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Most programmers (including myself) have given up on the hope that there's a magical way to get UTF-8 to "Just Work" without any need to think about encoding issues.

In principle, I like setting up the encodings on each filehandle myself. You do need to know how to do it (you may need to deal with multiple encodings at once, after all), and things like "utf8::all" feel a little too magical (though it is lexically scoped)... but I find "utf8::all" to be tremendously addictive-- a simple, easy to type invocation that switches the defaults to where you almost always want them.
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