Vojtech R. Vojtech R. - 25 days ago 6
Python Question

Encoding in python with lxml - complex solution

I need to download and parse webpage with lxml and build UTF-8 xml output. I think schema in pseudocode is more illustrative:

from lxml import etree

webfile = urllib2.urlopen(url)
root = etree.parse(webfile.read(), parser=etree.HTMLParser(recover=True))

txt = my_process_text(etree.tostring(root.xpath('/html/body'), encoding=utf8))


output = etree.Element("out")
output.text = txt

outputfile.write(etree.tostring(output, encoding=utf8))


So webfile can be in any encoding (lxml should handle this). Outputfile have to be in utf-8. I'm not sure where to use encoding/coding. Is this schema ok? (I cant find good tutorial about lxml and encoding, but I can find many problems with this...) I need robust solution.

Edit:

So for sending utf-8 to lxml I use

converted = UnicodeDammit(webfile, isHTML=True)
if not converted.unicode:
print "ERR. UnicodeDammit failed to detect encoding, tried [%s]", \
', '.join(converted.triedEncodings)
continue
webfile = converted.unicode.encode('utf-8')

Answer

lxml can be a little wonky about input encodings. It is best to send UTF8 in and get UTF8 out.

You might want to use the chardet module or UnicodeDammit to decode the actual data.

You'd want to do something vaguely like:

import chardet
from lxml import html
content = urllib2.urlopen(url).read()
encoding = chardet.detect(content)['encoding']
if encoding != 'utf-8':
    content = content.decode(encoding, 'replace').encode('utf-8')
doc = html.fromstring(content, base_url=url)

I'm not sure why you are moving between lxml and etree, unless you are interacting with another library that already uses etree?