unicode and hashlib

Terry Reedy tjreedy at udel.edu
Fri Nov 28 21:03:32 CET 2008

Jeff H wrote:
> hashlib.md5 does not appear to like unicode,
>   UnicodeEncodeError: 'ascii' codec can't encode character u'\xa6' in
> position 1650: ordinal not in range(128)

It is the (default) ascii encoder that does not like non-ascii chars.
I suspect that is you encode to bytes first with an encoder that does 
work (latin-???), md5 will be happy.

Reports like this should include Python version.

> After googling, I've found BDFL and others on Py3K talking about the
> problems of hashing non-bytes (i.e. buffers)
> http://www.mail-archive.com/python-3000@python.org/msg09824.html
> So what is the canonical way to hash unicode?
>  * convert unicode to local
>  * hash in current local
> ???
> but what if local has ordinals outside of 128?
> Is this just a problem for md5 hashes that I would not encounter using
> a different method?  i.e. Should I just use the built-in hash function?
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