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rCharDet is a character encoding detection library for ruby and the implementation is based on Mozilla Charset Detectors.

This is a forked project in a effort to make it Ruby 1.9 compatible.

Follow me on Twitter or Github for more info and updates.

How to use

CharDet.detect takes the variable data that contains an unknown encoding.

We then try to change the encoding to UTF-8, but only if we are at least ~ 60% sure that we found the right encoding.

data = "Some unknown data"
cd = CharDet.detect(data)
data = cd.confidence > 0.6 ? Iconv.conv(cd.encoding, "UTF-8", data) : data

What do I've to work with?

A struct is being returned from the detect method, it has the following accessors.

  • encoding (String) Encoding of the ingoing string, UTF-8 for example.
  • confidence (Float) The confidence level of the encoding, from 0.0 to 1.0, where 1.0 is the best.

Make it silent

The detect takes two arguments, the string to guess the encoding on and an option hash.

You can use the option hash de decide if you want the detect method to raise an exception or not if the ingoing string is nil.

CharDet.detect("some data", :silent => true) # Won't raise an exception
CharDet.detect(nil, :silent => true)         # Won't raise an exception
CharDet.detect(nil)                          # Will raise an exception
CharDet.detect(nil, :silent => false)        # Will raise an exception

How do install

[sudo] gem install rchardet19

How to use it in a rails 3 project

Add gem 'rchardet19' to your Gemfile and run bundle.

How to help

  • Start by copying the project or make your own branch.
  • Navigate to the root path of the project and run bundle.
  • Start by running all tests using rspec, rspec spec/rchardet19_spec.rb.
  • Implement your own code, write some tests, commit and do a pull request.


rCharDet19 is tested in

  • OS X 10.6.6 using Ruby 1.8.7 and 1.9.2.
  • Ubuntu 12.10 using Ruby 1.9.3 and 2.0.0-p0


rCharDet19 is released under the MIT license.


Character encoding auto-detection. Ruby 1.9 compatible









  • Ruby 100.0%