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Data::Dumper and utf8

by thedi (Acolyte)
on Jan 30, 2010 at 07:01 UTC ( #820455=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
thedi has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I have a big application, all written in Perl. It uses a MySQL database and saves in some cases Perl structures to the database. This Perl structures are dumped with Data::Dumper and restored with eval.

Everyting is in Unicode: program sources, data files, database. Each program and Module begins with use utf8. Non-ASCII Unicode data is handled without problems, except in one case: data dumped with Data::Dumper, then restored and then written to the database (now without Dumper). Such data is corrupted.

After some research i finally found out that the data restored with eval looses its utf-8 bit. All bytes are correct, but Perl does not know that it is utf8-encoded. DBI then fails when it tries to include such data in SQL statements.

Unluckilly the application is quite big, What is the simplest way to fix this problem? All I need is a way to tell Perl in evals, that string which are generated by the eval are in Unicode (Useqq does not solve it)

This program demonstrates the problem:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w use strict; use utf8; use Data::Dumper; # $Data::Dumper::Useqq = 1; binmode STDOUT, 'utf8'; our $VAR1; my $data = ''; # this is a non-ACII a Umlaut my $dump = Dumper( $data ); eval $dump; if ( $data eq $VAR1 ) { print " == equal\n"; } else { print " != not equal\n"; } print $dump, "\n"; print Dumper( $VAR1 ), "\n"; print "original is utf8 = '" . utf8::is_utf8( $data ) . "'\n"; print "restored is utf8 = '" . utf8::is_utf8( $VAR1 ) . "'\n";

Output is

== equal $VAR1 = "\x{e4}"; $VAR1 = ''; original is utf8 = '1' restored is utf8 = ''
PS: it is on a Mac OSX 10.5.8 with Perl v5.8.8 built for darwin-thread-multi-2level

Comment on Data::Dumper and utf8
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Re: Data::Dumper and utf8
by Krambambuli (Deacon) on Jan 30, 2010 at 08:43 UTC
    Although I'm not really sure why, the following code change seems to work:

    #!/usr/bin/perl use strict; use warnings; use utf8; use Encode; use Data::Dumper; #$Data::Dumper::Useqq = 1; binmode STDOUT, 'utf8'; our $VAR1; my $data = ''; # this is a non-ACII a Umlaut my $dump = Dumper( encode( 'utf8', $data ) ); print $dump, "\n"; eval $dump; print $dump, "\n"; if ( $data eq $VAR1 ) { print " == equal\n"; } else { print " != not equal\n"; } #print Dumper( $VAR1 ), "\n"; print "Data: $data\nVAR1: $VAR1\n"; print "original is utf8 = '" . utf8::is_utf8( $data ) . "'\n"; print "restored is utf8 = '" . utf8::is_utf8( $VAR1 ) . "'\n";
    It's Dumper that generates the problems, not the eval:

    $VAR1 = "\x{e4}";

    has no way to determine that there's something utf8-related in the string.

    Update: There's some additional info available here.

    Update2: Looks like the proper solution is actually to just set

    $Data::Dumper::Useperl = 1;
    According to the doc, you just have to use a Perl newer than 5.8.0 to have this working - it does work for me, Perl 5.10.0.

    Krambambuli
    ---

      Replacing method Data::Dumper::qquote as suggested in the additional info did it for me. Many thanks.

      Perl is great - but the best thing about Perl is its monks!

      regards

      Thedi

Re: Data::Dumper and utf8
by brycen (Monk) on Aug 13, 2010 at 21:28 UTC
    The difference with $Data::Dumper::Useperl = 1; is related to strings that can be represented entirely without utf8. On ingest eval makes the usual perl heuristic about utf8, and gets it wrong:
    #!/usr/bin/perl -w use utf8; # so source code is utf-8 encoded use Data::Dumper; $data1 = ' ☺'; # a-umlaut, space, smiley $data2 = ' '; # a-umlaut, space, space $Data::Dumper::Useperl = 1; $dump1 = Dumper( $data1 ); print $dump1; $dump2 = Dumper( $data2 ); print $dump2; print "\n"; $Data::Dumper::Useperl = 0; $dump1 = Dumper( $data1 ); print $dump1; $dump2 = Dumper( $data2 ); print $dump2; print "\n";

    Output

    $VAR1 = "\x{e4} \x{263a}"; $VAR1 = ' '; $VAR1 = "\x{e4} \x{263a}"; $VAR1 = "\x{e4} ";

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