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/se3-unattended/var/se3/unattended/install/linuxaux/opt/perl/lib/5.10.0/pod/ -> perllocale.pod (source)

   1  =head1 NAME
   3  perllocale - Perl locale handling (internationalization and localization)
   5  =head1 DESCRIPTION
   7  Perl supports language-specific notions of data such as "is this
   8  a letter", "what is the uppercase equivalent of this letter", and
   9  "which of these letters comes first".  These are important issues,
  10  especially for languages other than English--but also for English: it
  11  would be naE<iuml>ve to imagine that C<A-Za-z> defines all the "letters"
  12  needed to write in English. Perl is also aware that some character other
  13  than '.' may be preferred as a decimal point, and that output date
  14  representations may be language-specific.  The process of making an
  15  application take account of its users' preferences in such matters is
  16  called B<internationalization> (often abbreviated as B<i18n>); telling
  17  such an application about a particular set of preferences is known as
  18  B<localization> (B<l10n>).
  20  Perl can understand language-specific data via the standardized (ISO C,
  21  XPG4, POSIX 1.c) method called "the locale system". The locale system is
  22  controlled per application using one pragma, one function call, and
  23  several environment variables.
  25  B<NOTE>: This feature is new in Perl 5.004, and does not apply unless an
  26  application specifically requests it--see L<Backward compatibility>.
  27  The one exception is that write() now B<always> uses the current locale
  28  - see L<"NOTES">.
  32  If Perl applications are to understand and present your data
  33  correctly according a locale of your choice, B<all> of the following
  34  must be true:
  36  =over 4
  38  =item *
  40  B<Your operating system must support the locale system>.  If it does,
  41  you should find that the setlocale() function is a documented part of
  42  its C library.
  44  =item *
  46  B<Definitions for locales that you use must be installed>.  You, or
  47  your system administrator, must make sure that this is the case. The
  48  available locales, the location in which they are kept, and the manner
  49  in which they are installed all vary from system to system.  Some systems
  50  provide only a few, hard-wired locales and do not allow more to be
  51  added.  Others allow you to add "canned" locales provided by the system
  52  supplier.  Still others allow you or the system administrator to define
  53  and add arbitrary locales.  (You may have to ask your supplier to
  54  provide canned locales that are not delivered with your operating
  55  system.)  Read your system documentation for further illumination.
  57  =item *
  59  B<Perl must believe that the locale system is supported>.  If it does,
  60  C<perl -V:d_setlocale> will say that the value for C<d_setlocale> is
  61  C<define>.
  63  =back
  65  If you want a Perl application to process and present your data
  66  according to a particular locale, the application code should include
  67  the S<C<use locale>> pragma (see L<The use locale pragma>) where
  68  appropriate, and B<at least one> of the following must be true:
  70  =over 4
  72  =item *
  74  B<The locale-determining environment variables (see L<"ENVIRONMENT">)
  75  must be correctly set up> at the time the application is started, either
  76  by yourself or by whoever set up your system account.
  78  =item *
  80  B<The application must set its own locale> using the method described in
  81  L<The setlocale function>.
  83  =back
  85  =head1 USING LOCALES
  87  =head2 The use locale pragma
  89  By default, Perl ignores the current locale.  The S<C<use locale>>
  90  pragma tells Perl to use the current locale for some operations:
  92  =over 4
  94  =item *
  96  B<The comparison operators> (C<lt>, C<le>, C<cmp>, C<ge>, and C<gt>) and
  97  the POSIX string collation functions strcoll() and strxfrm() use
  98  C<LC_COLLATE>.  sort() is also affected if used without an
  99  explicit comparison function, because it uses C<cmp> by default.
 101  B<Note:> C<eq> and C<ne> are unaffected by locale: they always
 102  perform a char-by-char comparison of their scalar operands.  What's
 103  more, if C<cmp> finds that its operands are equal according to the
 104  collation sequence specified by the current locale, it goes on to
 105  perform a char-by-char comparison, and only returns I<0> (equal) if the
 106  operands are char-for-char identical.  If you really want to know whether
 107  two strings--which C<eq> and C<cmp> may consider different--are equal
 108  as far as collation in the locale is concerned, see the discussion in
 109  L<Category LC_COLLATE: Collation>.
 111  =item *
 113  B<Regular expressions and case-modification functions> (uc(), lc(),
 114  ucfirst(), and lcfirst()) use C<LC_CTYPE>
 116  =item *
 118  B<The formatting functions> (printf(), sprintf() and write()) use
 121  =item *
 123  B<The POSIX date formatting function> (strftime()) uses C<LC_TIME>.
 125  =back
 127  C<LC_COLLATE>, C<LC_CTYPE>, and so on, are discussed further in 
 130  The default behavior is restored with the S<C<no locale>> pragma, or
 131  upon reaching the end of block enclosing C<use locale>.
 133  The string result of any operation that uses locale
 134  information is tainted, as it is possible for a locale to be
 135  untrustworthy.  See L<"SECURITY">.
 137  =head2 The setlocale function
 139  You can switch locales as often as you wish at run time with the
 140  POSIX::setlocale() function:
 142          # This functionality not usable prior to Perl 5.004
 143          require 5.004;
 145          # Import locale-handling tool set from POSIX module.
