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Linux 2.6 - man page for locale (linux section 7)

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

NAME
       locale - description of multilanguage support

SYNOPSIS
       #include <locale.h>

DESCRIPTION
       A  locale  is  a set of language and cultural rules.  These cover aspects such as language
       for messages, different character sets, lexicographic conventions, and so on.   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 localeconv(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  functions,
	      such  as	isupper(3)  and toupper(3), and the multibyte character functions 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 decimal 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 LANGUAGE (containing a colon-sepa-
	      rated 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  functions,
	      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 (nonmonetary) 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 3.55 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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