UTF-8 encoding in SitePoint Books.
This more a remark for the writers of the SitePoint books.
I have the book 'HTML Utopia, Designing Without Tables'.
In this book, the iso-8859-1 encoding is used in all examples. So, I just copied that for my own pages.
Until recently. I had to make a guestbook that had also to work with Cyrillic. So, I had to learn about encodings etc. I did everything in UTF-8 and it works fantastic.
The impact of using UTF-8 is very minor (using mb_strlen instead of strlen in PHP). And I consider the other encodings legacy. I will do new projects in UTF-8, even when it is not directly necessary.
So, my suggesting to SitePoints, is to update your books and make the examples with UTF-8 encoding. In this way, new programmers don't learn the legacy solutions.
It is not more complicated
Well, my experience was, that it is not more complicated.
That was my suprise. My first thought was, oh oh, Unicode (of course I knew what it was), this is giving me headaches.
The notepad argument is not valid. Because for all HTML code, that is not generated, you hardly use any characters in the range 128-255. And if so, you can use &imul; etc or &#...; codes.
Only in PHP, you sometimes have to be aware that you are dealing with an UTF-8 string.
Atlhough you don't need it, you have a good growth pad for internalization. You never know what happens with your software.
I looked to the sites, that use UTF-8. Google is using it, Wikipedia (English), but not Yahoo. And tested Yahoo mail, indeed can not receive messages in UTF-8 properly. Rather stupid. And it would not be a problem, if they started with it from the beginning. Now, they have a problem to get it all fixed.