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> Our database backend it's a mySQL 4.1.12 with "UTF-8 unicode" default
> character set for all the tables.
you seem to be mixing encodings. try utf-8 instead of iso-8859-1. also
what db driver are you using?
I think there are 4 or 5 month since I am facing this issue and only today I found the complete solution! In order to make CFMAIL and CFFILE tags to work fine with database results. In order to make it work, all you have to do is to open the DSN connection in the Cold Fusion Administrator, click on Advanced Settings and enter the following text to the CONNECTION STRING:
A complete set of instructions to fix character sets issues here: http://www.xtreme-host.com/faq/index.php?qid=81&catid=9
I think you will avoid the problem in the first place if you leave the encoding at Coldfusion's default, UTF-8.
Are you talking about not using processing directive?
If so, it wouldn't work. If you don't use it, you don't have the good charset on the screen... if you use it, you don't have database results sent by email or saved to file...