 146          # This example uses: setlocale -- the function call
 147          #                    LC_CTYPE -- explained below
 148          use POSIX qw(locale_h);
 150          # query and save the old locale
 151          $old_locale = setlocale(LC_CTYPE);
 153          setlocale(LC_CTYPE, "fr_CA.ISO8859-1");
 154          # LC_CTYPE now in locale "French, Canada, codeset ISO 8859-1"
 156          setlocale(LC_CTYPE, "");
 157          # LC_CTYPE now reset to default defined by LC_ALL/LC_CTYPE/LANG
 158          # environment variables.  See below for documentation.
 160          # restore the old locale
 161          setlocale(LC_CTYPE, $old_locale);
 163  The first argument of setlocale() gives the B<category>, the second the
 164  B<locale>.  The category tells in what aspect of data processing you
 165  want to apply locale-specific rules.  Category names are discussed in
 166  L<LOCALE CATEGORIES> and L<"ENVIRONMENT">.  The locale is the name of a
 167  collection of customization information corresponding to a particular
 168  combination of language, country or territory, and codeset.  Read on for
 169  hints on the naming of locales: not all systems name locales as in the
 170  example.
 172  If no second argument is provided and the category is something else
 173  than LC_ALL, the function returns a string naming the current locale
 174  for the category.  You can use this value as the second argument in a
 175  subsequent call to setlocale().
 177  If no second argument is provided and the category is LC_ALL, the
 178  result is implementation-dependent.  It may be a string of
 179  concatenated locales names (separator also implementation-dependent)
 180  or a single locale name.  Please consult your setlocale(3) man page for
 181  details.
 183  If a second argument is given and it corresponds to a valid locale,
 184  the locale for the category is set to that value, and the function
 185  returns the now-current locale value.  You can then use this in yet
 186  another call to setlocale().  (In some implementations, the return
 187  value may sometimes differ from the value you gave as the second
 188  argument--think of it as an alias for the value you gave.)
 190  As the example shows, if the second argument is an empty string, the
 191  category's locale is returned to the default specified by the
 192  corresponding environment variables.  Generally, this results in a
 193  return to the default that was in force when Perl started up: changes
 194  to the environment made by the application after startup may or may not
 195  be noticed, depending on your system's C library.
 197  If the second argument does not correspond to a valid locale, the locale
 198  for the category is not changed, and the function returns I<undef>.
 200  For further information about the categories, consult setlocale(3).
 202  =head2 Finding locales
 204  For locales available in your system, consult also setlocale(3) to
 205  see whether it leads to the list of available locales (search for the
 206  I<SEE ALSO> section).  If that fails, try the following command lines:
 208          locale -a
 210          nlsinfo
 212          ls /usr/lib/nls/loc
 214          ls /usr/lib/locale
 216          ls /usr/lib/nls
 218      ls /usr/share/locale
 220  and see whether they list something resembling these
 222          en_US.ISO8859-1     de_DE.ISO8859-1     ru_RU.ISO8859-5
 223          en_US.iso88591      de_DE.iso88591      ru_RU.iso88595
 224          en_US               de_DE               ru_RU
 225          en                  de                  ru
 226          english             german              russian
 227          english.iso88591    german.iso88591     russian.iso88595
 228          english.roman8                          russian.koi8r
 230  Sadly, even though the calling interface for setlocale() has been
 231  standardized, names of locales and the directories where the
 232  configuration resides have not been.  The basic form of the name is
 233  I<language_territory>B<.>I<codeset>, but the latter parts after
 234  I<language> are not always present.  The I<language> and I<country>
 235  are usually from the standards B<ISO 3166> and B<ISO 639>, the
 236  two-letter abbreviations for the countries and the languages of the
 237  world, respectively.  The I<codeset> part often mentions some B<ISO
 238  8859> character set, the Latin codesets.  For example, C<ISO 8859-1>
 239  is the so-called "Western European codeset" that can be used to encode
 240  most Western European languages adequately.  Again, there are several
 241  ways to write even the name of that one standard.  Lamentably.
 243  Two special locales are worth particular mention: "C" and "POSIX".
 244  Currently these are effectively the same locale: the difference is
 245  mainly that the first one is defined by the C standard, the second by
 246  the POSIX standard.  They define the B<default locale> in which
 247  every program starts in the absence of locale information in its
 248  environment.  (The I<default> default locale, if you will.)  Its language
 249  is (American) English and its character codeset ASCII.
 251  B<NOTE>: Not all systems have the "POSIX" locale (not all systems are
 252  POSIX-conformant), so use "C" when you need explicitly to specify this
 253  default locale.
 255  =head2 LOCALE PROBLEMS
 257  You may encounter the following warning message at Perl startup:
 259      perl: warning: Setting locale failed.
 260      perl: warning: Please check that your locale settings:
 261              LC_ALL = "En_US",
 262              LANG = (unset)
 263          are supported and installed on your system.
 264      perl: warning: Falling back to the standard locale ("C").
 266  This means that your locale settings had LC_ALL set to "En_US" and
 267  LANG exists but has no value.  Perl tried to believe you but could not.
 268  Instead, Perl gave up and fell back to the "C" locale, the default locale
 269  that is supposed to work no matter what.  This usually means your locale
 270  settings were wrong, they mention locales your system has never heard
 271  of, or the locale installation in your system has problems (for example,
 272  some system files are broken or missing).  There are quick and temporary
 273  fixes to these problems, as well as more thorough and lasting fixes.
 275  =head2 Temporarily fixing locale problems
 277  The two quickest fixes are either to render Perl silent about any
 278  locale inconsistencies or to run Perl under the default locale "C".
