Google App Engine: UnicodeDecodeError: 'ascii' codec can't decode byte 0xe2 in position 48: ordinal not in range(128)


I’m working on a small application using Google App Engine which makes use of the Quora RSS feed. There is a form, and based on the input entered by the user, it will output a list of links related to the input. Now, the applications works fine for one letter queries and most of two-letter words if the words are separated by a ‘-‘. However, for three-letter words and some two-letter words, I get the following error:

UnicodeDecodeError: ‘ascii’ codec can’t decode byte 0xe2 in position 48: ordinal not in range(128)

Here’s my Python code:

import os
import webapp2
import jinja2
from google.appengine.ext import db
import urllib2
import re

template_dir = os.path.join(os.path.dirname(__file__), 'templates')
jinja_env = jinja2.Environment(loader = jinja2.FileSystemLoader(template_dir), autoescape=True)

class Handler(webapp2.RequestHandler):
    def write(self, *a, **kw):
        self.response.out.write(*a, **kw)
    def render_str(self, template, **params):
        t = jinja_env.get_template(template)
        return t.render(params)
    def render(self, template, **kw):
        self.write(self.render_str(template, **kw))

class MainPage(Handler):
    def get(self):
    def post(self):
        x = self.request.get("rssquery")
        url = "" + x + "/rss"
        content = urllib2.urlopen(url).read()
        allTitles =  re.compile('<title>(.*?)</title>')
        allLinks = re.compile('<link>(.*?)</link>')
        list = re.findall(allTitles,content)
        linklist = re.findall(allLinks,content)
        self.render("frontrss.html", list = list, linklist = linklist)

app = webapp2.WSGIApplication([('/', MainPage)], debug=True)

Here’s the html code:

<h1>Quora Live Feed</h1><br><br><br>

{% extends "rssbase.html" %}

{% block content %}
    {% for e in range(1, 19) %}
        {{ (list[e]) }} <br>
        <a href="{{ linklist[e] }}">{{ linklist[e] }}</a>
    {% endfor %}
{% endblock %}
Asked By: Manas Chaturvedi



Python is likely trying to decode a unicode string into a normal str with the ascii codec and is failing. When you’re working with unicode data you need to decode it:

content = content.decode('utf-8')
Answered By: Jon Wayne Parrott

In my AppEngine app, I convert it like:

content = unicode(content)

I think it more clear and easy to use.

Answered By: KimKha