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> It depends on whether you want to use the encoding specified by the 
> current locale, or always use UTF-8.  The former is a more general 
> solution and is probably preferred on Unix; GNU/Linux distributions are 
> moving toward UTF-8 anyway.  However, it's problematic on Windows; 
> someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that UTF-8 is 
> never (or rarely) the encoding associated with the system locale on 
> Windows.  So if you always want to use UTF-8, it's probably better to 
> use a hand-written converter.

This is actually part of my question :) I guess I would prefer to use
the current locale. But I know nothing about other multibyte encodings,
and so I have no idea whether my code would work for them. For
instance, may I assume that any 0 ends the string? What if the
encoding is state dependent? (It seems a nightmare to handle shift
states when doing backtracking and the like...) UTF-8 seems so
much more simple... But if it cannot be used on Windows, that would
be a strong limitation.

-- Roberto