 280  Perl's moaning about locale problems can be silenced by setting the
 281  environment variable PERL_BADLANG to a zero value, for example "0".
 282  This method really just sweeps the problem under the carpet: you tell
 283  Perl to shut up even when Perl sees that something is wrong.  Do not
 284  be surprised if later something locale-dependent misbehaves.
 286  Perl can be run under the "C" locale by setting the environment
 287  variable LC_ALL to "C".  This method is perhaps a bit more civilized
 288  than the PERL_BADLANG approach, but setting LC_ALL (or
 289  other locale variables) may affect other programs as well, not just
 290  Perl.  In particular, external programs run from within Perl will see
 291  these changes.  If you make the new settings permanent (read on), all
 292  programs you run see the changes.  See L<"ENVIRONMENT"> for
 293  the full list of relevant environment variables and L<USING LOCALES>
 294  for their effects in Perl.  Effects in other programs are 
 295  easily deducible.  For example, the variable LC_COLLATE may well affect
 296  your B<sort> program (or whatever the program that arranges "records"
 297  alphabetically in your system is called).
 299  You can test out changing these variables temporarily, and if the
 300  new settings seem to help, put those settings into your shell startup
 301  files.  Consult your local documentation for the exact details.  For in
 302  Bourne-like shells (B<sh>, B<ksh>, B<bash>, B<zsh>):
 304      LC_ALL=en_US.ISO8859-1
 305      export LC_ALL
 307  This assumes that we saw the locale "en_US.ISO8859-1" using the commands
 308  discussed above.  We decided to try that instead of the above faulty
 309  locale "En_US"--and in Cshish shells (B<csh>, B<tcsh>)
 311      setenv LC_ALL en_US.ISO8859-1
 313  or if you have the "env" application you can do in any shell
 315      env LC_ALL=en_US.ISO8859-1 perl ...
 317  If you do not know what shell you have, consult your local
 318  helpdesk or the equivalent.
 320  =head2 Permanently fixing locale problems
 322  The slower but superior fixes are when you may be able to yourself
 323  fix the misconfiguration of your own environment variables.  The
 324  mis(sing)configuration of the whole system's locales usually requires
 325  the help of your friendly system administrator.
 327  First, see earlier in this document about L<Finding locales>.  That tells
 328  how to find which locales are really supported--and more importantly,
 329  installed--on your system.  In our example error message, environment
 330  variables affecting the locale are listed in the order of decreasing
 331  importance (and unset variables do not matter).  Therefore, having
 332  LC_ALL set to "En_US" must have been the bad choice, as shown by the
 333  error message.  First try fixing locale settings listed first.
 335  Second, if using the listed commands you see something B<exactly>
 336  (prefix matches do not count and case usually counts) like "En_US"
 337  without the quotes, then you should be okay because you are using a
 338  locale name that should be installed and available in your system.
 339  In this case, see L<Permanently fixing your system's locale configuration>.
 341  =head2 Permanently fixing your system's locale configuration
 343  This is when you see something like:
 345      perl: warning: Please check that your locale settings:
 346              LC_ALL = "En_US",
 347              LANG = (unset)
 348          are supported and installed on your system.
 350  but then cannot see that "En_US" listed by the above-mentioned
 351  commands.  You may see things like "en_US.ISO8859-1", but that isn't
 352  the same.  In this case, try running under a locale
 353  that you can list and which somehow matches what you tried.  The
 354  rules for matching locale names are a bit vague because
 355  standardization is weak in this area.  See again the 
 356  L<Finding locales> about general rules.
 358  =head2 Fixing system locale configuration
 360  Contact a system administrator (preferably your own) and report the exact
 361  error message you get, and ask them to read this same documentation you
 362  are now reading.  They should be able to check whether there is something
 363  wrong with the locale configuration of the system.  The L<Finding locales>
 364  section is unfortunately a bit vague about the exact commands and places
 365  because these things are not that standardized.
 367  =head2 The localeconv function
 369  The POSIX::localeconv() function allows you to get particulars of the
 370  locale-dependent numeric formatting information specified by the current
 371  C<LC_NUMERIC> and C<LC_MONETARY> locales.  (If you just want the name of
 372  the current locale for a particular category, use POSIX::setlocale()
 373  with a single parameter--see L<The setlocale function>.)
 375          use POSIX qw(locale_h);
 377          # Get a reference to a hash of locale-dependent info
 378          $locale_values = localeconv();
 380          # Output sorted list of the values
 381          for (sort keys %$locale_values) {
 382              printf "%-20s = %s\n", $_, $locale_values->{$_}
 383          }
 385  localeconv() takes no arguments, and returns B<a reference to> a hash.
 386  The keys of this hash are variable names for formatting, such as
 387  C<decimal_point> and C<thousands_sep>.  The values are the
 388  corresponding, er, values.  See L<POSIX/localeconv> for a longer
 389  example listing the categories an implementation might be expected to
 390  provide; some provide more and others fewer.  You don't need an
 391  explicit C<use locale>, because localeconv() always observes the
 392  current locale.
