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XML and encoding for different languages.

Are there any articles out with advice or best practices for handling
different characters sets? I'm not completely new to the topic, but
niggling problems come up with various characters or character sets,
suggesting the approach being used is not robust. 

Lets say you have a web application storing form results as XML in a
database. The website is used by people all over the world who may be
entering text in their own alphabets. Do you store everything as UTF-16
or 8? How do you identify the encoding from the the form data?

Any pointers would be appreciated.