Trying to learn and help some other programmers to find their solutions on the Yii Forum (I think is a superb way to learn the framework), I was facing one challenge with an external library that a fellow programmer wanted to use -quite good indeed: PHPExcel. And what is PHPExcel?
To fix issues with display of special language characters once and for all
there's a solution: use Unicode UTF-8 everywhere. If everything is set up to use Unicode, you can use mostly every language in your application.
This config is built on an Ubuntu 11.04 server.
Software is nginx, php-fpm (php5-fpm).
For performance, it's recommended to run php-fpm in SOCKET mode, instead of accessing via IP:PORT. That is the method shown below.
I needed British (dd/mm/yyyy) formatted dates throughout my application but found it very difficult to find examples of how to do this - until I found this excellent forum post http://www.yiiframework.com/forum/index.php?/topic/3649-dealing-with-i18n-date-formats/