Unicode Support in PHP

Converting Unicode characters to “\uxxxx” format using PHP

You can use the following code for going back and forward.

if (!function_exists('codepoint_encode')) {
    function codepoint_encode($str) {
        return substr(json_encode($str), 1, -1);
    }
}

if (!function_exists('codepoint_decode')) {
    function codepoint_decode($str) {
        return json_decode(sprintf('"%s"', $str));
    }
}

How to use :

echo "\nUse JSON encoding / decoding\n";
var_dump(codepoint_encode("我好"));
var_dump(codepoint_decode('\u6211\u597d'));

Output :

Use JSON encoding / decoding
string(12) "\u6211\u597d"
string(6) "我好"

Converting Unicode characters to their numeric value and/or HTML entities using PHP

You can use the following code for going back and forward.

if (!function_exists('mb_internal_encoding')) {
    function mb_internal_encoding($encoding = NULL) {
        return ($from_encoding === NULL) ? iconv_get_encoding() : iconv_set_encoding($encoding);
    }
}

if (!function_exists('mb_convert_encoding')) {
    function mb_convert_encoding($str, $to_encoding, $from_encoding = NULL) {
        return iconv(($from_encoding === NULL) ? mb_internal_encoding() : $from_encoding, $to_encoding, $str);
    }
}

if (!function_exists('mb_chr')) {
    function mb_chr($ord, $encoding = 'UTF-8') {
        if ($encoding === 'UCS-4BE') {
            return pack("N", $ord);
        } else {
            return mb_convert_encoding(mb_chr($ord, 'UCS-4BE'), $encoding, 'UCS-4BE');
        }
    }
}

if (!function_exists('mb_ord')) {
    function mb_ord($char, $encoding = 'UTF-8') {
        if ($encoding === 'UCS-4BE') {
            list(, $ord) = (strlen($char) === 4) ? @unpack('N', $char) : @unpack('n', $char);
            return $ord;
        } else {
            return mb_ord(mb_convert_encoding($char, 'UCS-4BE', $encoding), 'UCS-4BE');
        }
    }
}

if (!function_exists('mb_htmlentities')) {
    function mb_htmlentities($string, $hex = true, $encoding = 'UTF-8') {
        return preg_replace_callback('/[\x{80}-\x{10FFFF}]/u', function ($match) use ($hex) {
            return sprintf($hex ? '&#x%X;' : '&#%d;', mb_ord($match[0]));
        }, $string);
    }
}

if (!function_exists('mb_html_entity_decode')) {
    function mb_html_entity_decode($string, $flags = null, $encoding = 'UTF-8') {
        return html_entity_decode($string, ($flags === NULL) ? ENT_COMPAT | ENT_HTML401 : $flags, $encoding);
    }
}

How to use :

echo "Get string from numeric DEC value\n";
var_dump(mb_chr(50319, 'UCS-4BE'));
var_dump(mb_chr(271));

echo "\nGet string from numeric HEX value\n";
var_dump(mb_chr(0xC48F, 'UCS-4BE'));
var_dump(mb_chr(0x010F));

echo "\nGet numeric value of character as DEC string\n";
var_dump(mb_ord('ď', 'UCS-4BE'));
var_dump(mb_ord('ď'));

echo "\nGet numeric value of character as HEX string\n";
var_dump(dechex(mb_ord('ď', 'UCS-4BE')));
var_dump(dechex(mb_ord('ď')));

echo "\nEncode / decode to DEC based HTML entities\n";
var_dump(mb_htmlentities('tchüß', false));
var_dump(mb_html_entity_decode('tchüß'));

echo "\nEncode / decode to HEX based HTML entities\n";
var_dump(mb_htmlentities('tchüß'));
var_dump(mb_html_entity_decode('tchüß'));

Output :

Get string from numeric DEC value
string(4) "ď"
string(2) "ď"

Get string from numeric HEX value
string(4) "ď"
string(2) "ď"

Get numeric value of character as DEC int
int(50319)
int(271)

Get numeric value of character as HEX string
string(4) "c48f"
string(3) "10f"

Encode / decode to DEC based HTML entities
string(15) "tchüß"
string(7) "tchüß"

Encode / decode to HEX based HTML entities
string(15) "tchüß"
string(7) "tchüß"

Intl extention for Unicode support

Native string functions are mapped to single byte functions, they do not work well with Unicode. The extentions iconv and mbstring offer some support for Unicode, while the Intl-extention offers full support. Intl is a wrapper for the facto de standard ICU library, see http://site.icu-project.org for detailed information that is not available on http://php.net/manual/en/book.intl.php . If you can not install the extention, have a look at an alternative implemention of Intl from the Symfony framework.

ICU offers full Internationalization of which Unicode is only a smaller part. You can do transcoding easily:

\UConverter::transcode($sString, 'UTF-8', 'UTF-8');  // strip bad bytes against attacks

But, do not dismiss iconv just yet, consider:

\iconv('UTF-8', 'ASCII//TRANSLIT', "Cliënt"); // output: "Client"