byte count unicode string

Gabriel Genellina gagsl-py at
Thu Sep 21 01:59:38 CEST 2006

At Wednesday 20/9/2006 19:53, willie wrote:

>What is the proper way to describe "ustr" below?
>  >>> ustr = buf.decode('UTF-8')
>  >>> type(ustr)
><type 'unicode'>
>Is it a "unicode object that contains a UTF-8 encoded
>string object?"

ustr is an unicode object. Period. An unicode object contains 
characters (not bytes).
buf, apparently, is a string - a string of bytes. Those bytes 
apparently represent some unicode characters encoded using the UTF-8 
encoding. So, you can decode them -using the decode() method- to get 
the unicode object.

Very roughly, the difference is like that of an integer and its 
w = 1
x = 0x0001
y = 001
z = struct.unpack('>h','\x00\x01')
All three objects are the *same* integer, 1.
There is no way of knowing *how* the integer was spelled, i.e., from 
which representation it comes from - like the unicode object, it has 
no "encoding" by itself.
You can go back and forth between an integer number and its decimal 
representation - like astring.decode() and ustring.encode()

Gabriel Genellina
Softlab SRL 

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