We've been talking about the multi-byte patch and I think it's time to
get feedback from you guys on a possible way forward.
We can include ActiveSupport::Multibyte with rails 1.2, and update all
of the relevant helpers to use the String#chars proxy. This will mean
that none of the action view helpers will mangle multibyte strings.
Similarly, if any Strings are being mangled in ActiveRecord or
anywhere else, we'll accept patches to fix them.
But any iconv conversions in actionpack, or database encoding changes
will be left to plugin authors. Perhaps by the time that rails 2.0
comes around these plugins will have gained critical mass and
best-practises will have emerged, letting us add them to the core.
Similarly, encodings other than utf-8 can be provided by plugins.