Hmm, it's just that Win32::GetLongPathName() returns the perl string I'd most expect in Win32-land. By "expect", I mean "jives with what I see in Windows Explorer".
Using Explorer, I created a file "snowman ☃" in a new folder "my_dir". That file was created by renaming an empty text file with "snowman " first, and then copy+pasting the snowman character. Then I ran the following:
The results tell me that the return string from Win32::GetLongPathName() is then fit for Unicode semantics in Perl. Nevermind the underlying filesystem encoding of NTFS (UTF-16LE ? I don't know), I can now treat the path as characters from then on.
Sure, long path names are opposite of short path names. What I'm saying is that Win32::GetLongPathName() is handy to get at the characters instead of octets given by File::Find.