 394  Here's a simple-minded example program that rewrites its command-line
 395  parameters as integers correctly formatted in the current locale:
 397          # See comments in previous example
 398          require 5.004;
 399          use POSIX qw(locale_h);
 401          # Get some of locale's numeric formatting parameters
 402          my ($thousands_sep, $grouping) =
 403               @{localeconv()}{'thousands_sep', 'grouping'};
 405          # Apply defaults if values are missing
 406          $thousands_sep = ',' unless $thousands_sep;
 408      # grouping and mon_grouping are packed lists
 409      # of small integers (characters) telling the
 410      # grouping (thousand_seps and mon_thousand_seps
 411      # being the group dividers) of numbers and
 412      # monetary quantities.  The integers' meanings:
 413      # 255 means no more grouping, 0 means repeat
 414      # the previous grouping, 1-254 means use that
 415      # as the current grouping.  Grouping goes from
 416      # right to left (low to high digits).  In the
 417      # below we cheat slightly by never using anything
 418      # else than the first grouping (whatever that is).
 419      if ($grouping) {
 420          @grouping = unpack("C*", $grouping);
 421      } else {
 422          @grouping = (3);
 423      }
 425          # Format command line params for current locale
 426          for (@ARGV) {
 427              $_ = int;    # Chop non-integer part
 428              1 while
 429              s/(\d)(\d{$grouping[0]}($|$thousands_sep))/$1$thousands_sep$2/;
 430              print "$_";
 431          }
 432          print "\n";
 434  =head2 I18N::Langinfo
 436  Another interface for querying locale-dependent information is the
 437  I18N::Langinfo::langinfo() function, available at least in UNIX-like
 438  systems and VMS.
 440  The following example will import the langinfo() function itself and
 441  three constants to be used as arguments to langinfo(): a constant for
 442  the abbreviated first day of the week (the numbering starts from
 443  Sunday = 1) and two more constants for the affirmative and negative
 444  answers for a yes/no question in the current locale.
 446      use I18N::Langinfo qw(langinfo ABDAY_1 YESSTR NOSTR);
 448      my ($abday_1, $yesstr, $nostr) = map { langinfo } qw(ABDAY_1 YESSTR NOSTR);
 450      print "$abday_1? [$yesstr/$nostr] ";
 452  In other words, in the "C" (or English) locale the above will probably
 453  print something like:
 455      Sun? [yes/no] 
 457  See L<I18N::Langinfo> for more information.
 461  The following subsections describe basic locale categories.  Beyond these,
 462  some combination categories allow manipulation of more than one
 463  basic category at a time.  See L<"ENVIRONMENT"> for a discussion of these.
 465  =head2 Category LC_COLLATE: Collation
 467  In the scope of S<C<use locale>>, Perl looks to the C<LC_COLLATE>
 468  environment variable to determine the application's notions on collation
 469  (ordering) of characters.  For example, 'b' follows 'a' in Latin
 470  alphabets, but where do 'E<aacute>' and 'E<aring>' belong?  And while
 471  'color' follows 'chocolate' in English, what about in Spanish?
 473  The following collations all make sense and you may meet any of them
 474  if you "use locale".
 476      A B C D E a b c d e
 477      A a B b C c D d E e
 478      a A b B c C d D e E
 479      a b c d e A B C D E
 481  Here is a code snippet to tell what "word"
 482  characters are in the current locale, in that locale's order:
 484          use locale;
 485          print +(sort grep /\w/, map { chr } 0..255), "\n";
 487  Compare this with the characters that you see and their order if you
 488  state explicitly that the locale should be ignored:
 490          no locale;
 491          print +(sort grep /\w/, map { chr } 0..255), "\n";
 493  This machine-native collation (which is what you get unless S<C<use
 494  locale>> has appeared earlier in the same block) must be used for
 495  sorting raw binary data, whereas the locale-dependent collation of the
 496  first example is useful for natural text.
 498  As noted in L<USING LOCALES>, C<cmp> compares according to the current
 499  collation locale when C<use locale> is in effect, but falls back to a
 500  char-by-char comparison for strings that the locale says are equal. You
 501  can use POSIX::strcoll() if you don't want this fall-back:
 503          use POSIX qw(strcoll);
 504          $equal_in_locale =
 505              !strcoll("space and case ignored", "SpaceAndCaseIgnored");
 507  $equal_in_locale will be true if the collation locale specifies a
 508  dictionary-like ordering that ignores space characters completely and
 509  which folds case.
 511  If you have a single string that you want to check for "equality in
 512  locale" against several others, you might think you could gain a little
 513  efficiency by using POSIX::strxfrm() in conjunction with C<eq>:
 515          use POSIX qw(strxfrm);
 516          $xfrm_string = strxfrm("Mixed-case string");
 517          print "locale collation ignores spaces\n"
 518              if $xfrm_string eq strxfrm("Mixed-casestring");
 519          print "locale collation ignores hyphens\n"
 520              if $xfrm_string eq strxfrm("Mixedcase string");
 521          print "locale collation ignores case\n"
 522              if $xfrm_string eq strxfrm("mixed-case string");
 524  strxfrm() takes a string and maps it into a transformed string for use
 525  in char-by-char comparisons against other transformed strings during
 526  collation.  "Under the hood", locale-affected Perl comparison operators
 527  call strxfrm() for both operands, then do a char-by-char
 528  comparison of the transformed strings.  By calling strxfrm() explicitly
 529  and using a non locale-affected comparison, the example attempts to save
 530  a couple of transformations.  But in fact, it doesn't save anything: Perl
 531  magic (see L<perlguts/Magic Variables>) creates the transformed version of a
 532  string the first time it's needed in a comparison, then keeps this version around
 533  in case it's needed again.  An example rewritten the easy way with
 534  C<cmp> runs just about as fast.  It also copes with null characters
 535  embedded in strings; if you call strxfrm() directly, it treats the first
 536  null it finds as a terminator.  don't expect the transformed strings
 537  it produces to be portable across systems--or even from one revision
 538  of your operating system to the next.  In short, don't call strxfrm()
 539  directly: let Perl do it for you.
