Tuesday, 25 October 2011

International Characters with PHP and MySQL

I'm currently writing an android application that pulls data from a MySQL database via a PHP script "API" and have come up against a problem whereby text that contains international characters with accents are replaced in my app with a question mark.  Fraçais comes out as Fran?ais.

After a fair bit of Google abuse and knowing that the solution lay somewhere in a UTF-8 character set, it came down to 2 things, and I thought I would share the solution for those who might also be struggling.

Firstly, I defined the utf-8 character set in the header response of my PHP API script:

header('Content-type: text/html; charset=utf-8');

That didn't work on its own, but it did solve the issue for characters that I manually echo'd from php, so I knew the problem had to be with the database.

I also had to define the character set for the database connection:


I defined this right after the connection to the database is made so that it applies to the last made connection.  You can also define a specific connection.

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