The dreaded UnicodeDecodeError in a Plone script!
Sometimes we'll have string data fields that contains non-ascii characters such as umlauts which are probably UTF-8 encodings outside the 128 character ascii range.
txt = member.getProperty('fullname')
When these are assigned to standard byte strings then they won't be recognised if the default system codec is ascii and result in this error...
UnicodeDecodeError: 'ascii' codec can't decode byte 0xc3 in position 33: ordinal not in range(128)
First off try using using the 'utf8' decoder
txt = member.getProperty('fullname').decode('utf8')
if this is no good, try storing as a unicode string instead of a byte string and tell the unicode to expect some utf-8 characters (a superset of ascii)
utxt = unicode(member.getProperty('fullname'),"utf-8")
However, when you need to use a normal python byte string again (ie to write the content to a text/csv file), you might come across an error telling you that it doesn't like unicode such as
AttributeError: 'unicode' object has no attribute 'seek'
In which case just convert it back to a normal byte string using the utf-8 encoding.
or in the case of a creating a plone text file
container.invokeFactory(type_name='File', id=filename, title=filename, file=txt.encode("utf-8","ignore"),
Don't forget, that when viewing the text file you'll have to select the Unicode utf-8 character set otherwise you'll see some squiggly gibberish wherever these characters are.
Go away you pesky unicodedecodeerrors.