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