I was wondering today why use mbstring rather than iconv in Dokeos, and honestly I didn’t remember exactly why I had chosen mbstring in the past, but finding information about the *differences* between the two.
mbstring is a library that deals with multi-byte character strings
iconv is also a library that deals with multi-byte character strings
However, their respective documentation doesn’t mention the other one.
Searching a bit more, I found a PPT presentation from Carlos Hoyos on Google
PHP supports multi byte in two extensions: iconv and mbstring
* iconv uses an external library (supports more encodings but less portable)
* mbstring has the library bundled with PHP (less encodings but more portable)
If that’s the case (I assume he’s right as he was giving that conference at NewYork PHP) then the choice I made a few years ago was the right one. We want maximum portability, so we’re going to continue using mbstring until there is a major reason not to.
Although asking for more info on the general PHP list (which has traffic of a few thousand mails per months), I only got one personal opinion answer, so I guess the difference is really boiling down to a few minor things (including the licence), making this article almost useless, or at least in the sense of comparing the libraries.