I'm using PostgreSQL 9.6 on Linux. I got an error when I do a test on chr() function.

postgres=# select chr(1199111);
ERROR:  requested character too large for encoding: 1199111
postgres=# select chr(55296);
ERROR:  requested character not valid for encoding: 55296
postgres=# select chr(100000);
(1 row)

Here, as you can see with value 100k it worked (didn't raise error), however others didn't. I'm curious about that. Could someone please explain to me why ?

I attach test script

str text ;
for i in 1..1200000
select chr(i) into str;
exception when others then raise notice '=> i: %     => str: %', i , str ;
#exit; -- you can uncomment this star key
end ;
end loop;
$$ ;


postgres=# show server_encoding;
(1 row)
  • Please add the result of show server_encoding to your question – Daniel Vérité Feb 17 '17 at 10:52
  • @DanielVérité sorry for my late response, added server_encoding – Luan Huynh Feb 19 '17 at 15:39

Because it didn't raise an error, doesn't mean it worked. None of these work, but only one of them is so absurd as to make chr() explode.

  • 100000 (186A0) maps to the Supplementary Multilingual Plane, but there is nothing there (yet).
  • 55296 (U+D800) maps to the Basic Multilingual Plane, but nothing is there (yet).
  • 1199111 (U+124C07) is not even valid, it maps to a plane so high that Unicode doesn't even support it.

Unicode only supports 1,111,998: 17 planes × 65,536 characters per plane - 2048 surrogates - 66 noncharacters. See this answer for more information. 1.11 Million code points, is far less than 1.19 Million code points.

| improve this answer | |
  • Very good answer. Only one remark: while it is possible that in the future a character is assigned to 100000, which is in the Ideographic Script Area of the SMP, it is against the standard to assign a character to 55296, which is “permanently reserved” as a surrogate. – Dario Feb 19 '17 at 20:04
  • thanks, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – Luan Huynh Feb 20 '17 at 3:27
  • @LuanHuynh consider marking this answer as accepted if it answered your question. – Evan Carroll Feb 20 '17 at 3:33

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