Why it didn't work out with Rekall (yet)

A couple of days ago I made Rekall work with MySQL on OS X. And now I’m not really using it!

There is a big showstopper for maintaining german content (or in any other language that uses more than the 7 bit ASCII character set): Rekall (on the Mac) doesn’t handle Unicode correctly. Here’s a short sample: to the left the expected display (from phpMyAdmin), to the right the screen shot from Rekall:

Correct umlaut with phpMyAdmin The same umlaut with Rekall

What if I entered the umlaut in Rekall? Then phpMyAdmin shows the content as if it wouldn’t know how to display UTF-8 codes:

Umlaut entered with Rekall Double transformation seen with phpMyAdmin

What happens is that the transformation takes place twice:

  • The UTF-8 transformation of ‘ä’ (0xE4) is ‘ä’ (0xC3 0xA4) as shown in the second phpMyAdmin screen shot.
  • The UTF-8 transformation of ‘ä’ is 0xC3 0x83 0xC2 0xA4, which is what is stored in the database, as a hexdump shows.

I have seen the same strange glyphs for umlauts in another Mac port of a multi platform program: Perforce P4V in Version 2005.1 has the same problem:
Umlaut in P4V 2005.1 Mac
Because Rekall and P4V both are based on the Qt library, I think it’s actually a bug in the Mac port of Qt; I have never used Rekall on other platforms, but I know that the Windows port of the same version of P4V shows the umlaut as expected:
Umlaut in P4V 2005.1 Win

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4 Responses to Why it didn't work out with Rekall (yet)

  1. KkrodD says:


    It seems to me that all versions of Rekall has this problem as I’ve tested it under Linux (Ubuntu and Mepis) and Windows –although I have problems with spanish characters like Ñ or “tildes”: á.

    I’ll keep trying to find the info on how to solve the problem, and if I do I guess i’ll write it here and on any other page that could help others


  2. Pesche says:

    Hello KkrodD!

    Thanks for your information, you’re welcome to post new facts here.

  3. Henriette says:

    In addition, knoda (another OS database frontend) has troubles with umlauts as well, although not these problems. I think it might actually be a mysql 4.1 + problem, not something to do with any of these.

  4. Henriette says:

    Oh, and that’s on linux.