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I have encountered following problem with encoding of Czech carracters using ICQ protocol between Pidgin 2.4.3 - 2.5.2 on my side and QIP on friends side of the wire, we both have had tried to do fixtures which we both have googled out including changing character encoding in QIP and Pidgin but to be honest nothing had changed until I tried to do some workaroud mentioned on www.abclinuxu.cz (information is in Czech language, sorry) one of the forum users here mentioned problems with GTK+ runtime above 2.12.1rev b
In case I reinstall the GTK or install Pidgin without GTK+ and am using old 2.12.1 rev b everything is OK and encoding works but, when I install newer version of GTK it comunicates in a very strange manner and encoding of Czech characters is broken.
Either in GTK 2.12.1rev b have been some workaround quick fixing this problem which have been removed in newer versions or there is bug of somekind in newer releases of GTK+ downloadable on pidgin sourceforge site.