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Encode(3perl)                    Perl Programmers Reference Guide                   Encode(3perl)

       Encode - character encodings in Perl

           use Encode qw(decode encode);
           $characters = decode('UTF-8', $octets,     Encode::FB_CROAK);
           $octets     = encode('UTF-8', $characters, Encode::FB_CROAK);

   Table of Contents
       Encode consists of a collection of modules whose details are too extensive to fit in one
       document.  This one itself explains the top-level APIs and general topics at a glance.
       For other topics and more details, see the documentation for these modules:

       Encode::Alias - Alias definitions to encodings
       Encode::Encoding - Encode Implementation Base Class
       Encode::Supported - List of Supported Encodings
       Encode::CN - Simplified Chinese Encodings
       Encode::JP - Japanese Encodings
       Encode::KR - Korean Encodings
       Encode::TW - Traditional Chinese Encodings

       The "Encode" module provides the interface between Perl strings and the rest of the
       system.  Perl strings are sequences of characters.

       The repertoire of characters that Perl can represent is a superset of those defined by the
       Unicode Consortium. On most platforms the ordinal values of a character as returned by
       "ord(S)" is the Unicode codepoint for that character. The exceptions are platforms where
       the legacy encoding is some variant of EBCDIC rather than a superset of ASCII; see

       During recent history, data is moved around a computer in 8-bit chunks, often called
       "bytes" but also known as "octets" in standards documents.  Perl is widely used to
       manipulate data of many types: not only strings of characters representing human or
       computer languages, but also "binary" data, being the machine's representation of numbers,
       pixels in an image, or just about anything.

       When Perl is processing "binary data", the programmer wants Perl to process "sequences of
       bytes". This is not a problem for Perl: because a byte has 256 possible values, it easily
       fits in Perl's much larger "logical character".

       This document mostly explains the how. perlunitut and perlunifaq explain the why.


       A character in the range 0 .. 2**32-1 (or more); what Perl's strings are made of.


       A character in the range 0..255; a special case of a Perl character.


       8 bits of data, with ordinal values 0..255; term for bytes passed to or from a non-Perl
       context, such as a disk file, standard I/O stream, database, command-line argument,
       environment variable, socket etc.

   Basic methods

         $octets  = encode(ENCODING, STRING[, CHECK])

       Encodes the scalar value STRING from Perl's internal form into ENCODING and returns a
       sequence of octets.  ENCODING can be either a canonical name or an alias.  For encoding
       names and aliases, see "Defining Aliases".  For CHECK, see "Handling Malformed Data".

       For example, to convert a string from Perl's internal format into ISO-8859-1, also known
       as Latin1:

         $octets = encode("iso-8859-1", $string);

       CAVEAT: When you run "$octets = encode("utf8", $string)", then $octets might not be equal
       to $string.  Though both contain the same data, the UTF8 flag for $octets is always off.
       When you encode anything, the UTF8 flag on the result is always off, even when it contains
       a completely valid utf8 string. See "The UTF8 flag" below.

       If the $string is "undef", then "undef" is returned.


         $string = decode(ENCODING, OCTETS[, CHECK])

       This function returns the string that results from decoding the scalar value OCTETS,
       assumed to be a sequence of octets in ENCODING, into Perl's internal form.  The returns
       the resulting string.  As with encode(), ENCODING can be either a canonical name or an
       alias. For encoding names and aliases, see "Defining Aliases"; for CHECK, see "Handling
       Malformed Data".

       For example, to convert ISO-8859-1 data into a string in Perl's internal format:

         $string = decode("iso-8859-1", $octets);

       CAVEAT: When you run "$string = decode("utf8", $octets)", then $string might not be equal
       to $octets.  Though both contain the same data, the UTF8 flag for $string is on.  See "The
       UTF8 flag" below.

       If the $string is "undef", then "undef" is returned.


         [$obj =] find_encoding(ENCODING)

       Returns the encoding object corresponding to ENCODING.  Returns "undef" if no matching
       ENCODING is find.  The returned object is what does the actual encoding or decoding.

         $utf8 = decode($name, $bytes);

       is in fact

           $utf8 = do {
               $obj = find_encoding($name);
               croak qq(encoding "$name" not found) unless ref $obj;

       with more error checking.

       You can therefore save time by reusing this object as follows;

           my $enc = find_encoding("iso-8859-1");
           while(<>) {
               my $utf8 = $enc->decode($_);
               ... # now do something with $utf8;

       Besides "decode" and "encode", other methods are available as well.  For instance,
       "name()" returns the canonical name of the encoding object.

         find_encoding("latin1")->name; # iso-8859-1

       See Encode::Encoding for details.


