on 19.10.2005 21:15 Tim Peters said the following:
[Stephan Richter]

I am pretty sure that it is strongly discouraged to change the default
encoding in site.py. Can anyone confirm this? I think based on this
discouragement we always assume that noone changes their site.pp.

If you're running a personal Python, and are willing to deal with all
the problems it _might_ cause yourself, there's nothing wrong with
changing the default encoding (or, at least, nobody from the PSF will
arrest you).

Anyone else shouldn't touch the default encoding, period -- the
intended, industrial-strength way to deal with encodings is to use
Unicode and explicit encode/decode operations.

Thanks for the clarification, sounds very reasonable.
I'm now trying to think of my incentive for changing it in the first place, and my notes say that it was necessary to get some file operations to behave. Unfortunately I did not note which ones they were, but I think it was something like shutil.copytree() on Windows failing.

The problem was that it *internally* did not deal correctly with unicode filenames, i.e. there was no way to influence it from the calling side. Then I found site.py, enabled the platform dependent default encoding, and did not give it another thought...

(I think at that time it was py2.3, but if come across a repeatable test case I'll post a bug report.)

I'm sure sys.setdefaultencoding will vanish in a future Python
release, since it wasn't intended to persist beyond initial
development to begin with.

In that case may I suggest changing the default to utf-8.
( I think it's about time this ascii thing died ;-)

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