Chapter 22. Character Sets and Collations

22.1 Introduction

This book has described the concepts character sets and collation a few times. What exactly do these concepts mean, and how does MySQL handle them? This chapter addresses these topics.

Alphanumeric values consist of letters, digits, and special symbols. Before these values can be stored, the letters, digits, and symbols must be converted into numeric codes. Something like a translation table must be built that contains a unique numeric code for each relevant character. Therefore, each character gets a position in that translation table. Such a translation table is called a character set in the SQL world. The literature sometimes uses the terms code character set and character encoding ...

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