         [$length =] from_to($octets, FROM_ENC, TO_ENC [, CHECK])

       Converts in-place data between two encodings. The data in $octets must be encoded as
       octets and not as characters in Perl's internal format. For example, to convert ISO-8859-1
       data into Microsoft's CP1250 encoding:

         from_to($octets, "iso-8859-1", "cp1250");

       and to convert it back:

         from_to($octets, "cp1250", "iso-8859-1");

       Because the conversion happens in place, the data to be converted cannot be a string
       constant: it must be a scalar variable.

       "from_to()" returns the length of the converted string in octets on success, and "undef"
       on error.

       CAVEAT: The following operations may look the same, but are not:

         from_to($data, "iso-8859-1", "utf8"); #1
         $data = decode("iso-8859-1", $data);  #2

       Both #1 and #2 make $data consist of a completely valid UTF-8 string, but only #2 turns
       the UTF8 flag on.  #1 is equivalent to:

         $data = encode("utf8", decode("iso-8859-1", $data));

       See "The UTF8 flag" below.

       Also note that:

         from_to($octets, $from, $to, $check);

       is equivalent t:o

         $octets = encode($to, decode($from, $octets), $check);

       Yes, it does not respect the $check during decoding.  It is deliberately done that way.
       If you need minute control, use "decode" followed by "encode" as follows:

         $octets = encode($to, decode($from, $octets, $check_from), $check_to);


         $octets = encode_utf8($string);

       Equivalent to "$octets = encode("utf8", $string)".  The characters in $string are encoded
       in Perl's internal format, and the result is returned as a sequence of octets.  Because
       all possible characters in Perl have a (loose, not strict) UTF-8 representation, this
       function cannot fail.


         $string = decode_utf8($octets [, CHECK]);

       Equivalent to "$string = decode("utf8", $octets [, CHECK])".  The sequence of octets
       represented by $octets is decoded from UTF-8 into a sequence of logical characters.
       Because not all sequences of octets are valid UTF-8, it is quite possible for this
       function to fail.  For CHECK, see "Handling Malformed Data".

   Listing available encodings
         use Encode;
         @list = Encode->encodings();

       Returns a list of canonical names of available encodings that have already been loaded.
       To get a list of all available encodings including those that have not yet been loaded,

         @all_encodings = Encode->encodings(":all");

       Or you can give the name of a specific module:

         @with_jp = Encode->encodings("Encode::JP");

       When ""::"" is not in the name, ""Encode::"" is assumed.

         @ebcdic = Encode->encodings("EBCDIC");

       To find out in detail which encodings are supported by this package, see

   Defining Aliases
       To add a new alias to a given encoding, use:

         use Encode;
         use Encode::Alias;
         define_alias(NEWNAME => ENCODING);

       After that, NEWNAME can be used as an alias for ENCODING.  ENCODING may be either the name
       of an encoding or an encoding object.

       Before you do that, first make sure the alias is nonexistent using "resolve_alias()",
       which returns the canonical name thereof.  For example:

         Encode::resolve_alias("latin1") eq "iso-8859-1" # true
         Encode::resolve_alias("iso-8859-12")   # false; nonexistent
         Encode::resolve_alias($name) eq $name  # true if $name is canonical

       "resolve_alias()" does not need "use Encode::Alias"; it can be imported via "use Encode

       See Encode::Alias for details.

   Finding IANA Character Set Registry names
       The canonical name of a given encoding does not necessarily agree with IANA Character Set
       Registry, commonly seen as "Content-Type: text/plain; charset=WHATEVER".  For most cases,
       the canonical name works, but sometimes it does not, most notably with "utf-8-strict".

       As of "Encode" version 2.21, a new method "mime_name()" is therefore added.

         use Encode;
         my $enc = find_encoding("UTF-8");
         warn $enc->name;      # utf-8-strict
         warn $enc->mime_name; # UTF-8

       See also:  Encode::Encoding

Encoding via PerlIO
       If your perl supports "PerlIO" (which is the default), you can use a "PerlIO" layer to
       decode and encode directly via a filehandle.  The following two examples are fully
       identical in functionality:

         ### Version 1 via PerlIO
           open(INPUT,  "< :encoding(shiftjis)", $infile)
               || die "Can't open < $infile for reading: $!";
           open(OUTPUT, "> :encoding(euc-jp)",  $outfile)
               || die "Can't open > $output for writing: $!";
           while (<INPUT>) {   # auto decodes $_
               print OUTPUT;   # auto encodes $_
           close(INPUT)   || die "can't close $infile: $!";
           close(OUTPUT)  || die "can't close $outfile: $!";

