user1769925 user1769925 - 2 months ago 18
Perl Question

Remove BOM from string with Perl

I have the following problem: I am reading from a UTF-8 text file (and I am telling Perl that I am doing so by ":encoding(utf-8)").

The file looks like this in a hex viewer:
EF BB BF 43 6F 6E 66 65 72 65 6E 63 65

This translates to "Conference" when printed. I understand the "wide character" which I am being warned about is the BOM. I want to get rid of it (not because of the warning, but because it messes up a string comparison that I undertake later).

So I tried to remove it using the following code, but I fail miserably:

$line =~ s/^\xEF\xBB\xBF//;

Can anyone enlighten me as to how to remove the UTF-8 BOM from a string which I obtained by reading the first line of the UTF-8 file?

Thanks!

Answer

EF BB BF is the UTF-8 encoding of the BOM, but you decoded it, so you must look for its decoded form. The BOM is a ZERO WIDTH NO-BREAK SPACE (U+FEFF) used at the start of a file, so any of the following will do:

s/^\x{FEFF}//;
s/^\N{FEFF}//;
s/^\N{ZERO WIDTH NO-BREAK SPACE}//;
s/^\N{BOM}//;   # Convenient alias

I understand the "wide character" which I am being warned about is the BOM. I want to get rid of it

You're getting wide character because you forgot to add an :encoding layer on your output file handle. The following adds :encoding(UTF-8) to STDIN, STDOUT, STDERR, and makes it the default for open().

use open ':std', ':encoding(UTF-8)';
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