iso, utf, and upgrades OH MY!

CaMer0n by CaMer0n in e107

The dev team has been discussing character encoding for quite some time.

The dev team has been discussing character encoding for quite some time. We finally have come to a decision on how we are going to handle this area. It's not an ideal solution, but we feel it's probably the best one we have. Please read entire post for more info: This document will attempt to answer any questions you have relating to e107 and character encoding.

Fist off, when we started writing .7 the plan was full utf support. This would solve a lot of problems with multilanguage issues. We had thoughts of upgrading/converting all existing e107 databases to utf. We have since discovered doing the conversion is very difficult when not done on a case by case basis. We are now not recommending trying to convert your current database.

All current non-cvs e107 sites all have iso encoded files and all of the language packs for .7 that have been created by the translators, as well as all of the core English files, are all encoded as utf8.

This means that any attempt to upgrade a current e107 to the cvs should not be attempted, you will need to have iso encoded files before this is attempted.

Q: I want to experiment with e107 cvs and want to install it on a test site, what should I do?
A: Go for it. You have no current data, so all data will be utf encode, you should have no problems at all.

Q: I have an e107 site and I want to upgrade to .7 (or CVS), can I?
A: This is currently not recommended. Your current data in your db is all iso encoded, as soon as you upgrade to the cvs, they will begin to be encoded as utf. The only exception to this may be English sites. There are some differences between utf and iso for English, but not a large amount. You should have few problems, unless your db happens to have a lot of the different characters. It is still not recommended you upgrade, however. I'll say it again, it is NOT recommended to upgrade your .6xx e107 without having an iso language pack!

Q: The translators have released a -iso encoded language pack for .7, can I upgrade now?
A: Yes, this is the route to go. If you want to upgrade to .7, you will need to wait until the language pack is available for your language.

Q: I have a new .7 install (utf encoded), will there be any impact on older plugins.
A: Possibly, yes. If the utf language files for this plugin are not provided, some of the plugin-specific text may not appear correctly. You should convert the language files to utf, or wait for them to be released.

Q: What's the big deal about utf anyway, and why do I care about it?
A: If you are running a site with one language and only intend to show that single language on your site, it means nothing to you. utf will allow you to have a multi-language userbase, it will allow you to show multile languages on your site at the same time with no problems. Also, all data is saved in the db as utf encoded, so if you change the language of your site down the road (or add a language), you will have no problems.

Q: Will iso and utf continue to be supported?
A: The core dev team is commited to maintaining the English iso and utf language packages, the rest of the language packs will be up to the e107 community to provide. This has always been the case and has always worked out great.

Q: Once I have installed e107, can I change encoding later?
A: No, this this the whole problem. Changing encoding once you have started with one is not recommended at all. This means if you absolutely know you will never need multilanguage, feel free to use iso encoding. If you may add multilanguage down the road, you should start out with utf.

Q: What if I already had an existing .6xx site and have already upgraded it to .7 (utf)?
A: Unfortunately, there is nothing that can really be done. If you've done this and are going to have problems, you have most likely seen them already. You may have to work out a way to attempt to convert your current db to utf.

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