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It only encodes non-Basic-ASCII chars, as they are the only ones not well readed by UTF-8 and ISO-8859-1 (latin-1).
It converts all
* C3 X (some latin symbols like ASCII-extended ones)
and * C2 X (some punctuation symbols like inverted exclamation)
...UTF-8 double byte symbols to escaped form that every parser understands to form the URLs. I didn't encode spaces and the rest of basic punctuation, but supposedly, space and others are coded as \x20, for example, in UTF-8, latin-1 and Windows-cp1252.... so its read perfectly.
Please feel free to correct, the application to which I designe that function works as expected with my assumption.
Note: I specify a w=999, I didn't find a flag to put unlimited value.
I just suppose very improbable surpass the de-facto 255 (* 3 byte max) = 765 bytes length of URL