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Character set issues


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I've been given a database where some text columns are using latin encoding (or swedish? ugh). I want to update these columns to utf encoding while preserving the data to be accessed correctly after the column type is changed. What are the steps? Do I convert the data FIRST and then alter the column encoding type? Or vice-versa? Or something else?


Also, is this the best way to update the data?

convert(cast(convert(column_name using latin1) as binary) using utf8)



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Sorry, another question on this, because I'm not sure I asked it correctly the first time: The database column is currently latin1_swedish BUT the encoding used by the application's mysql connection is UTF-8.


This is why I was wondering about needing to convert data before converting the column.

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MySQL will still convert it for you. At the very least try to: if there's a character in the first character set that's not available in the second then you will lose some data (IIRC), but that's not going to be an issue with Latin1 -> UTF-8 (since MySQL's utf8mb3 contains all of the characters in latin1).


[edit] But since the reverse is not true, you should check your data to make sure it's all correct: if you tried to save something not valid in Latin1 then MySQL couldn't have saved it correctly and you'll need to fix it manually (since the data would have been lost).

Edited by requinix
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