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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

       perllocale - Perl locale handling (internationalization
       and localization)

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

       Perl supports language-specific notions of data such as
       "is this a letter", "what is the uppercase equivalent of
       this letter", and "which of these letters comes first".
       These are important issues, especially for languages other
       than English--but also for English: it would be naieve to
       imagine that "A-Za-z" defines all the "letters" needed to
       write in English. Perl is also aware that some character
       other than '.' may be preferred as a decimal point, and
       that output date representations may be language-specific.
       The process of making an application take account of its
       users' preferences in such matters is called internation-
       alization (often abbreviated as i18n); telling such an
       application about a particular set of preferences is known
       as localization (l10n).

       Perl can understand language-specific data via the standardized
 (ISO C, XPG4, POSIX 1.c) method called "the
       locale system". The locale system is controlled per application
 using one pragma, one function call, and several
       environment variables.

       NOTE: This feature is new in Perl 5.004, and does not
       apply unless an application specifically requests it--see
       "Backward compatibility".  The one exception is that
       write() now always uses the current locale - see  "NOTES".


       If Perl applications are to understand and present your
       data correctly according a locale of your choice, all of
       the following must be true:

       o    Your operating system must support the locale system.
           If it does, you should find that the setlocale() function
 is a documented part of its C library.

       o   Definitions for locales that you use must be
           installed.  You, or your system administrator, must
           make sure that this is the case. The available
           locales, the location in which they are kept, and the
           manner in which they are installed all vary from system
 to system.  Some systems provide only a few, hardwired
 locales and do not allow more to be added.  Others
 allow you to add "canned" locales provided by the
           system supplier.  Still others allow you or the system
           administrator to define and add arbitrary locales.
           (You may have to ask your supplier to provide canned
           locales that are not delivered with your operating
           system.)  Read your system documentation for further
       o   Perl must believe that the locale system is supported.
           If it does, "perl -V:d_setlocale" will say that the
           value for "d_setlocale" is "define".

       If you want a Perl application to process and present your
       data according to a particular locale, the application
       code should include the "use locale" pragma (see "The use
       locale pragma") where appropriate, and at least one of the
       following must be true:

       o   The locale-determining environment variables (see
           "ENVIRONMENT") must be correctly set up at the time
           the application is started, either by yourself or by
           whoever set up your system account.

       o   The application must set its own locale using the
           method described in "The setlocale function".

USING LOCALES    [Toc]    [Back]

       The use locale pragma

       By default, Perl ignores the current locale.  The
       "use locale" pragma tells Perl to use the current locale
       for some operations:

       o   The comparison operators ("lt", "le", "cmp", "ge", and
           "gt") and the POSIX string collation functions str-
           coll() and strxfrm() use "LC_COLLATE".  sort() is also
           affected if used without an explicit comparison function,
 because it uses "cmp" by default.

           Note: "eq" and "ne" are unaffected by locale: they
           always perform a char-by-char comparison of their
           scalar operands.  What's more, if "cmp" finds that its
           operands are equal according to the collation sequence
           specified by the current locale, it goes on to perform
           a char-by-char comparison, and only returns 0 (equal)
           if the operands are char-for-char identical.  If you
           really want to know whether two strings--which "eq"
           and "cmp" may consider different--are equal as far as
           collation in the locale is concerned, see the discussion
 in "Category LC_COLLATE: Collation".

       o   Regular expressions and case-modification functions
           (uc(), lc(), ucfirst(), and lcfirst()) use "LC_CTYPE"

       o   The formatting functions (printf(), sprintf() and
           write()) use "LC_NUMERIC"

       o   The POSIX date formatting function (strftime()) uses

       "LC_COLLATE", "LC_CTYPE", and so on, are discussed further
       The default behavior is restored with the "no locale"
       pragma, or upon reaching the end of block enclosing "use

       The string result of any operation that uses locale information
 is tainted, as it is possible for a locale to be
       untrustworthy.  See "SECURITY".

