Storing European characters in MySQL

Ok so I have a created a MySQL database that has a table with my users full name.

Not to be discriminative, I want to allow European and other people who’s name include a “foreign” character, to type their name as it is spelled. Yes I know 99% of US sites apparently do not give a damn, as they don’t!

Anyways when I enter and store a test “foreign” character like “?” MySQL stores it as “é”, why and what do I need to change to my PHP code or MySQL database so these special characters are stored correctly?

My linux red hat 9 server is running PHP 4.3.11 and MySQL 4.0.21-standard.

From what I’ve been reading it seems that MySQL 4.1 made some improvement on the foreign characters side.

Any reason why I cannot upgrade MySQL to a newer or newest version? Any Interworx considerations?

Also anyone has a quick guide how to upgrade?

In the mean time I can use the PHP function utf8_decode to properly display the stored data.

We don’t do anything special with MySQL so you can also take a look at dag or to find an RPM or SRPM for your distro. There are numerous threads on this kind of thing in the forums here. The main consideration is that if you do upgrade mysql to 4.1.x you will (probably) also need to recompile php against that version.