But, this would require PM to send proper, UTF8 encoded response content back to browsers.
Why? It works now without any extra work in normal text. The only problem is in the CODE blocks, BECAUSE, something reformats input into HTML-entities.
To fix that, I'd first try not doing that conversion in a code block (and maybe not in text areas). I seem to remember that the HTML entities were provided to allow having "special chars" (special to HTML syntax, like "<" and "&", etc..). But characters above U+0x0079 shouldn't be a problem if they were left "untouched". To handle display of "special chars" in any of the input -- only convert them to HTML-entities on post (if necessary). I'd bet that anything above the normal ASCII range would be fine to leave untouched.
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Posts may use any of the Perl Monks Approved HTML tags. Currently these include the following:
<code> <a> <b> <big>
<blockquote> <br /> <dd>
<dl> <dt> <em> <font>
<h1> <h2> <h3> <h4>
<h5> <h6> <hr /> <i>
<li> <nbsp> <ol> <p>
<small> <strike> <strong>
<sub> <sup> <table>
<td> <th> <tr> <tt>
Snippets of code should be wrapped in
<code> tags not
<pre> tags. In fact, <pre>
tags should generally be avoided. If they must
be used, extreme care should be
taken to ensure that their contents do not
have long lines (<70 chars), in order to prevent
horizontal scrolling (and possible janitor
Want more info? How to link or
or How to display code and escape characters
are good places to start.