ElementTree and unicode

I have this char in an xml file:


I try to generate an instance of ElementTree with the following code:

string_data = open('file.xml')
x = ElementTree.fromstring(unicode(string_data.encode('utf-8')))

and I get the following error:

UnicodeEncodeError: 'ascii' codec can't encode character u'\xe8' in position 185: ordinal not in range(128)

(NOTE: The position is not exact, I sampled the xml from a larger one).

How to solve it? Thanks


You do not need to decode XML for ElementTree to work. XML carries it's own encoding information (defaulting to UTF-8) and ElementTree does the work for you, outputting unicode:

>>> data = '''\
... <data>
...   <products>
...       <color>fumè</color>
...   </products>
... </data>
... '''
>>> x = ElementTree.fromstring(data)
>>> x[0][0].text

If your data is contained in a file(like) object, just pass the filename or file object directly to the ElementTree.parse() function:

x = ElementTree.parse('file.xml')

Might you have stumbled upon this problem while using Requests (HTTP for Humans), response.text decodes the response by default, you can use response.content to get the undecoded data, so ElementTree can decode it itself. Just remember to use the correct encoding.

More info: http://docs.python-requests.org/en/latest/user/quickstart/#response-content

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