       The setlocale function    [Toc]    [Back]

       You can switch locales as often as you wish at run time
       with the POSIX::setlocale() function:

               # This functionality  not  usable  prior  to  Perl
               require 5.004;

               #  Import locale-handling tool set from POSIX module.
               # This example uses:  setlocale  --  the  function
               #                    LC_CTYPE -- explained below
               use POSIX qw(locale_h);

               # query and save the old locale
               $old_locale = setlocale(LC_CTYPE);

               setlocale(LC_CTYPE, "fr_CA.ISO8859-1");
               #  LC_CTYPE now in locale "French, Canada, codeset
ISO 8859-1"

               setlocale(LC_CTYPE, "");
               #  LC_CTYPE  now  reset  to  default  defined   by
               # environment variables.  See below for documentation.

               # restore the old locale
               setlocale(LC_CTYPE, $old_locale);

       The first argument of setlocale() gives the category, the
       second the locale.  The category tells in what aspect of
       data processing you want to apply locale-specific rules.
       Category names are discussed in "LOCALE CATEGORIES" and
       "ENVIRONMENT".  The locale is the name of a collection of
       customization information corresponding to a particular
       combination of language, country or territory, and codeset.
  Read on for hints on the naming of locales: not all
       systems name locales as in the example.

       If no second argument is provided and the category is
       something else than LC_ALL, the function returns a string
       naming the current locale for the category.  You can use
       this value as the second argument in a subsequent call to

       If no second argument is provided and the category is
       LC_ALL, the result is implementation-dependent.  It may be
       a string of concatenated locales names (separator also
       implementation-dependent) or a single locale name.  Please
       consult your setlocale(3) for details.

       If a second argument is given and it corresponds to a
       valid locale, the locale for the category is set to that
       value, and the function returns the now-current locale
       value.  You can then use this in yet another call to set-
       locale().  (In some implementations, the return value may
       sometimes differ from the value you gave as the second
       argument--think of it as an alias for the value you gave.)

       As the example shows, if the second argument is an empty
       string, the category's locale is returned to the default
       specified by the corresponding environment variables.
       Generally, this results in a return to the default that
       was in force when Perl started up: changes to the environment
 made by the application after startup may or may not
       be noticed, depending on your system's C library.

       If the second argument does not correspond to a valid
       locale, the locale for the category is not changed, and
       the function returns undef.

       For further information about the categories, consult

       Finding locales    [Toc]    [Back]

       For locales available in your system, consult also
       setlocale(3) to see whether it leads to the list of available
 locales (search for the SEE ALSO section).  If that
       fails, try the following command lines:

               locale -a


               ls /usr/lib/nls/loc

               ls /usr/lib/locale

               ls /usr/lib/nls

               ls /usr/share/locale

       and see whether they list something resembling these

               en_US.ISO8859-1                    de_DE.ISO8859-1
               en_US.iso88591                      de_DE.iso88591
               en_US               de_DE               ru_RU
               en                  de                  ru
               english             german              russian
               english.iso88591       german.iso88591        russian.iso88595
               english.roman8                                russian.koi8r
       Sadly, even though the calling interface for setlocale()
       has been standardized, names of locales and the directories
 where the configuration resides have not been.  The
       basic form of the name is language_territory.codeset, but
       the latter parts after language are not always present.
       The language and country are usually from the standards
       ISO 3166 and ISO 639, the two-letter abbreviations for the
       countries and the languages of the world, respectively.
       The codeset part often mentions some ISO 8859 character
       set, the Latin codesets.  For example, "ISO 8859-1" is the
       so-called "Western European codeset" that can be used to
       encode most Western European languages adequately.  Again,
       there are several ways to write even the name of that one
       standard.  Lamentably.

       Two special locales are worth particular mention: "C" and
       "POSIX".  Currently these are effectively the same locale:
       the difference is mainly that the first one is defined by
       the C standard, the second by the POSIX standard.  They
       define the default locale in which every program starts in
       the absence of locale information in its environment.
       (The default default locale, if you will.)  Its language
       is (American) English and its character codeset ASCII.

       NOTE: Not all systems have the "POSIX" locale (not all
       systems are POSIX-conformant), so use "C" when you need
       explicitly to specify this default locale.

