Joris Mans Joris Mans - 1 month ago 12
PHP Question

How do I make MySQL return UTF-8?

I'm using PHPUnit to validate XML output from my PHP code, but apparently I have problems with the character encoding MySQL returns. Here is the error I get from DOMDocument:

Input is not proper UTF-8, indicate encoding!
Bytes: 0xE9 0x20 0x42 0x65


I initialize the DOMDocument so it uses the correct encoding:

$domDocument = new DOMDocument('1.0','UTF-8');


And when I check the output from saveXML() using mb_detect_encoding the result is UTF-8.

I also checked all the calls used to create the XML, using mb_detect_encoding on all createCDATASection parameters encountered and they are all either UTF-8 or ASCII (there are no plain text nodes, everything is in CDATA blocks).

I think the issue comes from the use of an 'é' character (which is 0xE9 in ISO 8859-1). The line which adds that character to my XML is:

$domDocument->createCDATASection($place->name);


and mb_detect_encoding($place->name) gives me UTF-8.

The data ($place->name) is pulled from a MySQL database. This database has the UTF-8 charset.

Here is some example code:

$query = sprintf('SELECT name FROM place where id = 1');
$result = mysql_query($query);
$result = mysql_fetch_assoc($result);


// -- Feeding UTF-8 data directly WORKS
$domDocument = new DOMDocument('1.0','UTF-8');
$rootNode = $domDocument->createElement('Response');
$rootNode->appendChild($domDocument->createCDATASection('Café Belga'));
$domDocument->appendChild($rootNode);

$matcher = array('tag' => 'Response');
self::assertTag($matcher, $domDocument->saveXML(), '', FALSE);

// -- Feeding UTF-8 data from the resultset FAILS
$domDocument = new DOMDocument('1.0','UTF-8');
$rootNode = $domDocument->createElement('Response');
$rootNode->appendChild($domDocument->createCDATASection($result['name']));
$domDocument->appendChild($rootNode);

$matcher = array('tag' => 'Response');
self::assertTag($matcher, $domDocument->saveXML(), '', FALSE);


In my PHPStorm debugger, the string fetched from the database looks like this:


Caf� Belga


So I think that is the root of the problem. In MySQLWorkbench the string is correct: Café Belga.

When using
utf8_encode($result['name'])
, however, everything works fine!

One more check in the watches window:

mb_detect_encoding($result['name'])
-> "UTF-8"

mb_detect_encoding(utf8_encode($result['name']))
-> "UTF-8"

On a side note, are there any sites where I can simply copy-paste those hex values and see what characters they are supposed to be in different character sets?

Answer

You have to define the connection to your database as UTF-8:

// Set up your connection
$connection = mysql_connect('localhost', 'user', 'pw');
mysql_select_db('yourdb', $connection);
mysql_query("SET NAMES 'utf8'", $connection);

// Now you get UTF-8 encoded stuff
$query = sprintf('SELECT name FROM place where id = 1');
$result = mysql_query($query, $connection);
$result = mysql_fetch_assoc($result);
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