Sorry in advance for the length of this... you can skip to "the problem" if you want to avoid extraneous backstory.

The background...

I'm a designer with some moderate knowledge of programming working with my client's ASP/javascript programmer. The client's site was created back in 1999 or so, when he used FrontPage 98 to develop all the pages. When I was brought on board I was also forced to use FP, reluctantly, because that was basically the only way to edit / upload his pages.

Fast forward to a few months ago, when I got a new computer with Vista. This meant I had to switch to ExpressionWeb, since everything I'd read about FP & Vista compatibility was not very good. Anyway, xWeb was changing everything to UTF-8 by default, despite there being inconsistent charset definitions throughout the site; most were missing, some were ISO 8859-1, others were something else. This inconsistently was revealed once the pages went live thanks to a bunch of odd characters, primarily related to curly quotes, trademarks, and other symbols that had been transferred over when the client copied/pasted stuff from MS Word.

The problem...

I suggested that we go through page by page and switch everything to UTF-8. I argued that we've been lucky to have gotten away with crappy haphazard coding as long as we have; we need to standardize already. Fortunately a consensus was reached and the project began.

I was in charge of converting the static pages (i.e. not our shopping cart or other script-laden pages), which I did by opening the pages in xWeb, adding the proper charset declaration, and resaving/encoding as UTF-8. The pages I did this with ended up working fine, except for one or two places where old MS Word code was still used. Once the extra stuff was removed it worked fine.

Meanwhile the ASP programmer understandably preferred to do the conversion of the vital ASP- and Javascript-laden pages herself. She uses Microsoft Script Editor rather than FP, specifically because MSE doesn't add extra bloated code.

But when she tested these pages last night, they were broken. There was a new line of code at the top (which I believe was something like %codePage="65001") and boxes (square characters) in the middle of her javascript where there should have been blank spaces. She's at a loss to understand what happened.

Now again, I'm no programmer. I completely cede to her knowledge of ASP and javascript. Nevertheless, it struck me that these errors implied that the pages weren't correctly saved as UTF-8. When we were trying to figure out what caused the problem, I asked if, in addition to adding the meta declaration tag, she actually encoded the files as utf-8.

She said she opened up the pages, added the meta charset definition, and closed them again. This concerned me, since I didn't hear anything about 'encoding' in there. So I asked if they were saved as UTF-8 encoded pages, and she said "MS Script Editor doesn't do Save As, it just saves the file."

I thought the problem seems to be that simply adding the charset declaration isn't enough, the pages have to be specifically encoded to match. You usually have to tell your editor how you want pages to be encoded (i.e. what language). The programmer seemed to get irritated by my suggestion -- of course, she was frustrated, understandably -- and said that MS Script Editor is more advanced than FP and that why she uses it, and basically implied that it knows what to do.

Since I'm not a programmer and I'm not nearly as knowledgable about ASP or Javascript as she is (and I have no experience whatsoever with Script Editor), I really couldn't argue with that, or offer any other suggestions. Also I think she resents me for the whole encoding mess anyway. Maybe she's right.

So my question to you gurus is: anyone have ideas about what might have gone wrong? Does anyone have experience in changing files w/javascript & ASP coding to unicode? Is MSE able to encode files in utf-8?