AUTHORS list and the C locale on Mac OS X

Ken Thomases ken at
Wed Nov 10 16:45:14 CST 2010

On Nov 10, 2010, at 2:27 PM, Hin-Tak Leung wrote:

> --- On Wed, 10/11/10, Ken Thomases <ken at> wrote:
>> Are you sure about that?  Checking on a couple of
>> Linux systems here, the "locale" command reports:
>> $ locale
>> LANG=en_US.UTF-8
>> LC_CTYPE="en_US.UTF-8"
>> ...
> mine (fedora x86_64) does the utf8 thing:
> # locale
> LANG=en_GB.utf8
> LC_CTYPE="en_GB.utf8"
> ...
> so there is some truth in the reporter's assertion - what it means is that it varies between different linux'es!!!

I should have been clearer.  The output just reflects your environment.  So, you have LANG set to en_GB.utf8.  I had LANG set to en_US.UTF-8.  My only point was to say that the "UTF-8" form is acceptable.  It was not to suggest that "utf8" is not, nor that one or the other is a standard.

The real question is: does the Linux C library accept 'UTF-8' in the environment variables?  I believe it does, which is useful because that's what Mac OS X requires.  (It doesn't accept "utf8".)

For example, the following reports just fine on some Linux systems here:

LC_ALL=en_GB.UTF-8 locale

As does your case:

LC_ALL=en_GB.utf8 locale

But the following both produce some diagnostics indicating that the C library is choking on the value:

LC_ALL=en_GB.bogus locale
LC_ALL=en_GB.UTF-9 locale

I take this to mean it's a legitimate test of whether a value is valid.  Further, it indicates that (at least some) Linuxes take either form.


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