Tom Link wrote:
> Right now, I'm not exactly thrilled by the way ruby 1.9 handles
> encodings. Could somebody please explain things or point me to some
> reference material:

I asked the same over at ruby-core recently. There were some useful 
replies:

http://www.ruby-forum.com/topic/173179#759661

But the upshot is that this is all pretty much undocumented so far. 
(Well it might be documented in the 3rd ed Pickaxe, but I'm not buying 
that yet)

> text = File.read("text.txt")

This should work:

text = File.read("text.txt", :encoding=>"ISO-8859-1")

I still don't know how the default is worked out though.

Regards,

Brian.
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