[ic] Non-US keys = UTF-8 issue?

Grant emailgrant at gmail.com
Fri Feb 8 08:49:41 EST 2008

> > I have a Swedish address stored in mysql and it is full of strange
> > characters.  Some stars, some paragraph symbols, etc.  Should I be
> > declaring UTF-8 somehow in dbconf/mysql/orders.mysql to avoid this?
> > Is there any way to recover the correct data at this point?
> >
> Well, first you need to isolate whether or not it's correct in the
> database, and not through Interchange.
> MySQL has two configurations with regards to characters: character sets
> and collation.  Character sets define the encoding for the bytes, whereas
> collation defines how to manipulate said data through sorting and other
> means.  See http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.0/en/charset-general.html
> for more information.
> As far as Interchange goes, I'm not entirely sure what the state of UTF-8
> support is, but from what I understand, it's less than ideal.  It may not
> be functional at all.
> If the data encoded in UTF-8 Unicode was saved in MySQL under a different
> character set, it may not be recoverable whatsoever.  Your first tactic
> will be to attempt to change the character set for that field (or table)
> alone, and hope MySQL has not changed it.  Something like:
> ALTER TABLE foo CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_swedish_ci;
> should suffice.  Note also that your client's encoding will need to be
> utf8 (SET NAMES 'utf8';), as well as any terminal emulator you may be
> using, and any software such as screen or ssh that will transmit the data.
>  I'm actually not sure that ssh needs specific instructions to encode
> characters, but your terminal emulator (PuTTy, xterm, rxvt, etc.) will
> definitely need proper configuration.  Oh, and two more things:  MySQL
> will need to be compiled with support for utf8, and you will need to have
> that locale available (assuming Linux).
> Gee, isn't Unicode fun?!  (To be fair, it's the software support for it
> that is lacking.  Don't believe me?  Try to edit a utf8 encoded file in
> vim in screen on OpenBSD.  Just *try* to.)

Thanks a lot Jordan.  I have confirmed that my browser does display
UTF-8 characters properly, but the Swedish characters showed up
incorrectly on the initial email order receipt sent to me.  I checked
and the receipt is built with [value] tags so the characters must be
messed up as soon as they hit IC right?  Because of this I don't think
tinkering with mysql will fix the problem.  Please correct me if I'm

- Grant

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