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Many thanks for the replies to this - all helpful.

Philippe - I have to think about legacy scripts written in ANSI, and the possibility that people may want to write new scripts to be run against old versions of my software, which expects ANSI. Yes I can easily convert old ANSI scripts if I know that that's what they are, but users can import scripts written by others, and without a BOM it's tricky to distinguish the encoding. Also, internally my app will use UTF-16 so I have to do a lot of string conversion anyway. It's not significantly harder for me to add support for ANSI as a conversion target, as well as UTF-8. Also, I want plugin authors to be able to work in ANSI anyway if they want to, because it's easier. I agree that there are ways of doing it which avoid the need for a BOM. I'm not sure if they are better though.