XML Unicode strings with encoding declaration are not supported

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Trying to do the following…

from lxml import etree
from lxml.etree import fromstring

if request.POST:
    parser = etree.XMLParser(ns_clean=True, recover=True)
    h = fromstring(request.POST['xml'], parser=parser)
    return HttpResponse(h.cssselect('itagg_delivery_receipt status').text_content())

but it give this error:

[Fri Apr 05 10:27:54 2013] [error] Internal Server Error: /sms/status_postback/
[Fri Apr 05 10:27:54 2013] [error] Traceback (most recent call last):
[Fri Apr 05 10:27:54 2013] [error]   File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/django/core/handlers/base.py", line 115, in get_response
[Fri Apr 05 10:27:54 2013] [error]     response = callback(request, *callback_args, **callback_kwargs)
[Fri Apr 05 10:27:54 2013] [error]   File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/django/views/decorators/csrf.py", line 77, in wrapped_view
[Fri Apr 05 10:27:54 2013] [error]     return view_func(*args, **kwargs)
[Fri Apr 05 10:27:54 2013] [error]   File "/srv/project/livewireSMS/sms/views.py", line 42, in update_delivery_status
[Fri Apr 05 10:27:54 2013] [error]     h = fromstring(request.POST['xml'], parser=parser)
[Fri Apr 05 10:27:54 2013] [error]   File "lxml.etree.pyx", line 2754, in lxml.etree.fromstring (src/lxml/lxml.etree.c:54631)
[Fri Apr 05 10:27:54 2013] [error]   File "parser.pxi", line 1569, in lxml.etree._parseMemoryDocument (src/lxml/lxml.etree.c:82659)
[Fri Apr 05 10:27:54 2013] [error] ValueError: Unicode strings with encoding declaration are not supported.

this is the XML

 <?xml version="1.1" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<itagg_delivery_receipt>
<version>1.0</version>
<msisdn>447889000000</msisdn>
<submission_ref>
845tgrgsehg394g3hdfhhh56445y7ts6</
submission_ref>
<status>Delivered</status>
<reason>4</reason>
<timestamp>20050709120945</timestamp>
<retry>0</retry>
</itagg_delivery_receipt> 

I don’t have control over the xml document this comes from the SMS company.

You’ll have to encode it and then force the same encoding in the parser:

from lxml import etree
from lxml.etree import fromstring

if request.POST:
    xml = request.POST['xml'].encode('utf-8')
    parser = etree.XMLParser(ns_clean=True, recover=True, encoding='utf-8')
    h = fromstring(xml, parser=parser)

    return HttpResponse(h.cssselect('delivery_reciept status').text_content())

The following solution from kernc worked for me:

from lxml import etree

xml = u'<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?><foo><bar/></foo>'
xml = bytes(bytearray(xml, encoding='utf-8'))  # ADDENDUM OF THIS LINE (when unicode means utf-8, e.g. on Linux)
etree.XML(xml)

# <Element html at 0x5b44c90>

More simple than answers above:

from lxml import etree

#Do request for data, response = r#
data = etree.fromstring(bytes(r.text, encoding='utf-8'))

Apologies all as at this time I was young, dumb and not quite mature enough to take the effort to explain my answer (nor did I have the knowledge really) ?

  • fromstring() is a custom constructor for the etree object as part of the lxml library
  • XML in the form of a string may contain characters which are not encoded how this constructor would like them to be -> thus you can encode them into utf-8 bytes and this will align with the fromstring() constructor requirements


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