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If anyone has any ideas on either what I'm doing wrong or how to fix it, I would very much appreciate it. I thought I pretty much got the whole character encoding thing, but I'm quickly losing faith in that.
I gave encodeURIComponent() a try, and I get differently same results. That is, it changes the encoding in the url from %u2019 to %E2%80%99, but still comes across as ’ in my perl script. I was reading somewhere that Unicode is the new standard for URLs, so the answer maybe to get my Perl script to decode it as Unicode instead of ISO-8859-1. Interestingly, I've been testing this in Firefox so far; when I try it in IE, it appears to automatically convert the right single quote to the much more bland, but infinitely more compatible, apostrophe, '.