mlzboy mlzboy - 4 months ago 34
Python Question

Why should we NOT use sys.setdefaultencoding("utf-8") in a py script?

I have seen few py scripts which use this at the top of the script. In what cases one should use it?

import sys
reload(sys)
sys.setdefaultencoding("utf-8")

Answer

As per the documentation: This allows you to switch from the default ASCII to other encodings such as UTF-8, which the Python runtime will use whenever it has to decode a string buffer to unicode.

This function is only available at Python start-up time, when Python scans the environment. It has to be called in a system-wide module, sitecustomize.py, After this module has been evaluated, the setdefaultencoding() function is removed from the sys module.

The only way to actually use it is with a reload hack that brings the attribute back.

Also, the use of sys.setdefaultencoding() has always been discouraged, and it has become a no-op in py3k. The encoding of py3k is hard-wired to "utf-8" and changing it raises an error.

I suggest some pointers for reading: