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Re: Is this error correct/possible?

From: Kris Jurka <books(at)ejurka(dot)com>
To: Joost Kraaijeveld <J(dot)Kraaijeveld(at)Askesis(dot)nl>
Cc: pgsql-jdbc(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Is this error correct/possible?
Date: 2005-08-23 14:34:31
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On Tue, 23 Aug 2005, Joost Kraaijeveld wrote:

> I have a database which is created in PostgreSQL 8.0.3 which is filled
> with a PostgreSQL 7.4.7 database backup. Both databases where created
> with SQL_ASCII.
> "Invalid character data was found.  This is most likely caused by stored
> data containing characters that are invalid for the character set the
> database was created in.  The most common example of this is storing
> 8bit data in a SQL_ASCII database."
> Inspection of the row (using pgadmin3) shows that there is the char "ü"
> in a char(40) columns.
> Questions:
> 1. Is a "ü" allowed in a SQL_ASCII database and a column of char(40)?

It is allowed to be stored in the database because SQL_ASCII is not a real 
encoding.  SQL_ASCII allows you to store anything you want and doesn't 
require you to tell the server what character set it actually is.  The 
problem is on the return end, the JDBC driver asks the server to always 
return data in UTF-8 by setting the client_encoding appropriately.  The 
server has no idea what the original encoding of the data was, so it has 
no means of converting it to unicode.  It may happen to look like 
u-double-dot in your particular pgadmin3 client's encoding, but if that 
client's encoding was different it would show up as a different character. 
This is why the JDBC driver bails out instead of just picking a 
random character.

> 2. If so, is this a JDBC bug?

No.  The JDBC documentation clearly states not to choose a SQL_ASCII 
database for your data.

> 3. If not, is this a PostgreSQL bug, allowing a non-allowed character in
> a column?

This is how the SQL_ASCII encoding works, for better or worse (mostly 
worse).  The problem is that you've likely had two different clients 
connect with different client_encodings which ends up storing two 
different encodings in the database which is then going to break the other 
client when it tries to display it.

Kris Jurka

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