         ### Version 2 via from_to()
           open(INPUT,  "< :raw", $infile)
               || die "Can't open < $infile for reading: $!";
           open(OUTPUT, "> :raw",  $outfile)
               || die "Can't open > $output for writing: $!";

           while (<INPUT>) {
               from_to($_, "shiftjis", "euc-jp", 1);  # switch encoding
               print OUTPUT;   # emit raw (but properly encoded) data
           close(INPUT)   || die "can't close $infile: $!";
           close(OUTPUT)  || die "can't close $outfile: $!";

       In the first version above, you let the appropriate encoding layer handle the conversion.
       In the second, you explicitly translate from one encoding to the other.

       Unfortunately, it may be that encodings are "PerlIO"-savvy.  You can check to see whether
       your encoding is supported by "PerlIO" by invoking the "perlio_ok" method on it:

         Encode::perlio_ok("hz");             # false
         find_encoding("euc-cn")->perlio_ok;  # true wherever PerlIO is available

         use Encode qw(perlio_ok);            # imported upon request

       Fortunately, all encodings that come with "Encode" core are "PerlIO"-savvy except for "hz"
       and "ISO-2022-kr".  For the gory details, see Encode::Encoding and Encode::PerlIO.

Handling Malformed Data
       The optional CHECK argument tells "Encode" what to do when encountering malformed data.
       Without CHECK, "Encode::FB_DEFAULT" (== 0) is assumed.

       As of version 2.12, "Encode" supports coderef values for "CHECK"; see below.

       NOTE: Not all encodings support this feature.  Some encodings ignore the CHECK argument.
       For example, Encode::Unicode ignores CHECK and it always croaks on error.

   List of CHECK values

         I<CHECK> = Encode::FB_DEFAULT ( == 0)

       If CHECK is 0, encoding and decoding replace any malformed character with a substitution
       character.  When you encode, SUBCHAR is used.  When you decode, the Unicode REPLACEMENT
       CHARACTER, code point U+FFFD, is used.  If the data is supposed to be UTF-8, an optional
       lexical warning of warning category "utf8" is given.


         I<CHECK> = Encode::FB_CROAK ( == 1)

       If CHECK is 1, methods immediately die with an error message.  Therefore, when CHECK is 1,
       you should trap exceptions with "eval{}", unless you really want to let it "die".


         I<CHECK> = Encode::FB_QUIET

       If CHECK is set to "Encode::FB_QUIET", encoding and decoding immediately return the
       portion of the data that has been processed so far when an error occurs. The data argument
       is overwritten with everything after that point; that is, the unprocessed portion of the
       data.  This is handy when you have to call "decode" repeatedly in the case where your
       source data may contain partial multi-byte character sequences, (that is, you are reading
       with a fixed-width buffer). Here's some sample code to do exactly that:

           my($buffer, $string) = ("", "");
           while (read($fh, $buffer, 256, length($buffer))) {
               $string .= decode($encoding, $buffer, Encode::FB_QUIET);
               # $buffer now contains the unprocessed partial character


         I<CHECK> = Encode::FB_WARN

       This is the same as "FB_QUIET" above, except that instead of being silent on errors, it
       issues a warning.  This is handy for when you are debugging.


       perlqq mode (CHECK = Encode::FB_PERLQQ)
       HTML charref mode (CHECK = Encode::FB_HTMLCREF)
       XML charref mode (CHECK = Encode::FB_XMLCREF)

       For encodings that are implemented by the "Encode::XS" module, "CHECK" "=="
       "Encode::FB_PERLQQ" puts "encode" and "decode" into "perlqq" fallback mode.

       When you decode, "\xHH" is inserted for a malformed character, where HH is the hex
       representation of the octet that could not be decoded to utf8.  When you encode,
       "\x{HHHH}" will be inserted, where HHHH is the Unicode code point (in any number of hex
       digits) of the character that cannot be found in the character repertoire of the encoding.

       The HTML/XML character reference modes are about the same. In place of "\x{HHHH}", HTML
       uses "&#NNN;" where NNN is a decimal number, and XML uses "&#xHHHH;" where HHHH is the
       hexadecimal number.

       In "Encode" 2.10 or later, "LEAVE_SRC" is also implied.