       LOCALE PROBLEMS    [Toc]    [Back]

       You may encounter the following warning message at Perl

               perl: warning: Setting locale failed.
               perl: warning: Please check that your locale  settings:
                       LC_ALL = "En_US",
                       LANG = (unset)
                   are supported and installed on your system.
               perl: warning: Falling back to the standard locale

       This means that your locale settings had LC_ALL set to
       "En_US" and LANG exists but has no value.  Perl tried to
       believe you but could not.  Instead, Perl gave up and fell
       back to the "C" locale, the default locale that is supposed
 to work no matter what.  This usually means your
       locale settings were wrong, they mention locales your system
 has never heard of, or the locale installation in your
       system has problems (for example, some system files are
       broken or missing).  There are quick and temporary fixes
       to these problems, as well as more thorough and lasting
       Temporarily fixing locale problems

       The two quickest fixes are either to render Perl silent
       about any locale inconsistencies or to run Perl under the
       default locale "C".

       Perl's moaning about locale problems can be silenced by
       setting the environment variable PERL_BADLANG to a zero
       value, for example "0".  This method really just sweeps
       the problem under the carpet: you tell Perl to shut up
       even when Perl sees that something is wrong.  Do not be
       surprised  if later something locale-dependent misbehaves.

       Perl can be run under the "C" locale by setting the environment
 variable LC_ALL to "C".  This method is perhaps a
       bit more civilized than the PERL_BADLANG approach, but
       setting LC_ALL (or other locale variables) may affect
       other programs as well, not just Perl.  In particular,
       external programs run from within Perl will see these
       changes.  If you make the new settings permanent (read
       on), all programs you run see the changes.  See ENVIRONMENT
 for the full list of relevant environment variables
       and "USING LOCALES" for their effects in Perl.  Effects in
       other programs are easily deducible.  For example, the
       variable LC_COLLATE may well affect your sort program (or
       whatever the program that arranges `records' alphabetically
 in your system is called).

       You can test out changing these variables temporarily, and
       if the new settings seem to help, put those settings into
       your shell startup files.  Consult your local documentation
 for the exact details.  For in Bourne-like shells
       (sh, ksh, bash, zsh):

               export LC_ALL

       This assumes that we saw the locale "en_US.ISO8859-1"
       using the commands discussed above.  We decided to try
       that instead of the above faulty locale "En_US"--and in
       Cshish shells (csh, tcsh)

               setenv LC_ALL en_US.ISO8859-1

       or if you have the "env" application you can do in any

               env LC_ALL=en_US.ISO8859-1 perl ...

       If you do not know what shell you have, consult your local
       helpdesk or the equivalent.
       Permanently fixing locale problems

       The slower but superior fixes are when you may be able to
       yourself fix the misconfiguration of your own environment
       variables.  The mis(sing)configuration of the whole system's
 locales usually requires the help of your friendly
       system administrator.

       First, see earlier in this document about "Finding
       locales".  That tells how to find which locales are really
       supported--and more importantly, installed--on your system.
  In our example error message, environment variables
       affecting the locale are listed in the order of decreasing
       importance (and unset variables do not matter).  Therefore,
 having LC_ALL set to "En_US" must have been the bad
       choice, as shown by the error message.  First try fixing
       locale settings listed first.

       Second, if using the listed commands you see something
       exactly (prefix matches do not count and case usually
       counts) like "En_US" without the quotes, then you should
       be okay because you are using a locale name that should be
       installed and available in your system.  In this case, see
       "Permanently fixing your system's locale configuration".

       Permanently fixing your system's locale configuration

       This is when you see something like:

               perl:  warning: Please check that your locale settings:
                       LC_ALL = "En_US",
                       LANG = (unset)
                   are supported and installed on your system.

       but then cannot see that "En_US" listed by the above-mentioned
 commands.  You may see things like
       "en_US.ISO8859-1", but that isn't the same.  In this case,
       try running under a locale that you can list and which
       somehow matches what you tried.  The rules for matching
       locale names are a bit vague because standardization is
       weak in this area.  See again the "Finding locales" about
       general rules.