 541  Note: C<use locale> isn't shown in some of these examples because it isn't
 542  needed: strcoll() and strxfrm() exist only to generate locale-dependent
 543  results, and so always obey the current C<LC_COLLATE> locale.
 545  =head2 Category LC_CTYPE: Character Types
 547  In the scope of S<C<use locale>>, Perl obeys the C<LC_CTYPE> locale
 548  setting.  This controls the application's notion of which characters are
 549  alphabetic.  This affects Perl's C<\w> regular expression metanotation,
 550  which stands for alphanumeric characters--that is, alphabetic,
 551  numeric, and including other special characters such as the underscore or
 552  hyphen.  (Consult L<perlre> for more information about
 553  regular expressions.)  Thanks to C<LC_CTYPE>, depending on your locale
 554  setting, characters like 'E<aelig>', 'E<eth>', 'E<szlig>', and
 555  'E<oslash>' may be understood as C<\w> characters.
 557  The C<LC_CTYPE> locale also provides the map used in transliterating
 558  characters between lower and uppercase.  This affects the case-mapping
 559  functions--lc(), lcfirst, uc(), and ucfirst(); case-mapping
 560  interpolation with C<\l>, C<\L>, C<\u>, or C<\U> in double-quoted strings
 561  and C<s///> substitutions; and case-independent regular expression
 562  pattern matching using the C<i> modifier.
 564  Finally, C<LC_CTYPE> affects the POSIX character-class test
 565  functions--isalpha(), islower(), and so on.  For example, if you move
 566  from the "C" locale to a 7-bit Scandinavian one, you may find--possibly
 567  to your surprise--that "|" moves from the ispunct() class to isalpha().
 569  B<Note:> A broken or malicious C<LC_CTYPE> locale definition may result
 570  in clearly ineligible characters being considered to be alphanumeric by
 571  your application.  For strict matching of (mundane) letters and
 572  digits--for example, in command strings--locale-aware applications
 573  should use C<\w> inside a C<no locale> block.  See L<"SECURITY">.
 575  =head2 Category LC_NUMERIC: Numeric Formatting
 577  After a proper POSIX::setlocale() call, Perl obeys the C<LC_NUMERIC>
 578  locale information, which controls an application's idea of how numbers
 579  should be formatted for human readability by the printf(), sprintf(), and
 580  write() functions. String-to-numeric conversion by the POSIX::strtod()
 581  function is also affected.  In most implementations the only effect is to
 582  change the character used for the decimal point--perhaps from '.'  to ','.
 583  These functions aren't aware of such niceties as thousands separation and
 584  so on. (See L<The localeconv function> if you care about these things.)
 586  Output produced by print() is also affected by the current locale: it
 587  corresponds to what you'd get from printf() in the "C" locale.  The
 588  same is true for Perl's internal conversions between numeric and
 589  string formats:
 591          use POSIX qw(strtod setlocale LC_NUMERIC);
 593      setlocale LC_NUMERIC, "";
 595          $n = 5/2;   # Assign numeric 2.5 to $n
 597          $a = " $n"; # Locale-dependent conversion to string
 599          print "half five is $n\n";       # Locale-dependent output
 601          printf "half five is %g\n", $n;  # Locale-dependent output
 603          print "DECIMAL POINT IS COMMA\n"
 604              if $n == (strtod("2,5"))[0]; # Locale-dependent conversion
 606  See also L<I18N::Langinfo> and C<RADIXCHAR>.
 608  =head2 Category LC_MONETARY: Formatting of monetary amounts
 610  The C standard defines the C<LC_MONETARY> category, but no function
 611  that is affected by its contents.  (Those with experience of standards
 612  committees will recognize that the working group decided to punt on the
 613  issue.)  Consequently, Perl takes no notice of it.  If you really want
 614  to use C<LC_MONETARY>, you can query its contents--see 
 615  L<The localeconv function>--and use the information that it returns in your 
 616  application's own formatting of currency amounts.  However, you may well 
 617  find that the information, voluminous and complex though it may be, still 
 618  does not quite meet your requirements: currency formatting is a hard nut 
 619  to crack.
 621  See also L<I18N::Langinfo> and C<CRNCYSTR>.
 623  =head2 LC_TIME
 625  Output produced by POSIX::strftime(), which builds a formatted
 626  human-readable date/time string, is affected by the current C<LC_TIME>
 627  locale.  Thus, in a French locale, the output produced by the C<%B>
 628  format element (full month name) for the first month of the year would
 629  be "janvier".  Here's how to get a list of long month names in the
 630  current locale:
 632          use POSIX qw(strftime);
 633          for (0..11) {
 634              $long_month_name[$_] =
 635                  strftime("%B", 0, 0, 0, 1, $_, 96);
 636          }
 638  Note: C<use locale> isn't needed in this example: as a function that
 639  exists only to generate locale-dependent results, strftime() always
 640  obeys the current C<LC_TIME> locale.
