[development] phpMyAdmin + Drupal 4.7 issue

Steven Wittens steven at acko.net
Tue Mar 28 06:24:33 UTC 2006

We've started using MySQL conditional comments (of the form /*!40100 ... 
*/) with some MySQL 4.1+ specific code (to set the right db table 
character set). Unfortunately, phpMyAdmin blindly removes all comments 
when you upload an SQL file like our database.mysql.

This means that anyone performing a fresh install, using MySQL 4.1+ and 
phpMyAdmin will encounter problems with non-ascii characters.

In theory the admin should just specify the character set when creating 
the database. But, most hosts will create databases for you AFAIK, or 
will do it through a simplified front-end where you can only set the name.

I don't really have a good view on the usage of tools like phpMyAdmin. I 
imagine it's pretty widespread though. I found out about this issue 
after someone reported Unicode problems today:

So, any ideas on how to address this? Some options:

- Tell phpMyAdmin users to create their db in utf-8 encoding (or have it 
created as such by the host). Will need clear and easy to find 

- Provide a separate MySQL 4.0 and 4.1+ database.mysql file instead of 
one with conditional comments and tell people to use the right one.

I submitted a patch to phpMyAdmin(*) to make them parse these constructs 
correctly, but it doesn't help existing users at all.

Steven Wittens

(*) Yes, I washed my hands afterwards. Their code stinks.

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