not "anglo-neutral". It is often prohibitively
> expensive to encode Japanese and Chinese text in UTF-8 (UTF-16 is much
> more popular).

I think you misread ("anglo-neutral" == doesn't bother english speakers ==
ascii upwards compatible).

> > Great. Only are you sure that BOMs are such a great idea?
> I don't really care about how screwed-up Unix Unicode handling is. The

This luxury of indifference is limited to those who limit themselves to
Windows or English.

> > I don't pretend to be a great unicode expert and maybe the above is
> > outdated, flawed, irrelevant or whatever, but it still isn't clear to 
> > me why .py files (with or without BOM) shouldn't just be assumed to 
> > be utf-8 (after the transitory latin-1 period), BOM or no BOM (and my
> > cursory rereading of pep-263 didn't make it clear to me either).
> I wouldn't object to this but I don't see it as a major issue. 

No, it isn't -- a very minor wart at most.


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