http://www.perlmonks.org?node_id=868516


in reply to Re^2: Chicanery Needed to Handle Unicode Text on Microsoft Windows
in thread Chicanery Needed to Handle Unicode Text on Microsoft Windows

...to trust that
:raw:perlio:encoding(UTF-16LE):crlf [download]
is the best, right way to handle Unicode text in Perl on Windows.
For older versions of Perl (<= 5.8.8), you'd need an additional :utf8 layer at the end, i.e.

:raw:perlio:encoding(UTF-16LE):crlf:utf8
(although this isn't needed with newer versions, it doesn't do any harm either)

Without it, the strings would end up without the utf8 flag set (upon reading), which means that Perl wouldn't treat them as text/unicode strings in regex comparisons, etc., as it should. Similarly for writing.

$ hd Input.txt 00000000 ff fe e4 00 62 00 63 00 0d 00 0a 00 |...b.c.....|
#!/usr/bin/perl -w use strict; use Devel::Peek; open my $input_fh, '<:raw:perlio:encoding(UTF-16):crlf', 'Input.txt'; my $line = <$input_fh>; chomp $line; Dump $line;
5.8.8 output (wrong):

SV = PV(0x69ae70) at 0x605000 REFCNT = 1 FLAGS = (PADBUSY,PADMY,POK,pPOK) PV = 0x6778e0 "\303\244bc"\0 CUR = 4 LEN = 80
Output with newer versions (correct):

SV = PV(0x750cb8) at 0x777cc8 REFCNT = 1 FLAGS = (PADMY,POK,pPOK,UTF8) PV = 0x86a070 "\303\244bc"\0 [UTF8 "\x{e4}bc"] CUR = 4 LEN = 80

This seems to be the only thing that's been fixed in the meantime.

I think this only goes to prove your point that this is way too arcane for mere mortals... And, even though there is a "solution" to the issue, the current behavior of the :crlf layer is definitely a bug, IMHO. For one, it violates the principle of least surprise. Instead, the following straightforward approach (as anyone sane in his mind would glean from the existing documentation) should work:

open my $fh, '<:encoding(UTF-16LE)', ...