Camsoft Camsoft - 23 days ago 5
PHP Question

Error: "Input is not proper UTF-8, indicate encoding !" using PHP's simplexml_load_string

I'm getting the error:

parser error : Input is not proper UTF-8, indicate encoding ! Bytes: 0xED 0x6E 0x2C 0x20


When trying to process an XML response using
simplexml_load_string
from a 3rd party source. The raw XML response does declare the content type:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>


Yet it seems that the XML is not really UTF-8. The langauge of the XML content is Spanish and contain words like
Dublín
in the XML.

I'm unable to get the 3rd party to sort out their XML.

How can I pre-process the XML and fix the encoding incompatibilities?

Is there a way to detect the correct encoding for a XML file?

Answer

Your 0xED 0x6E 0x2C 0x20 bytes correspond to "ín, " in ISO-8859-1, so it looks like your content is in ISO-8859-1, not UTF-8. Tell your data provider about it and ask them to fix it, because if it doesn't work for you it probably doesn't work for other people either.

Now there are a few ways to work it around, which you should only use if you cannot load the XML normally. One of them would be to use utf8_encode(). The downside is that if that XML contains both valid UTF-8 and some ISO-8859-1 then the result will contain mojibake. Or you can try to convert the string from UTF-8 to UTF-8 using iconv() or mbstring, and hope they'll fix it for you. (they won't, but you can at least ignore the invalid characters so you can load your XML)

Or you can take the long, long road and validate/fix the sequences by yourself. That will take you a while depending on how familiar you are with UTF-8. Perhaps there are libraries out there that would do that, although I don't know any.

Either way, notify your data provider that they're sending invalid data so that they can fix it.


Here's a partial fix. It will definitely not fix everything, but will fix some of it. Hopefully enough for you to get by until your provider fix their stuff.

function fix_latin1_mangled_with_utf8_maybe_hopefully_most_of_the_time($str)
{
    return preg_replace_callback('#[\\xA1-\\xFF](?![\\x80-\\xBF]{2,})#', 'utf8_encode_callback', $str);
}

function utf8_encode_callback($m)
{
    return utf8_encode($m[0]);
}
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