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Re: RFC: Rename the “UTF8” flag

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Tomasz Konojacki
February 4, 2022 19:01
Re: RFC: Rename the “UTF8” flag
Message ID:
On Fri, 4 Feb 2022 09:13:22 +1100
Tony Cook <> wrote:

> The UTF8 flag does what it says on the box - indicates the PV is
> encoded using (something like) UTF-8.
> If our documentation isn't clear about that at some point we should
> fix that.
> If the documentation is fine and users are ignoring that documentation
> renaming the flag isn't going to help.

The misuse of the UTF-8 flag is so extremely widespread that I don't
think it can't be explained with just "our users are stupid". Its name
*is* misleading and the poor documentation doesn't help either.

However, I think the root cause is that there's no way to tell whether
the string was decoded. It's something that users often need (or at
least they think they do) and it's really hard to explain to them that
no such thing exists.

It's clear that perl's current unicode model didn't stand the test of
time. It was introduced 20 years ago and it still confuses people.
Even on this very list it's not unusual to see a post containing
misconceptions about it. Outside the p5p bubble the situation is much

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