       Fixing system locale configuration    [Toc]    [Back]

       Contact a system administrator (preferably your own) and
       report the exact error message you get, and ask them to
       read this same documentation you are now reading.  They
       should be able to check whether there is something wrong
       with the locale configuration of the system.  The "Finding
       locales" section is unfortunately a bit vague about the
       exact commands and places because these things are not
       that standardized.
       The localeconv function

       The POSIX::localeconv() function allows you to get particulars
 of the locale-dependent numeric formatting information
 specified by the current "LC_NUMERIC" and "LC_MONETARY"
 locales.  (If you just want the name of the current
       locale for a particular category, use POSIX::setlocale()
       with a single parameter--see "The setlocale function".)

               use POSIX qw(locale_h);

               #  Get  a  reference to a hash of locale-dependent
               $locale_values = localeconv();

               # Output sorted list of the values
               for (sort keys %$locale_values) {
                   printf "%-20s = %s0, $_, $locale_values->{$_}

       localeconv() takes no arguments, and returns a reference
       to a hash.  The keys of this hash are variable names for
       formatting, such as "decimal_point" and "thousands_sep".
       The values are the corresponding, er, values.  See
       "localeconv" in POSIX for a longer example listing the
       categories an implementation might be expected to provide;
       some provide more and others fewer.  You don't need an
       explicit "use locale", because localeconv() always
       observes the current locale.

       Here's a simple-minded example program that rewrites its
       command-line parameters as integers correctly formatted in
       the current locale:

               # See comments in previous example
               require 5.004;
               use POSIX qw(locale_h);

               # Get some of locale's numeric formatting  parameters
               my ($thousands_sep, $grouping) =
                    @{localeconv()}{'thousands_sep', 'grouping'};

               # Apply defaults if values are missing
               $thousands_sep = ',' unless $thousands_sep;
               # grouping and mon_grouping are packed lists
               # of small integers (characters) telling the
               # grouping (thousand_seps and mon_thousand_seps
               # being the group dividers) of numbers and
               # monetary quantities.  The integers' meanings:
               # 255 means no more grouping, 0 means repeat
               # the previous grouping, 1-254 means use that
               # as the current grouping.  Grouping goes from
               # right to left (low to high digits).  In the
               # below we cheat slightly by never using anything
               # else than the first grouping (whatever that is).
               if ($grouping) {
                   @grouping = unpack("C*", $grouping);
               } else {
                   @grouping = (3);

               # Format command line params for current locale
               for (@ARGV) {
                   $_ = int;    # Chop non-integer part
                   1 while
                   print "$_";
               print "0;


       Another interface for querying locale-dependent information
 is the I18N::Langinfo::langinfo() function, available
       at least in UNIX-like systems and VMS.

       The following example will import the langinfo() function
       itself and three constants to be used as arguments to
       langinfo(): a constant for the abbreviated first day of
       the week (the numbering starts from Sunday = 1) and two
       more constants for the affirmative and negative answers
       for a yes/no question in the current locale.

           use I18N::Langinfo qw(langinfo ABDAY_1 YESSTR NOSTR);

           my  ($abday_1,  $yesstr,  $nostr)  =  map { langinfo }

           print "$abday_1? [$yesstr/$nostr] ";

       In other words, in the "C" (or English) locale the above
       will probably print something like:

           Sun? [yes/no]

       See I18N::Langinfo for more information.

LOCALE CATEGORIES    [Toc]    [Back]

       The following subsections describe basic locale
       categories.  Beyond these, some combination categories
       allow manipulation of more than one basic category at a
       time.  See "ENVIRONMENT" for a discussion of these.

       Category LC_COLLATE: Collation

       In the scope of "use locale", Perl looks to the "LC_COLLATE"
 environment variable to determine the application's
       notions on collation (ordering) of characters.  For example,
 'b' follows 'a' in Latin alphabets, but where do 'a'
       and 'aa' belong?  And while 'color' follows 'chocolate' in
       English, what about in Spanish?

       The following collations all make sense and you may meet
       any of them if you "use locale".

               A B C D E a b c d e
               A a B b C c D d E e
               a A b B c C d D e E
               a b c d e A B C D E

       Here is a code snippet to tell what "word" characters are
       in the current locale, in that locale's order:

               use locale;
               print +(sort grep /624

       Compare this with the characters that you see and their
       order if you state explicitly that the locale should be

               no locale;
               print +(sort grep /624

       This machine-native collation (which is what you get
       unless "use locale" has appeared earlier in the same
       block) must be used for sorting raw binary data, whereas
       the locale-dependent collation of the first example is
       useful for natural text.