 642  See also L<I18N::Langinfo> and C<ABDAY_1>..C<ABDAY_7>, C<DAY_1>..C<DAY_7>,
 643  C<ABMON_1>..C<ABMON_12>, and C<ABMON_1>..C<ABMON_12>.
 645  =head2 Other categories
 647  The remaining locale category, C<LC_MESSAGES> (possibly supplemented
 648  by others in particular implementations) is not currently used by
 649  Perl--except possibly to affect the behavior of library functions
 650  called by extensions outside the standard Perl distribution and by the
 651  operating system and its utilities.  Note especially that the string
 652  value of C<$!> and the error messages given by external utilities may
 653  be changed by C<LC_MESSAGES>.  If you want to have portable error
 654  codes, use C<%!>.  See L<Errno>.
 656  =head1 SECURITY
 658  Although the main discussion of Perl security issues can be found in
 659  L<perlsec>, a discussion of Perl's locale handling would be incomplete
 660  if it did not draw your attention to locale-dependent security issues.
 661  Locales--particularly on systems that allow unprivileged users to
 662  build their own locales--are untrustworthy.  A malicious (or just plain
 663  broken) locale can make a locale-aware application give unexpected
 664  results.  Here are a few possibilities:
 666  =over 4
 668  =item *
 670  Regular expression checks for safe file names or mail addresses using
 671  C<\w> may be spoofed by an C<LC_CTYPE> locale that claims that
 672  characters such as "E<gt>" and "|" are alphanumeric.
 674  =item *
 676  String interpolation with case-mapping, as in, say, C<$dest =
 677  "C:\U$name.$ext">, may produce dangerous results if a bogus LC_CTYPE
 678  case-mapping table is in effect.
 680  =item *
 682  A sneaky C<LC_COLLATE> locale could result in the names of students with
 683  "D" grades appearing ahead of those with "A"s.
 685  =item *
 687  An application that takes the trouble to use information in
 688  C<LC_MONETARY> may format debits as if they were credits and vice versa
 689  if that locale has been subverted.  Or it might make payments in US
 690  dollars instead of Hong Kong dollars.
 692  =item *
 694  The date and day names in dates formatted by strftime() could be
 695  manipulated to advantage by a malicious user able to subvert the
 696  C<LC_DATE> locale.  ("Look--it says I wasn't in the building on
 697  Sunday.")
 699  =back
 701  Such dangers are not peculiar to the locale system: any aspect of an
 702  application's environment which may be modified maliciously presents
 703  similar challenges.  Similarly, they are not specific to Perl: any
 704  programming language that allows you to write programs that take
 705  account of their environment exposes you to these issues.
 707  Perl cannot protect you from all possibilities shown in the
 708  examples--there is no substitute for your own vigilance--but, when
 709  C<use locale> is in effect, Perl uses the tainting mechanism (see
 710  L<perlsec>) to mark string results that become locale-dependent, and
 711  which may be untrustworthy in consequence.  Here is a summary of the
 712  tainting behavior of operators and functions that may be affected by
 713  the locale:
 715  =over 4
 717  =item  *
 719  B<Comparison operators> (C<lt>, C<le>, C<ge>, C<gt> and C<cmp>):
 721  Scalar true/false (or less/equal/greater) result is never tainted.
 723  =item  *
 725  B<Case-mapping interpolation> (with C<\l>, C<\L>, C<\u> or C<\U>)
 727  Result string containing interpolated material is tainted if
 728  C<use locale> is in effect.
 730  =item  *
 732  B<Matching operator> (C<m//>):
 734  Scalar true/false result never tainted.
 736  Subpatterns, either delivered as a list-context result or as $1 etc.
 737  are tainted if C<use locale> is in effect, and the subpattern regular
 738  expression contains C<\w> (to match an alphanumeric character), C<\W>
 739  (non-alphanumeric character), C<\s> (whitespace character), or C<\S>
 740  (non whitespace character).  The matched-pattern variable, $&, $`
 741  (pre-match), $' (post-match), and $+ (last match) are also tainted if
 742  C<use locale> is in effect and the regular expression contains C<\w>,
 743  C<\W>, C<\s>, or C<\S>.
 745  =item  *
 747  B<Substitution operator> (C<s///>):
 749  Has the same behavior as the match operator.  Also, the left
 750  operand of C<=~> becomes tainted when C<use locale> in effect
 751  if modified as a result of a substitution based on a regular
 752  expression match involving C<\w>, C<\W>, C<\s>, or C<\S>; or of
 753  case-mapping with C<\l>, C<\L>,C<\u> or C<\U>.
 755  =item *
 757  B<Output formatting functions> (printf() and write()):
 759  Results are never tainted because otherwise even output from print,
 760  for example C<print(1/7)>, should be tainted if C<use locale> is in
 761  effect.
 763  =item *
 765  B<Case-mapping functions> (lc(), lcfirst(), uc(), ucfirst()):
 767  Results are tainted if C<use locale> is in effect.
 769  =item *
 771  B<POSIX locale-dependent functions> (localeconv(), strcoll(),
 772  strftime(), strxfrm()):
 774  Results are never tainted.
 776  =item *
 778  B<POSIX character class tests> (isalnum(), isalpha(), isdigit(),
 779  isgraph(), islower(), isprint(), ispunct(), isspace(), isupper(),
 780  isxdigit()):
 782  True/false results are never tainted.
 784  =back
 786  Three examples illustrate locale-dependent tainting.
 787  The first program, which ignores its locale, won't run: a value taken
 788  directly from the command line may not be used to name an output file
 789  when taint checks are enabled.