       The bitmask

       These modes are all actually set via a bitmask.  Here is how the "FB_XXX" constants are
       laid out.  You can import the "FB_XXX" constants via "use Encode qw(:fallbacks)", and you
       can import the generic bitmask constants via "use Encode qw(:fallback_all)".

                            FB_DEFAULT FB_CROAK FB_QUIET FB_WARN  FB_PERLQQ
        DIE_ON_ERR    0x0001             X
        WARN_ON_ERR   0x0002                               X
        RETURN_ON_ERR 0x0004                      X        X
        LEAVE_SRC     0x0008                                        X
        PERLQQ        0x0100                                        X
        HTMLCREF      0x0200
        XMLCREF       0x0400



       If the "Encode::LEAVE_SRC" bit is not set but CHECK is set, then the source string to
       encode() or decode() will be overwritten in place.  If you're not interested in this, then
       bitwise-OR it with the bitmask.

   coderef for CHECK
       As of "Encode" 2.12, "CHECK" can also be a code reference which takes the ordinal value of
       the unmapped character as an argument and returns octets that represent the fallback
       character.  For instance:

         $ascii = encode("ascii", $utf8, sub{ sprintf "<U+%04X>", shift });

       Acts like "FB_PERLQQ" but U+XXXX is used instead of "\x{XXXX}".

       Even the fallback for "decode" must return octets, which are then decoded with the
       character encoding that "decode" accepts. So for example if you wish to decode octests as
       UTF-8, and use ISO-8859-15 as a fallback for bytes that are not valid UTF-8, you could

           $str = decode 'UTF-8', $octets, sub {
               my $tmp = chr shift;
               from_to $tmp, 'ISO-8859-15', 'UTF-8';
               return $tmp;

Defining Encodings
       To define a new encoding, use:

           use Encode qw(define_encoding);
           define_encoding($object, CANONICAL_NAME [, alias...]);

       CANONICAL_NAME will be associated with $object.  The object should provide the interface
       described in Encode::Encoding.  If more than two arguments are provided, additional
       arguments are considered aliases for $object.

       See Encode::Encoding for details.

The UTF8 flag
       Before the introduction of Unicode support in Perl, The "eq" operator just compared the
       strings represented by two scalars. Beginning with Perl 5.8, "eq" compares two strings
       with simultaneous consideration of the UTF8 flag. To explain why we made it so, I quote
       from page 402 of Programming Perl, 3rd ed.

       Goal #1:
         Old byte-oriented programs should not spontaneously break on the old byte-oriented data
         they used to work on.

       Goal #2:
         Old byte-oriented programs should magically start working on the new character-oriented
         data when appropriate.

       Goal #3:
         Programs should run just as fast in the new character-oriented mode as in the old byte-
         oriented mode.

       Goal #4:
         Perl should remain one language, rather than forking into a byte-oriented Perl and a
         character-oriented Perl.

       When Programming Perl, 3rd ed. was written, not even Perl 5.6.0 had been born yet, many
       features documented in the book remained unimplemented for a long time.  Perl 5.8
       corrected much of this, and the introduction of the UTF8 flag is one of them.  You can
       think of there being two fundamentally different kinds of strings and string-operations in
       Perl: one a byte-oriented mode  for when the internal UTF8 flag is off, and the other a
       character-oriented mode for when the internal UTF8 flag is on.

       Here is how "Encode" handles the UTF8 flag.

       · When you encode, the resulting UTF8 flag is always off.

       · When you decode, the resulting UTF8 flag is on--unless you can unambiguously represent
         data.  Here is what we mean by "unambiguously".  After "$utf8 = decode("foo", $octet)",

           When $octet is...   The UTF8 flag in $utf8 is
           In ASCII only (or EBCDIC only)            OFF
           In ISO-8859-1                              ON
           In any other Encoding                      ON

         As you see, there is one exception: in ASCII.  That way you can assume Goal #1.  And
         with "Encode", Goal #2 is assumed but you still have to be careful in the cases
         mentioned in the CAVEAT paragraphs above.

         This UTF8 flag is not visible in Perl scripts, exactly for the same reason you cannot
         (or rather, you don't have to) see whether a scalar contains a string, an integer, or a
         floating-point number.   But you can still peek and poke these if you will.  See the
         next section.

   Messing with Perl's Internals
       The following API uses parts of Perl's internals in the current implementation.  As such,
       they are efficient but may change in a future release.


         is_utf8(STRING [, CHECK])

       [INTERNAL] Tests whether the UTF8 flag is turned on in the STRING.  If CHECK is true, also
       checks whether STRING contains well-formed UTF-8.  Returns true if successful, false

       As of Perl 5.8.1, utf8 also has the "utf8::is_utf8" function.



