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Inside Google Sitemaps: Announcing Sitemap Generator version 1.3: Improved encoding support

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Announcing Sitemap Generator version 1.3: Improved encoding support

The Sitemap Generator version 1.3 is now available and provides improved encoding support. If your webserver uses an encoding other than UTF-8 or if your domain name or some the URLs in your site use non-ASCII characters, and you plan to use the Sitemap Generator to create your Sitemap, you should download this latest version.

Generally, non-ASCII URLs should be encoded using UTF-8 before being percent-escaped. However, some webservers respond correctly only if URLs are encoded specifically for the webserver's configuration. All URLs within your Sitemap, as well as the URL of the Sitemap itself, must be encoded for readability by the web server on which they are located.

If you are using the Sitemap Generator, you can specify the encoding of the URLs contained in the Sitemap from within the config.xml file. Within the site definition section of that config file, use the optional default_encoding attribute to specify the encoding used by your webserver. If you don't use this attribute and your webserver uses an encoding other than UTF-8, the Sitemap Generator can't know which encoding to use, although it does attempt to determine the correct encoding. If the generated Sitemap doesn't list the URLs correctly, you should explicitly indicate the encoding with the default_encoding attribute and run the Sitemap Generator again.

If your URLs contain non-ASCII characters, we recommend that you run the Sitemap Generator script using Python 2.3 or higher. This version of Python has increased non-ASCII support. If your domain name contains non-ASCII characters, you must use Python 2.3 or later, as Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA) support wasn't added until this version. Without IDNA support, the Sitemap Generator can't correctly encode a non-ASCII domain name.

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