How to percent-encode URL parameters in Python?


Question

If I do

url = "http://example.com?p=" + urllib.quote(query)
  1. It doesn't encode / to %2F (breaks OAuth normalization)
  2. It doesn't handle Unicode (it throws an exception)

Is there a better library?

1
266
4/23/2016 7:03:29 AM

Accepted Answer

From the docs:

urllib.quote(string[, safe])

Replace special characters in string using the %xx escape. Letters, digits, and the characters '_.-' are never quoted. By default, this function is intended for quoting the path section of the URL.The optional safe parameter specifies additional characters that should not be quoted — its default value is '/'

That means passing '' for safe will solve your first issue:

>>> urllib.quote('/test')
'/test'
>>> urllib.quote('/test', safe='')
'%2Ftest'

About the second issue, there is a bug report about it here. Apparently it was fixed in python 3. You can workaround it by encoding as utf8 like this:

>>> query = urllib.quote(u"Müller".encode('utf8'))
>>> print urllib.unquote(query).decode('utf8')
Müller

By the way have a look at urlencode

Note that urllib.quote moved to urllib.parse.quote in Python3

362
5/4/2019 8:12:48 PM

In Python 3, urllib.quote has been moved to urllib.parse.quote and it does handle unicode by default.

>>> from urllib.parse import quote
>>> quote('/test')
'/test'
>>> quote('/test', safe='')
'%2Ftest'
>>> quote('/El Niño/')
'/El%20Ni%C3%B1o/'

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