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IRC logs with IRC control code characters in them don't work nicely with python 3 text strings, for example.

Why not? There's no restriction on what kinds of characters can appear inside a Python Unicode string.

Or do you mean that the text in the log is UTF-8, but the log itself as a whole is not, because those control characters are mixed into it in (effectively) a different encoding? Then the log isn't a single string, and shouldn't be treated as such.

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