------ List: Swedish GNU/LI List Sender: Ulrich Drepper <email@example.com> Subject: i18n for Linux libc Date: Tue, 13 Jun 1995 19:40:07 +0200 ------ Hi, I promised it already some weeks ago but there were still some problems to solve. This is the announcement of the availability of the first part of i18n support for Linux libc. I appended the readme below. To use i18n you need libc-5.1.1 or above and i44ftp.info.uni-karlsruhe.de:pub/linux/ctype/WG15-collection.linux.tar.gz For the later: Somebody major sites should get this. I would prefer if you put it in the same directories as the libc or a complete new hierachy named i18n. But please let me know about the distribution. -- Uli ________--------------------------------------------------------------- \ / Ulrich Drepper / Univ. at Karlsruhe, Germany / CS Dept. / IPD L\inux/ email: firstname.lastname@example.org smail: Rubensstr. 5 \ / email@example.com 76149 Karlsruhe \/1.2.10 ------------------------------------------ Germany -------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Internationalization for Linux C Library ---------------------------------------- The Linux C Library Version 5 has completely new code for the support of internationalization. (* This is not quite right in the moment but will be soon when I manage to release the new message handlng code.) This code is written by Roland McGrath and Ulrich Drepper for the GNU and Linux C Libraries considering the POSIX standards where applicable. The code is designed to be portable to various architectures which are allowed to share their files defining a locale. Special attention was also given to performance. When available all files are mmap'ed. Together both of these conditions require an elaborated file format. To construct these locale files the POSIX.2 standard defines a tool named localedef. The input of this tool consists of locale definition files in the format POSIX.2 defined and it writes out the files the C library can work with. You cannot use a localedef program of another system because the produced locale files all have special file formats. There is a collection of these POSIX locale definition files available. They were created in the POSIX working group 15 on i18n (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG15). Please read README.locales for more information about this and before you change anything. The complete set is not distributed with the C library for several reasons: - Not all users are interested in it - It will not change that often - It is quite big So for now it is available on i44ftp.info.uni-karlsruhe.de:pub/linux/ctype and hopefully soon on tsx-11 and sunsite (perhaps in the C library directories; server maintainers, please let me know where you make it available). How to use ---------- As said above you need Linux libc-5, more specific libc-5.1.1 or above. 5.1.1 is the first version which ships the localedef program. If you upgraded your library sources with patches you will probably have in the libc/locale/ directory other directories (collate, ctype, monetary, numeric, response, and time). These can savely be removed! They contain the code for the old programs which are not usable with libc-5. If you still run libc-4 and don't have this programs in your bin directories consider building them first though. If you got this library and a binary of it you should go into the directory libc/locale/ and run make SHARED= programs SHARED= is necessary to prevent it being compiled with -fPIC etc. (Please don't pay attention to the warning. This is *work-in-progress*.) The compilation will hopefully end up with to programs built: localedef and locale. There is not yet any documentation but the POSIX.2 description and this text. (But I'm working on this.) After installing the programs in /usr/bin  cd /usr/src/libc/locale  cp localedef locale /usr/bin you should unpack the WG-collection.  tar zxvf WG-collection.tar.gz In the created directory you find one directory named `charmaps'. This contains a lot of character map definition files (also described in POSIX.2). Some files describe rather exotic character maps (at least for Linux which does not run on EBCDIC machine). I suggest to install at least the files beginning with `ISO_'. The place to install is determined by the value the preprocessor variable CHARMAP_PATH had while compiling localedef. Normally this is /usr/share/nls/charmap.  cd WG-collection/charmaps  mkdirhier /usr/share/nls/charmap  cp ISO_* /usr/share/nls/charmap One strange point in the WG15-collection is that there is no ISO_10646 charmap is in charmaps/. But you can find one in locales/. So you should copy it, too.  cd WG-collection/locales  cp ISO_10646 /usr/share/nls/charmap/ISO_10646-1:1993 Now you should also make the locale definition files available in a common place. I would suggest /usr/share/nls/locale:  cd WG-collection/locales  mkdirhier /usr/share/nls/locale  cp POSIX ??