Only ASCII characters (with ord <= 0x7f) are represented in UTF-8 in the same way as in latin1 (as single bytes). By the way, there is a module IO::HTML which can be used to determine encoding of HTML files (seekable :raw streams only).
If you are positive that your web pages consist only of ASCII and valid UTF8, you can use HTML::TokeParser::->new( \ decode "UTF-8", $raw_html ); (or even utf8::decode($html); HTML::TokeParser::->new($html)), but it's going to complain and/or produce mojibake (or at least U+FFFD REPLACEMENT CHARACTERs) if (when?) the crawler encounters latin1/cp1252/koi8/another non-ASCII encoding.
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Posts may use any of the Perl Monks Approved HTML tags. Currently these include the following:
<code> <a> <b> <big>
<blockquote> <br /> <dd>
<dl> <dt> <em> <font>
<h1> <h2> <h3> <h4>
<h5> <h6> <hr /> <i>
<li> <nbsp> <ol> <p>
<small> <strike> <strong>
<sub> <sup> <table>
<td> <th> <tr> <tt>
Snippets of code should be wrapped in
<code> tags not
<pre> tags. In fact, <pre>
tags should generally be avoided. If they must
be used, extreme care should be
taken to ensure that their contents do not
have long lines (<70 chars), in order to prevent
horizontal scrolling (and possible janitor
Want more info? How to link
or How to display code and escape characters
are good places to start.