Yesterday, I had some trouble with utf-8. The character set of my tables is utf-8, and I use utf-8 as encoding for my pages, too. No problem, you would think (and it was no problem up to now). But yesterday, I noticed that special characters like öüä are not displayed correctly. I do not know if the problem was caused by the latest version of CakePHP, or if the cause was the upgrade to MySQL 5.0. Anyway, I could fix it. I had to add the following line to my /etc/mysql/my.cnf file, the configuration file for MySQL:
[mysqld] init-connect = 'SET NAMES utf8'
If you do not have access to this file, you can alternatively execute the statement “SET NAMES utf8” before you do any sql queries (I have not tested this approach).