_* /usr/share/nls/locale The rest of the WG15-collection is perhaps not interesting at this time. Create locale files ------------------- So far only preparations have been made. To create the needed binary locale files you have first to determine the environment you want. For me the situation would be: I want to have the definition for Germany and german languages. Further I use Linux with ISO_8859-1 (although I could also use 8859-2 and 8859-5). The first to points specify the locale definition file I have to use. If you look through the collection and also note that the ISO appreviation for Germany is De you will easily find the candidate: de_DE. The third point determines the locale definition file to use. Obviously this has to be ISO_8859-1:1987. To get the locale file I run localedef with this commands  cd ~  mkdir new-dir  cd new-dir  localedef -i /usr/share/nls/locale/de_DE -f ISO_8859-1:1987 ./de I you run this with the given locale definition file you will get the following output: localedef: /usr/share/nls/locale/de_DE:23: invalid locale `en_DK' in copy statement localedef: /usr/share/nls/locale/de_DE:27: invalid locale `en_DK' in copy statement localedef: category `LC_COLLATE' not defined localedef: category `LC_CTYPE' not defined localedef: item `era' of category `LC_TIME' undefined localedef: item `era_year' of category `LC_TIME' undefined localedef: item `era_d_fmt' of category `LC_TIME' undefined localedef: item `alt_digits' of category `LC_TIME' undefined localedef: item `yesstr' of category `LC_MESSAGES' undefined localedef: item `nostr' of category `LC_MESSAGES' undefined localedef: no output file produced because warning were issued Especially interesting are the first two lines. They tell you that the locale en_DK is missing. Why this? I don't want to have english language support for Danemark. The answer is the "OO concept" of the POSIX locale definition files. The en_DK locale definition is (one of) the main locale definition files. Many locales share a lot of information. Instead of copying it they can inherit it by the copy statement. But the design is not optimal: the locale from which we want to inherit something must be created already and installed in the standard place (normally /usr/share/locale). I.e. before making the de locale we have first to generate the en_DK locale.  su root  localedef -i /usr/share/nls/locale/en_DK -f ISO_8859-1:1987 en_DK localedef: item `era' of category `LC_TIME' undefined localedef: item `era_year' of category `LC_TIME' undefined localedef: item `era_d_fmt' of category `LC_TIME' undefined localedef: item `alt_digits' of category `LC_TIME' undefined localedef: item `yesstr' of category `LC_MESSAGES' undefined localedef: item `nostr' of category `LC_MESSAGES' undefined localedef: no output file produced because warning were issued There are some warning which prevent according to the POSIX standard the generation of the locale files. But now I tell you that this are harmless so we can try it again with te -c option (do --help for info):  localedef -c -i /usr/share/nls/locale/en_DK -f ISO_8859-1:1987 en_DK localedef: item `NL_dummy' of category `LC_COLLATE' undefined localedef: item `era' of category `LC_TIME' undefined localedef: item `era_year' of category `LC_TIME' undefined localedef: item `era_d_fmt' of category `LC_TIME' undefined localedef: item `alt_digits' of category `LC_TIME' undefined localedef: item `yesstr' of category `LC_MESSAGES' undefined localedef: item `nostr' of category `LC_MESSAGES' undefined LC_COLLATE LC_CTYPE LC_MONETARY LC_NUMERIC LC_TIME LC_MESSAGES (For explanation see the de locale). Now run the command for the german locale again and you'll get  localedef -c -i /usr/share/nls/locale/de_DE -f ISO_8859-1:1987 ./de localedef: item `era' of category `LC_TIME' undefined localedef: item `era_year' of category `LC_TIME' undefined localedef: item `era_d_fmt' of category `LC_TIME' undefined localedef: item `alt_digits' of category `LC_TIME' undefined localedef: item `yesstr' of category `LC_MESSAGES' undefined localedef: item `nostr' of category `LC_MESSAGES' undefined LC_COLLATE LC_CTYPE LC_MONETARY LC_NUMERIC LC_TIME LC_MESSAGES The six LC_* lines signal that for these locale categories output is produced. If you look through new-dir you will notice a directory de which contains the following: total 12 -rw-r--r-- 1 drepper users 13 Jun 12 04:18 LC_COLLATE -rw-r--r-- 1 drepper users 6940 Jun 12 04:18 LC_CTYPE -rw-r--r-- 1 drepper users 42 Jun 12 04:18 LC_MESSAGES -rw-r--r-- 1 drepper users 94 Jun 12 04:18 LC_MONETARY -rw-r--r-- 1 drepper users 24 Jun 12 04:18 LC_NUMERIC -rw-r--r-- 1 drepper users 951 Jun 12 04:18 LC_TIME These are the desired files! The last parameter of localedef, ./de, told it to place them in a directory de/ in the current dir. In fact all names here containing at least one slash ('/') will be placed in the specified directory. Because this work is often done by root to install global locale files there is a special option implemented. If the name does not contain any slash, the files are placed in the system's locale directory (i.e. the one looked for locale files by the C library). If a non-root user does omit the slash s/he should not be paniced by an error message like: localedef: cannot write output file `/usr/share/locale/de': Permission denied One more point which is not important in the moment is coming with the LC_MESSAGES file. The