I'm having the utf-8 Vs. byte string problems mentioned here: Django headache with simple non-ascii string
I don't care about case sensitive matching in the MySQL columns, I just always want UTF-8 strings returned because I find it is impossible to deal with byte strings returned for character columns for non-ascii text.
How do I change my MySQL collation type so that UTF-8 strings are always returned through Django?
You need to be aware of the character-set/collation settings at the database/table/column levels. Column-level settings take precedence over the others. Because of this, I'm including commands you can use to perform these changes at each level of the db.
Inspect your current configuration (database):
SHOW CREATE DATABASE db_name;
Inspect your current configuration (table):
SHOW TABLE STATUS WHERE name='tbl_name'
Inspect your current configuration (columns):
SHOW FULL COLUMNS FROM tbl_name;
Change the character-set/collation (database):
ALTER DATABASE db_name DEFAULT CHARACTER SET utf8;
Change the character-set/collation (table):
ALTER TABLE tbl_name DEFAULT CHARACTER SET utf8;
Change the character-set/collation (columns):
ALTER TABLE tbl_name CONVERT TO CHARACTER SET utf8;