Posted By: Anonymous
Apparently, the following is the valid syntax:
my_string = b'The string'
I would like to know:
- What does this
bcharacter in front of the string mean?
- What are the effects of using it?
- What are appropriate situations to use it?
I found a related question right here on SO, but that question is about PHP though, and it states the
b is used to indicate the string is binary, as opposed to Unicode, which was needed for code to be compatible from version of PHP < 6, when migrating to PHP 6. I don’t think this applies to Python.
I did find this documentation on the Python site about using a
u character in the same syntax to specify a string as Unicode. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mention the b character anywhere in that document.
Also, just out of curiosity, are there more symbols than the
u that do other things?
To quote the Python 2.x documentation:
A prefix of ‘b’ or ‘B’ is ignored in
Python 2; it indicates that the
literal should become a bytes literal
in Python 3 (e.g. when code is
automatically converted with 2to3). A
‘u’ or ‘b’ prefix may be followed by
an ‘r’ prefix.
The Python 3 documentation states:
Bytes literals are always prefixed with ‘b’ or ‘B’; they produce an instance of the bytes type instead of the str type. They may only contain ASCII characters; bytes with a numeric value of 128 or greater must be expressed with escapes.