This issue tracker has been migrated to GitHub, and is currently read-only.
For more information, see the GitHub FAQs in the Python's Developer Guide.

Title: email package and Unicode strings handling
Type: behavior Stage: resolved
Components: Library (Lib) Versions: Python 2.6
Status: closed Resolution: duplicate
Dependencies: Superseder:
Assigned To: r.david.murray Nosy List: ajaksu2, barry, bgamari, manlioperillo, r.david.murray
Priority: normal Keywords:

Created on 2006-09-10 16:04 by manlioperillo, last changed 2022-04-11 14:56 by admin. This issue is now closed.

Messages (4)
msg29793 - (view) Author: Manlio Perillo (manlioperillo) Date: 2006-09-10 16:04
The support for Unicode strings in the email package
(notably MIMEText and Header class) is not uniform.

The behaviour with Unicode strings in Header is
documented but the interface is not good.

This code works, but it should not:

>>> h = Header.Header(u"àèìòù", charset="us-ascii")
>>> m = Message.Message()
>>> m["Subject"] = h
>>> print m.as_string()

Allowing this to work can cause confusion, I'm saying
that the charset is us-ascii, not utf-8.

With MIMEText I obtain:

m = MIMEText.MIMEText(u"àèìòù", _charset="us-ascii")
>>> print m.as_string()

[ exception ]

I think that the correct behaviour (for all functions
accepting strings) is:

- Do not accept plain str strings (8-bit).
  Accept only if they are plain ascii (7-bit).
- The charset specified should not be considered an 
  hint, but the charset I want to be used.

Regards  Manlio Perillo
msg29794 - (view) Author: Manlio Perillo (manlioperillo) Date: 2006-09-10 17:35
Logged In: YES 

The last example is not right.
Here is the correct one:

 >>> m = MIMEText.MIMEText(u"àèìòù", _charset="utf-8")
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in ?
  File "C:\Python2.4\lib\email\", line 28, in
    self.set_payload(_text, _charset)
  File "C:\Python2.4\lib\email\", line 218, in
  File "C:\Python2.4\lib\email\", line 260, in
    self._payload = charset.body_encode(self._payload)
  File "C:\Python2.4\lib\email\", line 366, in
    return email.base64MIME.body_encode(s)
  File "C:\Python2.4\lib\email\", line 136, in
    enc = b2a_base64(s[i:i + max_unencoded])
UnicodeEncodeError: 'ascii' codec can't encode characters in
position 0-2: ordinal not in range(128)

So it seems that email.Message does not handle Unicode strings.

The code works if I set the charset to latin-1.
msg84471 - (view) Author: Daniel Diniz (ajaksu2) * (Python triager) Date: 2009-03-30 03:08
Confirmed on trunk.
msg106873 - (view) Author: R. David Murray (r.david.murray) * (Python committer) Date: 2010-06-02 02:18
It took me a while to figure out why latin-1 works.  I turns out to be an accident: latin-1 uses quoted-printable encoding, and the email quoprimime module accidentally manages to quote unicode characters in the latin-1 range.

The Header example, as noted by the OP, is working as documented.  This confusing interface isn't going to get fixed in the current email package.  The equivalent email6 API will be cleaner.

The MIMEText portion is a duplicate of issue 1368247.
Date User Action Args
2022-04-11 14:56:20adminsetgithub: 43960
2010-12-27 17:04:58r.david.murrayunlinkissue1685453 dependencies
2010-06-02 02:18:53r.david.murraysetstatus: open -> closed
resolution: duplicate
messages: + msg106873

stage: test needed -> resolved
2010-05-05 13:41:25barrysetassignee: barry -> r.david.murray

nosy: + r.david.murray
2009-05-01 16:00:24bgamarisetnosy: + bgamari
2009-03-30 22:56:23ajaksu2linkissue1685453 dependencies
2009-03-30 03:08:15ajaksu2setversions: + Python 2.6
nosy: + ajaksu2

messages: + msg84471

type: behavior
stage: test needed
2006-09-10 16:04:26manlioperillocreate