name might suggest that this file contains messages for some programs. But this is not right. Only some very general (and rarely used) definition are found here. The real message files will be produced in another way. I'm nearly finished with this stuff so that it will be incorporated in the Linux C Library soon but not now. Important is only that LC_MESSAGES should not be a plain file but instead a directory. localedef does not create this automatically but it can handle this situation. Take the situation where I want to make a good colleague an account on my machine while he is French speaking Canadian. The locale name I choose is fr_CA. So I do the following steps:  mkdirhier fr_CA/LC_MESSAGES  localedef -c -i /usr/share/nls/locale/fr_CA -f ISO_8859-1:1987 ./fr_CA I get the following result: total 12 -rw-r--r-- 1 drepper users 13 Jun 12 04:32 LC_COLLATE -rw-r--r-- 1 drepper users 6940 Jun 12 04:32 LC_CTYPE drwxr-xr-x 2 drepper users 1024 Jun 12 04:32 LC_MESSAGES/ -rw-r--r-- 1 drepper users 93 Jun 12 04:32 LC_MONETARY -rw-r--r-- 1 drepper users 25 Jun 12 04:32 LC_NUMERIC -rw-r--r-- 1 drepper users 945 Jun 12 04:32 LC_TIME fr_CA/LC_MESSAGES: total 1 -rw-r--r-- 1 drepper users 42 Jun 12 04:32 SYS_LC_MESSAGES localedef recognized that LC_MESSAGES/ is a directory and made the file in this directory with the name prepended by `SYS_'. (`SYS_' is a prefix reserved by POSIX for system usage.) This is of course also understood by the libc and it is possible for the other locale categories, too. Naming problems --------------- One problem that will naturally arise is naming. In the above examples I had the names `de' and `fr_CA'. These are the names which are today mostly used. The internationalized GNU packages which will soon be released also follow this. This is of course recognized very early and the complete name could look like this [X/Open Portability Guide, Vol. 3]: language[_territory[.codeset]] For the above examples the full names should be: de_DE.ISO_8859-1:1987 and fr_CA.ISO_8859-5:1985 This will also be necessary if we have full support for ISO_10646 (i.e. the 32-bit character set). At this point at least two different locales are available for each language. But on the other hand the "strange" behaviour of the localedef program needs the simple names. A last problem to mantion he is that the /usr/share hierachy is intended to be used on various platforms. Nobody can say which character set in available on which machine. So it is not generally possible to have e.g. a de_DE without specifying a character set. We discussed this topic while writing the libc code but haven't found a solution yet. locale program -------------- The second program which is created is locale. I haven't mentioned it yet. It is intended to get information about the current locale. You can request the state of selection and also single values from a category. [[More information will be written soon. I hope at least...]] Bugs, limitations & prospects ----------------------------- I know the programs have still several problems. If you find some please document them (description and perhaps way to reproduce) and send this to me, firstname.lastname@example.org not to HJ (at least you should also include me). Patches are welcome to fix bugs but I don't think extensions are useful now because it is not complete now. If you look through the code you will see a lot of #ifdefs. This is mostly because I started writing the missing things. This leades me to explain what is missing: - wide character support (e.g. ISO_10646) - LC_COLLATE handling (and strcoll() and strxfrm() functions of the libc) I will work on this whenever I find time but there are other important things to do (I have to work on my diploma thesis). Projects -------- I have several points which I want to see realized and which I surely cannot write alone. So if you are interested in internationalization and have some time read on and tell me if you are interested. I would especially love to see some people from Asia. Once the libc has wide-character support (which is not far away anymore because I already wrote most of the code) I would like to have terminals capable to handle this. This would mean to have an xterm and a text-console. For xterm I heard that X11R7 will have much more complete i18n support but I also want to have a text-console (this is because my box is far too small to run X; anybody having a spare-i586? :-). In previous discussion about this it became clear that this must *not* be done in ther kernel. There might be some features added to the kernel but remember that putting bitmaps for N*1000 characters in kernel space is not acceptable. Japanese and chinese users reported that there are already text terminal emulations which can handle this situation. We should examine this. This whole project should also be tided couple with the kbd package (I think Andries Brouwer is the current developer of this!?). Anybody interested in this could perhaps contact me. I there are some more I will try to get a mailing list organized (Patrick, would you be wiling to establish another li.org mailing list?).
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