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LOCALE(7)                  Linux Programmer's Manual                 LOCALE(7)



NAME
       locale - Description of multi-language support

SYNOPSIS
       #include <locale.h>

DESCRIPTION
       A locale is a set of language and cultural rules.  These cover aspects such as lan-
       guage for messages, different character sets, lexicographic  conventions,  etc.   A
       program needs to be able to determine its locale and act accordingly to be portable
       to different cultures.

       The header <locale.h> declares data types, functions and macros which are useful in
       this task.

       The  functions  it declares are setlocale(3) to set the current locale, and locale-
       conv(3) to get information about number formatting.

       There are different categories for local information a program might need; they are
       declared as macros.  Using them as the first argument to the setlocale(3) function,
       it is possible to set one of these to the desired locale:

       LC_COLLATE
              This is used  to  change  the  behavior  of  the  functions  strcoll(3)  and
              strxfrm(3),  which  are  used to compare strings in the local alphabet.  For
              example, the German sharp s is sorted as "ss".

       LC_CTYPE
              This changes the behavior of the character handling and classification func-
              tions, such as isupper(3) and toupper(3), and the multi-byte character func-
              tions such as mblen(3) or wctomb(3).

       LC_MONETARY
              changes the information returned by localeconv(3) which  describes  the  way
              numbers are usually printed, with details such as decimal point versus deci-
              mal comma.  This information is internally used by the function  strfmon(3).

       LC_MESSAGES
              changes  the  language  messages are displayed in and what an affirmative or
              negative answer looks like.  The  GNU  C-library  contains  the  gettext(3),
              ngettext(3),  and rpmatch(3) functions to ease the use of these information.
              The GNU gettext family of functions also obey the environment variable  LAN-
              GUAGE  (containing a colon-separated list of locales) if the category is set
              to a valid locale other than "C".

       LC_NUMERIC
              changes the information used by the printf(3) and scanf(3) family  of  func-
              tions,  when  they are advised to use the locale-settings.  This information
              can also be read with the localeconv(3) function.

       LC_TIME
              changes the behavior of the strftime(3) function to display the current time
              in  a  locally  acceptable  form; for example, most of Europe uses a 24-hour
              clock versus the 12-hour clock used in the United States.

       LC_ALL All of the above.

       If the second argument to setlocale(3) is empty string, "", for the default locale,
       it is determined using the following steps:

       1.     If  there  is a non-null environment variable LC_ALL, the value of LC_ALL is
              used.

       2.     If an environment variable with the same name as one of the categories above
              exists and is non-null, its value is used for that category.

       3.     If there is a non-null environment variable LANG, the value of LANG is used.

       Values about local numeric formatting is made available in a struct lconv  returned
       by the localeconv(3) function, which has the following declaration:

         struct lconv {

             /* Numeric (non-monetary) information */

             char *decimal_point;     /* Radix character */
             char *thousands_sep;     /* Separator for digit groups to left
                                         of radix character */
             char *grouping; /* Each element is the number of digits in a
                                group; elements with higher indices are
                                further left.  An element with value CHAR_MAX
                                means that no further grouping is done.  An
                                element with value 0 means that the previous
                                element is used for all groups further left. */

             /* Remaining fields are for monetary information */

             char *int_curr_symbol;   /* First three chars are a currency symbol
                                         from ISO 4217.  Fourth char is the
                                         separator.  Fifth char is '\0'. */
             char *currency_symbol;   /* Local currency symbol */
             char *mon_decimal_point; /* Radix character */
             char *mon_thousands_sep; /* Like thousands_sep above */
             char *mon_grouping;      /* Like grouping above */
             char *positive_sign;     /* Sign for positive values */
             char *negative_sign;     /* Sign for negative values */
             char  int_frac_digits;   /* International fractional digits */
             char  frac_digits;       /* Local fractional digits */
             char  p_cs_precedes;     /* 1 if currency_symbol precedes a
                                         positive value, 0 if succeeds */
             char  p_sep_by_space;    /* 1 if a space separates currency_symbol
                                         from a positive value */
             char  n_cs_precedes;     /* 1 if currency_symbol precedes a
                                         negative value, 0 if succeeds */
             char  n_sep_by_space;    /* 1 if a space separates currency_symbol
                                         from a negative value */
             /* Positive and negative sign positions:
                0 Parentheses surround the quantity and currency_symbol.
                1 The sign string precedes the quantity and currency_symbol.
                2 The sign string succeeds the quantity and currency_symbol.
                3 The sign string immediately precedes the currency_symbol.
                4 The sign string immediately succeeds the currency_symbol. */
             char  p_sign_posn;
             char  n_sign_posn;
         };

CONFORMING TO
       POSIX.1-2001.

       The GNU gettext functions are specified in LI18NUX2000.

SEE ALSO
       locale(1),  localedef(1),  gettext(3),  localeconv(3), ngettext(3), nl_langinfo(3),
       rpmatch(3), setlocale(3), strcoll(3), strfmon(3), strftime(3), strxfrm(3)

COLOPHON
       This page is part of release 3.22 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of
       the   project,   and   information   about   reporting   bugs,   can  be  found  at
       http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.



Linux                             2008-12-05                         LOCALE(7)

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