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I think there's a slightly more complex I/O model in play now, where perl has it's own "Internal Format" (a chewy core surrounded by bytesoup syryp... or something).

Using an explicit :encoding i/o layer is my prefered method of doing UTF-8 i/o... with the ':encoding()' syntax there's no way to accidentally get the lax form, we're doing strict UTF-8 here, with all rules enforced.
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