Comment #7 on issue 322 by mjkl...@gmail.com: Add support for parsing text files that contain a BOM, or UTF preamble for protoc.exe input
http://code.google.com/p/protobuf/issues/detail?id=322

Why not just ignore this specific character? It's a simple test done only on the first character of the file. Protobuf still work with UTF-8 files without BOM as far as you don't use non-ascii characters (which I think is the case of all user scripts) so this test is just making things complicated for users of several different text editors. Can't you do the test and ignore the first character if it's BOM, and clarify the message as you suggested for all other non-ascii character values?

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