Convert string for use in URLs in multilanguage environment

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Sorry for the multipost - I forgot to crosspost and alt.php gets less  
attention than comp.lang.php... And I hope this will work with UTF-8.

In order to make strings suitable for URLs in a UTF-8 encoded website, I use
2 functions, the first of which removes accents from some Latin-1, Latin-2,
and Turkish characters (suggestions for changes or additions welcome!), and
the second removes non-word characters by spaces and then urlencode()s the

function remove_accents($string, $german=false) {
    // Single characters
    $single_fr = explode(" ", "      A A  C C D D      E E G    
  I L L L  N N       O R R S S S T T     U U  Z Z Z      
 a a  c c d d     e e g     i l l l  n n        o r r s s  
s t t     u u   z z z");
    $single_to = explode(" ", "A A A A A A A A C C C D D D E E E E E E G I I
I I I L L L N N N O O O O O O O R R S S S T T U U U U U U Y Z Z Z a a a a a
a a a c c c d d e e e e e e g i i i i i l l l n n n o o o o o o o o r r s s
s t t u u u u u u y y z z z");
    $single = array();
    for ($i=0; $i<count($single_fr); $i++) {
        $single[$single_fr[$i]] = $single_to[$i];
    // Ligatures
    $ligatures = array(""=>"Ae", ""=>"ae", "O"=>"Oe", "o"=>"oe",
    // German umlauts
    $umlauts = array(""=>"Ae", ""=>"ae", ""=>"Oe", ""=>"oe", ""=>"Ue",
    // Replace
    $replacements= array_merge($single, $ligatures);
    if ($german) $replacements= array_merge($replacements, $umlauts);
    $string = strtr($string, $replacements);
    return $string;

function make_url_string($string) {
    $string = strtolower(remove_accents($string, true));
    $string = preg_replace("/([\W]+)/", "-", $string);
    return urlencode(trim($string, "-"));

I have 2 questions on this:

1. preg_replace("/([\W]+)/", "-", $string); removes all non-ASCII
characters. Is there any possibility to remove only punctuation and such
stuff, but keep all kinds of letters from whatever character sets?

2. Is there a better way to encode strings for URLs? Or is it maybe
inevitable to collect the real name and the name for the url separately to
get an ASCII-only entry?

Thanks for suggestions!


Re: Convert string for use in URLs in multilanguage environment

Markus Ernst wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Arguably.  Another way is to take your character, encode it as
UTF-8 octets, and percent-encode that encoding.  This is the mapping
of IRIs to URIs described in RFC3987.  Take <é> (U+00E9).  Encoded as  
UTF-8 then percent-encoded, you get %C3%A9 (not %E9).



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