"convert" string to bytes without changing data (encoding)

Prasad, Ramit ramit.prasad at jpmorgan.com
Thu Mar 29 19:36:34 CEST 2012

> > Technically, ASCII goes up to 256 but they are not A-z letters.
> >
> Technically, ASCII is 7-bit, so it goes up to 127.

> No, ASCII only defines 0-127.  Values >=128 are not ASCII.
> >From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASCII:
>   ASCII includes definitions for 128 characters: 33 are non-printing
>   control characters (now mostly obsolete) that affect how text and
>   space is processed and 95 printable characters, including the space
>   (which is considered an invisible graphic).

Doh! I was mistaking extended ASCII for ASCII. Thanks for the


Ramit Prasad | JPMorgan Chase Investment Bank | Currencies Technology
712 Main Street | Houston, TX 77002
work phone: 713 - 216 - 5423


> -----Original Message-----
> From: python-list-bounces+ramit.prasad=jpmorgan.com at python.org
> [mailto:python-list-bounces+ramit.prasad=jpmorgan.com at python.org] On
> Behalf Of MRAB
> Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 2:50 PM
> To: python-list at python.org
> Subject: Re: "convert" string to bytes without changing data (encoding)
> On 28/03/2012 20:02, Prasad, Ramit wrote:
> >>  >The right way to convert bytes to strings, and vice versa, is via
> >>  >encoding and decoding operations.
> >>
> >>  If you want to dictate to the original poster the correct way to do
> >>  things then you don't need to do anything more that.  You don't need
> to
> >>  pretend like Chris Angelico that there's isn't a direct mapping from
> >>  the his Python 3 implementation's internal respresentation of strings
> >>  to bytes in order to label what he's asking for as being "silly".
> >
> > It might be technically possible to recreate internal implementation,
> > or get the byte data. That does not mean it will make any sense or
> > be understood in a meaningful manner. I think Ian summarized it
> > very well:
> >
> >>You can't generally just "deal with the ascii portions" without
> >>knowing something about the encoding.  Say you encounter a byte
> >>greater than 127.  Is it a single non-ASCII character, or is it the
> >>leading byte of a multi-byte character?  If the next character is less
> >>than 127, is it an ASCII character, or a continuation of the previous
> >>character?  For UTF-8 you could safely assume ASCII, but without
> >>knowing the encoding, there is no way to be sure.  If you just assume
> >>it's ASCII and manipulate it as such, you could be messing up
> >>non-ASCII characters.
> >
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