Just found Code Writer on the brazillian Gizmodo "apps of the week" post and I was impressed with most of what I saw. But in order to use this day-to-day, like many devs, I'm gonna need control of encoding. I noted this has been reported here before, and in most cases it appears people gave up trying instead of finding a solution. I tried a lot of things, and I even understood now how this works and how I can workaround the problems, but as it is it's far too dangerous to get encoding wrong by mistake. See below.
Situation 1: app configured to auto-detect encoding, opened html file with ISO-8859-1 encoding
What it does: does not auto-detect ISO-8859-1, which is fine by me, as long as I could manually select it. Opening the encoding menu and changing it to Latin 1 or Western European does nothing, all special characters stay invisible. Saving the file like this obviously discards the special characters, which is a disaster.
Situation 2: app locked for western european encoding, opened both an ANSI-encoded and an UTF8-encoded html files
What it does: this is interesting. It opens both files just fine, displays both files' special characters correctly. Problem is, although now the app is compatible with ISO-8859-1, it saves UTF files into western european encoding, thus potentially breaking all UTF8 files I try to edit.
Situation 3: app locked for UTF8 encoding, opened both an ANSI-encoded and an UTF8-encoded html files
What it does: of course now the ANSI file had trouble displaying special characters and loses them upon saving. UTF8 file displays and saves correctly.
You see, with the right pre-configuration it can work, but I'll have to manually change the standard config before opening each and every file. This is because I think you're doing this wrong.
Displaying, converting and saving files into a certain encoding are three different things, but here it's done with the same menu dropdown: it could be fine if it did something when you touched the dropdown menu, but it doesn't. When you open a file with the right encoding it just works, but opening with the wrong encoding only works for UTF8, and saving with the wrong encoding always happens freely with no warning. Selecting the right encoding for the file with the wrong encoding does nothing.
Note how this is done with Notepad++. You open a file with the wrong encoding (because Notepad++ can't detect correctly either), it displays wrong. You change it to display with the right encoding, it starts displaying right. You tell it to convert to whatever encoding you want, it does that and starts displaying in the new encoding. THEN you save it if you want, or convert back if you want, or leave it if you want.
Phew. That's about it. I think people who need to view and edit files with different encodings won't be able to while this is done as it is.
By all means let me know if I got it wrong so I can try again, I'm willing to test it further.