well the whole character encoding problems in the german language with utf-8 and iso-8859-1 is pretty tedious. a fine little program called iconv does the whole encoding changes pretty nicely but… (well there had to be a but huh?) you can’t switch encodings with input and output being the same file.
so moving/deleting/renaming makes it a little painfull.
i wrote a little script that does this for me, it’s really simple but simplifies everything.
# Convert arguments handle different encodings
iconv -f $1 -t $2 "$3" -o "$3-new"
# Create backup
mv "$3" "$3~"
mv "$3-new" "$3"
i called it “econv” and instead of:
iconv -f iso-8859-1 -t utf-8 myfile.txt -o myfile_new.txt
then deleting the old file and renaming the new one, i just type:
econv iso-8859-1 utf-8 myfile.txt
which does the trick and even creates a “myfile.txt~” backup of the original.
put the script in your /usr/local/bin or whatever you prefer and you can use it globally.