Question

So I have some Spanish content saved in Excel, that I am exporting into a .csv format so I can import it from the Firefox sql manager add-on into a .sql db. The problem is that when I import it, whenever there is an accent mark, (or whatever the technical name for those things are) Firefox doesn't recognize it, and accordingly produces a big black diamond with a white ?. Is there a better way to do this? Is there something I can do to have my Spanish content readable in a sql db? Maybe a more preferable program than the Firefox extension? Please let me know if you have any thoughts or ideas. Thanks!

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Solution

You need to follow the chain and make sure nothing gets lost "in translation".

Specifically:

  • assert which encoding is used in the CSV file; ensure that the special charaters are effectively in there, and see how they are encoded (UTF8, particular Code page, ...)
  • ensure the that SQL server can
    a) read these characters and
    b) store them in an encoding which will preserve their integrity. (BTW, the encoding used in the CSV can of course be remapped to some other encoding of your choosing, i.e. one that you know will be suitable for consumption by your target application)
  • ensure that the database effectively stored these characters ok.
  • see if Firefox (or whichever "consumer" of this text) properly handles characters in this particular encoding.

It is commonplace but useful for this type of inquiries to recommend the following reading assignement:

The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!) by Joel Spolsky

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