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Re: locale and encoding advice

From: Reece Hart <reece(at)harts(dot)net>
To: SF PostgreSQL <sfpug(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: locale and encoding advice
Date: 2006-08-04 18:14:50
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: sfpug
David Fetter wrote:
        I'd go with a C locale and a UTF8 encoding.  The downside of
        this is
        that you may have some trouble importing your old data.

Perhaps you mean this kind of trouble?
        psql:<stdin>:142677171: ERROR:  invalid byte sequence for
        encoding "UTF8": 0x96

This was obtained roughly like this:
$ createdb -E UTF8 newdb
$ pg_dump ... olddb | psql -d newdb -qaf-

The pg_dump prologue has a line:
SET client_encoding = 'SQL_ASCII';

As I said the OP, I need the idiot's guide to encoding... please let me
check my understanding.  olddb data is stored on disk in the
server_encoding (SQL_ASCII).  When I pg_dump, it's written in the
server_encoding and this is indicated by explicitly setting
client_encoding in the dump prologue.  When I load into a UTF8 db,
client_encoding is set to SQL_ASCII (it would otherwise be newdb's UTF8
by default), server_encoding is UTF8, and the backend (?) tries to
translate SQL_ASCII chars to UTF8 chars.  In my case, we've choked on
this translation.  Is that it?

Here's how I addressed this particular problem:

In looking at the log, I can see which table this is in.  It's data I
imported from elsewhere.  To find the offending lines, I did:

=> select * from mint \g | perl -ne 'print if $.<3 or m/\x96/' | less

It turns out that only 7 rows are problematic in this way.  I did this:

=> update mint set comments=replace(comments,'\x96','-') where

I'm reloading now and we'll see whether I had other problems.

In the future, could I pipe through recode (or other tool?) to do the
translation outside of postgresql?  Does anyone have a recommendation to
fix this sort of problem on a larger scale or when a more sophisticated
translation is needed (than my update statement above, I mean).

Thanks for your help.


Reece Hart,, GPG:0x25EC91A0

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