Currently (per property file specification) property files are loaded and stored in ISO-8859-1 encoding (disregarding
the encoding specified for the project. As a result, editing a UTF-8 property file (and saving it as such) becomes
unnecessarily difficult: I have to rename the file to .txt, edit it as a text file, edit it, save it and then rename it
back to .properties file . THe alternative is to use another editor (e.g. vi) to edit this property file.
There seem to be well known workarounds for this issue (e.g.
http://ditoinfo.wordpress.com/2007/02/26/netbeans-and-utf8-encoding-2/), but they don't seem to apply to property files.
The specific use case for this is that I was trying to contribute a localization patch to Tapestry 5, which incidentally
uses UTF-8 encoded property files.
ISO-8859-1 is the standard encoding for properties files since the beginning of Java; other characters must be escaped. There is an open RFE to detect other encodings, but it cannot be reliable since the file itself does not specify its encoding.
*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 75906 ***
I guess the idea here was not to change the default encoding for property files - as you mention, by the default encoding is already specified.
The idea here is to be able to change the encoding, if for whatever reason, I needed a property file saved in an encoding that's not the default.