I wonder why most modern solutions built using Perl don't enable UTF-8 by default.
I understand there are many legacy problems for core Perl scripts, where it may break things. But, from my point of view, in the 21st century, big new projects (or projects with a big perspective) should make their software UTF-8 proof from scratch. Still I don't see it happening. For example, Moose enables strict and warnings, but not Unicode. Modern::Perl reduces boilerplate too, but no UTF-8 handling.
Why? Are there some reasons to avoid UTF-8 in modern Perl projects in the year 2011?
Commenting @tchrist got too long, so I'm adding it here.
It seems that I did not make myself clear. Let me try to add some things.
tchrist and I see situation pretty similarly, but our conclusions are completely in opposite ends. I agree, the situation with Unicode is complicated, but this is why we (Perl users and coders) need some layer (or pragma) which makes UTF-8 handling as easy as it must be nowadays.
tchrist pointed to many aspects to cover, I will read and think about them for days or even weeks. Still, this is not my point. tchrist tries to prove that there is not one single way "to enable UTF-8". I have not so much knowledge to argue with that. So, I stick to live examples.
I played around with Rakudo and UTF-8 was just there as I needed. I didn't have any problems, it just worked. Maybe there are some limitation somewhere deeper, but at start, all I tested worked as I expected.
Shouldn't that be a goal in modern Perl 5 too? I stress it more: I'm not suggesting UTF-8 as the default character set for core Perl, I suggest the possibility to trigger it with a snap for those who develop new projects.
Another example, but with a more negative tone. Frameworks should make development easier. Some years ago, I tried web frameworks, but just threw them away because "enabling UTF-8" was so obscure. I did not find how and where to hook Unicode support. It was so time-consuming that I found it easier to go the old way. Now I saw here there was a bounty to deal with the same problem with Mason 2: How to make Mason2 UTF-8 clean?. So, it is pretty new framework, but using it with UTF-8 needs deep knowledge of its internals. It is like a big red sign: STOP, don't use me!
I really like Perl. But dealing with Unicode is painful. I still find myself running against walls. Some way tchrist is right and answers my questions: new projects don't attract UTF-8 because it is too complicated in Perl 5.