iconv() and mb_convert_encoding() in PHP? - Stack Overflow
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What is the difference between iconv() and mb_convert_encoding() in PHP?
What's the difference between
mb_convert_encoding() in PHP? Does one perform better, faster, etc. ( eg. with specific encodings )? In what situations would one be preferred over the other?
Here's what I think I know already:
- included with most installs of PHP.
- when characters that can't be mapped to the new character set are found, you can specify if they are converted to a 'similar' character, or ignored.
- usually requires installing the php-mbstring extension.
- is able to handle
HTML-ENTITIES, converting to and from web hex codes.
Are there other differences?
iconv() is just a wrapper around the
iconv() function found in the system C library where PHP is running (unless PHP is built with GNU iconv, in which case GNU iconv is used). So the performance and features of
iconv() depend on where you are running PHP and how it is built.
The implementation of
mb_convert_encoding(), on the other hand, is included in the PHP (module) source. It includes a library called libmbfl which handles the actual conversion. Thus it works the same regardless of where you're running PHP. There is a list of supported encodings here: http://php.net/manual/en/mbstring.encodings.php
So, in summary, I guess you could say that
mb_convert_encoding() is more reliable to use if you want to support different platforms. However, if you use
iconv() on Linux (for example), then it supports a lot more encodings (see
The relative performance of the functions also depends on the specific
iconv() implementation, obviously.
Since PHP 5.4 there is a bug. Sometime iconv returns null string instead of returning a string with 'similar' char.
So you should use mb_convert_encoding.
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