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This issue happens when I'm trying to save a discussion containing unicode emojis such as
it removed the error --> "Code": 256, "Exception": "Incorrect string value: '\xF0\x9F\x91\x88
Seems that after posting, the text after the emoji gets removed so its not working here either.
It's a database issue: https://github.com/vanilla/vanilla/issues/5229
The solution could be quite complex. I'm on mobile so not able to write long explanations. I hope you find answers in the link
if its (only) a database issue then wouldn't a DB update script to change encoding suffice?
Yes and no: you "only" have to convert your database tables to utf8mb4, but that will give errors if there are indexed columns which are more than 191 characters long. See here
You can find more talk about that issue when searching the repository
From my perspective you would have to change all columns where you see that problems in all tables where you want to change the encoding.
I'm not 100% sure, but I would guess that having mixed encodings is a bad idea and I would try to change the encoding for all tables.
Whenever you run an update or database/structure, your columns will be resized again, if you don't do the change directly in a plugin.