incompatible character encodings

Hi.

I just want to know have anybody solved the encoding problem in Rails'
views by this time?

If you aren't in the know here's the deal.

Debian GNU/Linux 5.0.4;
SQLite 3.6.23.1;
Ruby 1.9.2;
RoR 2.3.8;
sqlite3-ruby 1.2.5.

$ sqlite3 -header -line db/development.sqlite3 'select * from
friends;'

id = 1
name = Чендлер

id = 2
name = Фиби

id = 3
name = Росс

id = 4
name = Моника

id = 5
name = Рэйчел

id = 6
name = Джоуи

# app/controllers/friends_controller.rb
# encoding: utf-8

class FriendsController < ApplicationController
  def show
    @friends = Friend.find(:all)
  end
end

# app/views/friends/show.haml

- @friends.each do |f|
  %span= f.name

#=> Чендлер Фиби Росс Моника Рэйчел Джоуи

The problem appears when we try to include UTF text in the template.

# app/views/friends/show.haml

%h1 Друзья
- @friends.each do |f|
  %span= f.name

#=> ActionView::TemplateError (incompatible character encodings: UTF-8
and ASCII-8BIT)

The source of the problem is that the data which was extracted from
the SQLite3 DB are in the ASCII encoding but the title in my example
is in UTF.

# app/views/friends/show.haml

%h1= 'Друзья'.encoding #=> UTF-8
%span= @friends[0].name.encoding #=> ASCII-8BIT

The solution is to use the force_encoding method to level the
differences between the encodings.

# app/views/friends/show.haml

%h1 Друзья
%span= @friends[0].name.force_encoding('utf-8')

#=> Друзья
#=> Чендлер

However this is just a hack - it's tiresome to add force_encoding
every time. So, here's a question: have there been suggested any
robust solutions to change the situation with encoding
incompatibilities since the problem appears first time?

Thanks.