       [INTERNAL] Turns the STRING's internal UTF8 flag on.  The STRING is not checked for
       containing only well-formed UTF-8.  Do not use this unless you know with absolute
       certainty that the STRING holds only well-formed UTF-8.  Returns the previous state of the
       UTF8 flag (so please don't treat the return value as indicating success or failure), or
       "undef" if STRING is not a string.

       NOTE: For security reasons, this function does not work on tainted values.



       [INTERNAL] Turns the STRING's internal UTF8 flag off.  Do not use frivolously.  Returns
       the previous state of the UTF8 flag, or "undef" if STRING is not a string.  Do not treat
       the return value as indicative of success or failure, because that isn't what it means: it
       is only the previous setting.

       NOTE: For security reasons, this function does not work on tainted values.

UTF-8 vs. utf8 vs. UTF8
         ....We now view strings not as sequences of bytes, but as sequences
         of numbers in the range 0 .. 2**32-1 (or in the case of 64-bit
         computers, 0 .. 2**64-1) -- Programming Perl, 3rd ed.

       That has historically been Perl's notion of UTF-8, as that is how UTF-8 was first
       conceived by Ken Thompson when he invented it. However, thanks to later revisions to the
       applicable standards, official UTF-8 is now rather stricter than that. For example, its
       range is much narrower (0 .. 0x10_FFFF to cover only 21 bits instead of 32 or 64 bits) and
       some sequences are not allowed, like those used in surrogate pairs, the 31 non-character
       code points 0xFDD0 .. 0xFDEF, the last two code points in any plane (0xXX_FFFE and
       0xXX_FFFF), all non-shortest encodings, etc.

       The former default in which Perl would always use a loose interpretation of UTF-8 has now
       been overruled:

         From: Larry Wall <larry AT wall.org>
         Date: December 04, 2004 11:51:58 JST
         To: perl-unicode AT perl.org
         Subject: Re: Make Encode.pm support the real UTF-8
         Message-Id: <20041204025158.GA28754 AT wall.org>

         On Fri, Dec 03, 2004 at 10:12:12PM +0000, Tim Bunce wrote:
         : I've no problem with 'utf8' being perl's unrestricted uft8 encoding,
         : but "UTF-8" is the name of the standard and should give the
         : corresponding behaviour.

         For what it's worth, that's how I've always kept them straight in my

         Also for what it's worth, Perl 6 will mostly default to strict but
         make it easy to switch back to lax.


       Got that?  As of Perl 5.8.7, "UTF-8" means UTF-8 in its current sense, which is
       conservative and strict and security-conscious, whereas "utf8" means UTF-8 in its former
       sense, which was liberal and loose and lax.  "Encode" version 2.10 or later thus groks
       this subtle but critically important distinction between "UTF-8" and "utf8".

         encode("utf8",  "\x{FFFF_FFFF}", 1); # okay
         encode("UTF-8", "\x{FFFF_FFFF}", 1); # croaks

       In the "Encode" module, "UTF-8" is actually a canonical name for "utf-8-strict".  That
       hyphen between the "UTF" and the "8" is critical; without it, "Encode" goes "liberal" and
       (perhaps overly-)permissive:

         find_encoding("UTF-8")->name # is 'utf-8-strict'
         find_encoding("utf-8")->name # ditto. names are case insensitive
         find_encoding("utf_8")->name # ditto. "_" are treated as "-"
         find_encoding("UTF8")->name  # is 'utf8'.

       Perl's internal UTF8 flag is called "UTF8", without a hyphen. It indicates whether a
       string is internally encoded as "utf8", also without a hyphen.

       Encode::Encoding, Encode::Supported, Encode::PerlIO, encoding, perlebcdic, "open" in
       perlfunc, perlunicode, perluniintro, perlunifaq, perlunitut utf8, the Perl Unicode Mailing
       List <http://lists.perl.org/list/perl-unicode.html>

       This project was originated by the late Nick Ing-Simmons and later maintained by Dan Kogai
       <dankogai AT cpan.org>.  See AUTHORS for a full list of people involved.  For any questions,
       send mail to <perl-unicode AT perl.org> so that we can all share.

       While Dan Kogai retains the copyright as a maintainer, credit should go to all those
       involved.  See AUTHORS for a list of those who submitted code to the project.

       Copyright 2002-2013 Dan Kogai <dankogai AT cpan.org>.

       This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same
       terms as Perl itself.

perl v5.20.2                                2018-06-10                              Encode(3perl)

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