 791          #/usr/local/bin/perl -T
 792          # Run with taint checking
 794          # Command line sanity check omitted...
 795          $tainted_output_file = shift;
 797          open(F, ">$tainted_output_file")
 798              or warn "Open of $untainted_output_file failed: $!\n";
 800  The program can be made to run by "laundering" the tainted value through
 801  a regular expression: the second example--which still ignores locale
 802  information--runs, creating the file named on its command line
 803  if it can.
 805          #/usr/local/bin/perl -T
 807          $tainted_output_file = shift;
 808          $tainted_output_file =~ m%[\w/]+%;
 809          $untainted_output_file = $&;
 811          open(F, ">$untainted_output_file")
 812              or warn "Open of $untainted_output_file failed: $!\n";
 814  Compare this with a similar but locale-aware program:
 816          #/usr/local/bin/perl -T
 818          $tainted_output_file = shift;
 819          use locale;
 820          $tainted_output_file =~ m%[\w/]+%;
 821          $localized_output_file = $&;
 823          open(F, ">$localized_output_file")
 824              or warn "Open of $localized_output_file failed: $!\n";
 826  This third program fails to run because $& is tainted: it is the result
 827  of a match involving C<\w> while C<use locale> is in effect.
 829  =head1 ENVIRONMENT
 831  =over 12
 833  =item PERL_BADLANG
 835  A string that can suppress Perl's warning about failed locale settings
 836  at startup.  Failure can occur if the locale support in the operating
 837  system is lacking (broken) in some way--or if you mistyped the name of
 838  a locale when you set up your environment.  If this environment
 839  variable is absent, or has a value that does not evaluate to integer
 840  zero--that is, "0" or ""-- Perl will complain about locale setting
 841  failures.
 843  B<NOTE>: PERL_BADLANG only gives you a way to hide the warning message.
 844  The message tells about some problem in your system's locale support,
 845  and you should investigate what the problem is.
 847  =back
 849  The following environment variables are not specific to Perl: They are
 850  part of the standardized (ISO C, XPG4, POSIX 1.c) setlocale() method
 851  for controlling an application's opinion on data.
 853  =over 12
 855  =item LC_ALL
 857  C<LC_ALL> is the "override-all" locale environment variable. If
 858  set, it overrides all the rest of the locale environment variables.
 860  =item LANGUAGE
 862  B<NOTE>: C<LANGUAGE> is a GNU extension, it affects you only if you
 863  are using the GNU libc.  This is the case if you are using e.g. Linux.
 864  If you are using "commercial" UNIXes you are most probably I<not>
 865  using GNU libc and you can ignore C<LANGUAGE>.
 867  However, in the case you are using C<LANGUAGE>: it affects the
 868  language of informational, warning, and error messages output by
 869  commands (in other words, it's like C<LC_MESSAGES>) but it has higher
 870  priority than L<LC_ALL>.  Moreover, it's not a single value but
 871  instead a "path" (":"-separated list) of I<languages> (not locales).
 872  See the GNU C<gettext> library documentation for more information.
 874  =item LC_CTYPE
 876  In the absence of C<LC_ALL>, C<LC_CTYPE> chooses the character type
 877  locale.  In the absence of both C<LC_ALL> and C<LC_CTYPE>, C<LANG>
 878  chooses the character type locale.
 880  =item LC_COLLATE
 882  In the absence of C<LC_ALL>, C<LC_COLLATE> chooses the collation
 883  (sorting) locale.  In the absence of both C<LC_ALL> and C<LC_COLLATE>,
 884  C<LANG> chooses the collation locale.
 886  =item LC_MONETARY
 888  In the absence of C<LC_ALL>, C<LC_MONETARY> chooses the monetary
 889  formatting locale.  In the absence of both C<LC_ALL> and C<LC_MONETARY>,
 890  C<LANG> chooses the monetary formatting locale.
 892  =item LC_NUMERIC
 894  In the absence of C<LC_ALL>, C<LC_NUMERIC> chooses the numeric format
 895  locale.  In the absence of both C<LC_ALL> and C<LC_NUMERIC>, C<LANG>
 896  chooses the numeric format.
 898  =item LC_TIME
 900  In the absence of C<LC_ALL>, C<LC_TIME> chooses the date and time
 901  formatting locale.  In the absence of both C<LC_ALL> and C<LC_TIME>,
 902  C<LANG> chooses the date and time formatting locale.
 904  =item LANG
 906  C<LANG> is the "catch-all" locale environment variable. If it is set, it
 907  is used as the last resort after the overall C<LC_ALL> and the
 908  category-specific C<LC_...>.
 910  =back
 912  =head2 Examples
 914  The LC_NUMERIC controls the numeric output:
 916          use locale;
 917          use POSIX qw(locale_h); # Imports setlocale() and the LC_ constants.
 918          setlocale(LC_NUMERIC, "fr_FR") or die "Pardon";
 919          printf "%g\n", 1.23; # If the "fr_FR" succeeded, probably shows 1,23.
 921  and also how strings are parsed by POSIX::strtod() as numbers:
 923          use locale;
 924          use POSIX qw(locale_h strtod);
 925          setlocale(LC_NUMERIC, "de_DE") or die "Entschuldigung";
 926          my $x = strtod("2,34") + 5;
 927          print $x, "\n"; # Probably shows 7,34.
