It works but I don't know why

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For a while I had been needing a process to allow French-speaking
users to send text, including accented characters, to the server via
AJAX. These characters would then be left as normal accented
characters, ready to be written to a text file, or prepared for HTML
files as HTML entities.

I found a way to do it by trial and error, and it works beautifully.
Trouble is, I am writing an AJAX manual and I am supposed to guide
readers on this process - but I can't really explain why it works, as
it is not particularly intuitive. Can anybody help?

The HTML file has a meta tag in the header with the following:


The Javascript sends the text after delimiting it as follows:


In the PHP file the following serious of functions is applied:


After being encoded and decoded again the accented characters come
through brilliantly. I can then either write to a text file or prepare
the text for an HTML file as follows:


The thing I do not understand is why the need encode and then decode?

I would be very grateful if somebody could throw some light on this.

Thanks for you time,


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