[PythonCE] Unicode default encoding

Jeffrey Barish jeff_barish at earthlink.net
Thu Mar 2 03:46:50 CET 2006

> Luke Dunstan wrote:
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "Jeffrey Barish" <jeff_barish at earthlink.net>
>> To: <pythonce at python.org>
>> Sent: Friday, February 24, 2006 11:03 AM
>> Subject: [PythonCE] Unicode default encoding
>>> What is the correct way to set PythonCE's default Unicode encoding?  My
>>> reading (Python in a Nutshell) indicates that I am supposed to make a 
>>> change to site.py, but there doesn't seem to be a site.py in
>>> PythonCE.  (The  closest I came is a site.pyc in python23.zip.)  Nutshell
>>> suggests that in desperation one could put the following at the start of
>>> the main script:   
>>> import sys
>>> reload(sys)
>>> sys.setdefaultencoding('iso-8859-15')
>>> del sys.setdefaultencoding
>>> This code solved the problem I was having reading and processing text that
>>> contains Unicode characters, but I am uncomfortable leaving a desperation
>>> solution in place.
>> I don't think modifying site.py would be a good solution, because if you 
>> upgrade or reinstall python then the script will be overwritten. If you
>> only  want to run your program on your own system then a better solution is
>> to  create a file sitecustomize.py in your Python\Lib directory containing
>> this: 
>> import sys
>> sys.setdefaultencoding('iso-8859-15')
>> If you want to distribute your program to other people though, you can't 
>> expect them to change their default encoding so it is better not to rely on 
>> the default encoding at all.
> Yep, using unicode and explicitly encoding/decoding is a better approach.
> Fuzzyman

Once again, I am forced to display my ignorance.  Sorry guys.  I really don't 
know much about Unicode.  The solution that Luke suggested (sitecustomize.py 
in my Python\Lib directory) works fine for me, but I am concerned about the 
suggestion from him and Fuzzyman that explicit encoding/decoding is a better 
approach.  What is explicit encoding/decoding?  Can someone point me to a 
good resource for learning how to deal with Unicode correctly?
Jeffrey Barish

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