html special chars

Why not just declare your output encoding to match the encoding of the
data in your database? Or better yet, convert the data in the database
to UTF-8, which all modern browsers support and which Rails sets as
default output encoding.

HTML entities are handy for use in literals in your source code, but
aren't really appropriate for your data in this case.

Depends on the database. For PostgreSQL you need to
* dump your database
* run the dump through iconv
* create a new database with the UTF8 encoding, and
* load your dumpfile into the new database.

Michael Glaesemann
grzm seespotcode net