Going all UTF-8
Posted by: Rickard Andersson
Date: May 16, 2005 07:01AM

I'm the developer of a discussion board called PunBB (punbb.org). I'm considering switching to using UTF-8 only in the next major release of the board. However, my current user base is using anything from MySQL 3.23 to MySQL 5, so I need a portable way of migrating the data already in the databases to UTF-8. I've browsed around in the manual a bit, but I wasn't able to find any definitive answers on how to do this.

For MySQL 4.0 and earlier, I reckon I will have to extract the data, convert it to UTF-8 in PHP and then put it back in. This sounds like a real pain, but I can't think of any other way of doing this since MySQL isn't aware of UTF-8 at all in those versions.

For MySQL 4.1 and later, I really have no idea. Is there a way to easily convert all singlebyte string columns to UTF-8 in a MySQL database? I would like to avoid having to run an ALTER TABLE ... MODIFY on every single varchar/text column in the database.

I would appreciate any help you can give me on this.

Cheers,
Rickard Andersson

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