|Why go through that trouble if ":encoding(UTF-8)" does exactly the same thing, the same safe way, only with less code?
If it is sufficient that the app simply never gets to see a malformed byte sequence (or anything following a malformed character) when reading from a source that is expected to be utf8, you're right -- better to handle it via the ":encoding(utf8)" layer in PerlIO.
But if there's any need to diagnose the nature of the malformedness, or to recover any amount of usable data following a bad byte sequence within a given input record, then the extra steps involving "decode('utf8',$string,...)" are the only way to do that, I think.
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