 929  =head1 NOTES
 931  =head2 Backward compatibility
 933  Versions of Perl prior to 5.004 B<mostly> ignored locale information,
 934  generally behaving as if something similar to the C<"C"> locale were
 935  always in force, even if the program environment suggested otherwise
 936  (see L<The setlocale function>).  By default, Perl still behaves this
 937  way for backward compatibility.  If you want a Perl application to pay
 938  attention to locale information, you B<must> use the S<C<use locale>>
 939  pragma (see L<The use locale pragma>) to instruct it to do so.
 941  Versions of Perl from 5.002 to 5.003 did use the C<LC_CTYPE>
 942  information if available; that is, C<\w> did understand what
 943  were the letters according to the locale environment variables.
 944  The problem was that the user had no control over the feature:
 945  if the C library supported locales, Perl used them.
 947  =head2 I18N:Collate obsolete
 949  In versions of Perl prior to 5.004, per-locale collation was possible
 950  using the C<I18N::Collate> library module.  This module is now mildly
 951  obsolete and should be avoided in new applications.  The C<LC_COLLATE>
 952  functionality is now integrated into the Perl core language: One can
 953  use locale-specific scalar data completely normally with C<use locale>,
 954  so there is no longer any need to juggle with the scalar references of
 955  C<I18N::Collate>.
 957  =head2 Sort speed and memory use impacts
 959  Comparing and sorting by locale is usually slower than the default
 960  sorting; slow-downs of two to four times have been observed.  It will
 961  also consume more memory: once a Perl scalar variable has participated
 962  in any string comparison or sorting operation obeying the locale
 963  collation rules, it will take 3-15 times more memory than before.  (The
 964  exact multiplier depends on the string's contents, the operating system
 965  and the locale.) These downsides are dictated more by the operating
 966  system's implementation of the locale system than by Perl.
 968  =head2 write() and LC_NUMERIC
 970  Formats are the only part of Perl that unconditionally use information
 971  from a program's locale; if a program's environment specifies an
 972  LC_NUMERIC locale, it is always used to specify the decimal point
 973  character in formatted output.  Formatted output cannot be controlled by
 974  C<use locale> because the pragma is tied to the block structure of the
 975  program, and, for historical reasons, formats exist outside that block
 976  structure.
 978  =head2 Freely available locale definitions
 980  There is a large collection of locale definitions at
 981  ftp://dkuug.dk/i18n/WG15-collection .  You should be aware that it is
 982  unsupported, and is not claimed to be fit for any purpose.  If your
 983  system allows installation of arbitrary locales, you may find the
 984  definitions useful as they are, or as a basis for the development of
 985  your own locales.
 987  =head2 I18n and l10n
 989  "Internationalization" is often abbreviated as B<i18n> because its first
 990  and last letters are separated by eighteen others.  (You may guess why
 991  the internalin ... internaliti ... i18n tends to get abbreviated.)  In
 992  the same way, "localization" is often abbreviated to B<l10n>.
 994  =head2 An imperfect standard
 996  Internationalization, as defined in the C and POSIX standards, can be
 997  criticized as incomplete, ungainly, and having too large a granularity.
 998  (Locales apply to a whole process, when it would arguably be more useful
 999  to have them apply to a single thread, window group, or whatever.)  They
1000  also have a tendency, like standards groups, to divide the world into
1001  nations, when we all know that the world can equally well be divided
1002  into bankers, bikers, gamers, and so on.  But, for now, it's the only
1003  standard we've got.  This may be construed as a bug.
1005  =head1 Unicode and UTF-8
1007  The support of Unicode is new starting from Perl version 5.6, and
1008  more fully implemented in the version 5.8.  See L<perluniintro> and
1009  L<perlunicode> for more details.
1011  Usually locale settings and Unicode do not affect each other, but
1012  there are exceptions, see L<perlunicode/Locales> for examples.
1014  =head1 BUGS
1016  =head2 Broken systems
1018  In certain systems, the operating system's locale support
1019  is broken and cannot be fixed or used by Perl.  Such deficiencies can
1020  and will result in mysterious hangs and/or Perl core dumps when the
1021  C<use locale> is in effect.  When confronted with such a system,
1022  please report in excruciating detail to <F<perlbug@perl.org>>, and
1023  complain to your vendor: bug fixes may exist for these problems
1024  in your operating system.  Sometimes such bug fixes are called an
1025  operating system upgrade.
1027  =head1 SEE ALSO
1029  L<I18N::Langinfo>, L<perluniintro>, L<perlunicode>, L<open>,
1030  L<POSIX/isalnum>, L<POSIX/isalpha>,
1031  L<POSIX/isdigit>, L<POSIX/isgraph>, L<POSIX/islower>,
1032  L<POSIX/isprint>, L<POSIX/ispunct>, L<POSIX/isspace>,
1033  L<POSIX/isupper>, L<POSIX/isxdigit>, L<POSIX/localeconv>,
1034  L<POSIX/setlocale>, L<POSIX/strcoll>, L<POSIX/strftime>,
1035  L<POSIX/strtod>, L<POSIX/strxfrm>.
1037  =head1 HISTORY
1039  Jarkko Hietaniemi's original F<perli18n.pod> heavily hacked by Dominic
1040  Dunlop, assisted by the perl5-porters.  Prose worked over a bit by
1041  Tom Christiansen.
1043  Last update: Thu Jun 11 08:44:13 MDT 1998

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