AW: [PythonCE] UnicodeDecodeError with print

Michael Foord mike at
Tue Mar 15 09:34:09 CET 2005

Thanks for the reply Sebastian - very helpful. I didn't know about 
``sys.stdout.encoding`` which was part of the missing information. You 
filled in a lot more.

The PDA itself is capable of displaying all sorts of weird and wonderful 
characters - I wonder if it's possible to access this functionality from 
pythonce ? I don't *need* to, I'm only curious.



anne.wangnick at wrote:

>Hello Michael,
>this can happen with "normal" Python as well, try this running python.exe
>The issue is not that you create a unicode object, the issue is that you
>want to print it. On the PC when using IDLE, sys.stdout.encoding is set to
>"cp1252". For file objects, "when Unicode strings are written to a file,
>they will be converted to byte strings using this encoding".
>On the PDA, however, sys.stdout is a built-in module _pcceshell_support.
>Seemingly this module tries to convert unicode objects into strings using
>the "ascii" encoding, and this stumbles on the pound sign.
>Thus, on the PDA, you have to take care of the conversion of unicode objects
>to strings yourself before calling print. For instance:
>	u = u'£'
>	print u.encode("cp1252")
>Now this doesn't fail, but it doesn't print a pound sign as well. But at
>least it seems to do the same as if you had written:
>	print '£'
>[It gets more interesting when the string '£' is contained in a source file.
>Try to put the following into a file using IDLE on the PC, and run it:
>	# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
>	print "£".encode("hex")
>You'll get c2a3. This is because IDLE itself sees the first line of your
>file, and encodes the pound sign as c2a3 when storing the file.
>Or try in a file:
>	# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
>	print [hex(ord(c)) for c in u"£"]
>This time, IDLE stored the pound sign as c2a3 again, but Python also uses
>the magic first line when building the unicode object to convert c2a3 to a
>unicode character.
>When you use Pocket Word, or so, to create a Python source file, it will of
>course not understand your magic first line and bluntly store the pound sign
>as a3. Thus, all of your string literals are actually cp1252-encoded.]
>-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
>Von: pythonce-bounces at [mailto:pythonce-bounces at]Im
>Auftrag von Michael Foord
>Gesendet: Montag, 14. März 2005 13:04
>An: pythonce at
>Betreff: [PythonCE] UnicodeDecodeError with print
>I am wondering if anyone knows the reason as to why :
>print u'£'
>should cause a UnicodeDecodeError on pythonce ? (The usual 'ascii codec
>cannot decode character...' message).
>Obviously the '£' character is a non-ascii character. I am just
>surprised that the print statement is using the ascii encoding at all
>and not just passing the string to sys.stdout.
>The particular reason I ask is that this doesn't happen with 'normal'
>python... but I would like to know how the print statement decodes
>unicode strings it prints. Since it *doesn't* raise an error normally it
>obviously doesn't use defaultencoding - so why does the pyhonce one ?
>Yours curiously,
>PythonCE mailing list
>PythonCE at

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