       As noted in "USING LOCALES", "cmp" compares according to
       the current collation locale when "use locale" is in
       effect, but falls back to a char-by-char comparison for
       strings that the locale says are equal. You can use
       POSIX::strcoll() if you don't want this fall-back:

               use POSIX qw(strcoll);
               $equal_in_locale =
                   !strcoll("space  and case ignored", "SpaceAndCaseIgnored");

       $equal_in_locale will be true if the collation locale
       specifies a dictionary-like ordering that ignores space
       characters completely and which folds case.
       If you have a single string that you want to check for
       "equality in locale" against several others, you might
       think you could gain a little efficiency by using
       POSIX::strxfrm() in conjunction with "eq":

               use POSIX qw(strxfrm);
               $xfrm_string = strxfrm("Mixed-case string");
               print "locale collation ignores spaces0
                   if   $xfrm_string   eq   strxfrm("Mixed-casestring");
               print "locale collation ignores hyphens0
                   if    $xfrm_string    eq    strxfrm("Mixedcase
               print "locale collation ignores case0
                   if   $xfrm_string    eq    strxfrm("mixed-case

       strxfrm() takes a string and maps it into a transformed
       string for use in char-by-char comparisons against other
       transformed strings during collation.  "Under the hood",
       locale-affected Perl comparison operators call strxfrm()
       for both operands, then do a char-by-char comparison of
       the transformed strings.  By calling strxfrm() explicitly
       and using a non locale-affected comparison, the example
       attempts to save a couple of transformations.  But in
       fact, it doesn't save anything: Perl magic (see "Magic
       Variables" in perlguts) creates the transformed version of
       a string the first time it's needed in a comparison, then
       keeps this version around in case it's needed again.  An
       example rewritten the easy way with "cmp" runs just about
       as fast.  It also copes with null characters embedded in
       strings; if you call strxfrm() directly, it treats the
       first null it finds as a terminator.  don't expect the
       transformed strings it produces to be portable across systems--or
 even from one revision of your operating system
       to the next.  In short, don't call strxfrm() directly: let
       Perl do it for you.

       Note: "use locale" isn't shown in some of these examples
       because it isn't needed: strcoll() and strxfrm() exist
       only to generate locale-dependent results, and so always
       obey the current "LC_COLLATE" locale.

       Category LC_CTYPE: Character Types

       In the scope of "use locale", Perl obeys the "LC_CTYPE"
       locale setting.  This controls the application's notion of
       which characters are alphabetic.  This affects Perl's "0
       regular expression metanotation, which stands for alphanumeric
 characters--that is, alphabetic, numeric, and
       including other special characters such as the underscore
       or hyphen.  (Consult perlre for more information about
       regular expressions.)  Thanks to "LC_CTYPE", depending on
       your locale setting, characters like 'ae', '`', 'ss', and
       'o' may be understood as "288

       The "LC_CTYPE" locale also provides the map used in
       transliterating characters between lower and uppercase.
       This affects the case-mapping functions--lc(), lcfirst,
       uc(), and ucfirst(); case-mapping interpolation with "
       " "", or "U" in double-quoted strings and "s///"
       substitutions; and case-independent regular expression
       pattern matching using the "i" modifier.

       Finally, "LC_CTYPE" affects the POSIX character-class test
       functions--isalpha(), islower(), and so on.  For example,
       if you move from the "C" locale to a 7-bit Scandinavian
       one, you may find--possibly to your surprise--that "|"
       moves from the ispunct() class to isalpha().

       Note: A broken or malicious "LC_CTYPE" locale definition
       may result in clearly ineligible characters being considered
 to be alphanumeric by your application.  For strict
       matching of (mundane) letters and digits--for example, in
       command strings--locale-aware applications should use "0
       inside a "no locale" block.  See "SECURITY".

       Category LC_NUMERIC: Numeric Formatting

       In the scope of "use locale", Perl obeys the "LC_NUMERIC"
       locale information, which controls an application's idea
       of how numbers should be formatted for human readability
       by the printf(), sprintf(), and write() functions.
       String-to-numeric conversion by the POSIX::strtod() function
 is also affected.  In most implementations the only
       effect is to change the character used for the decimal
       point--perhaps from '.'  to ','.  These functions aren't
       aware  of such niceties as thousands separation and so on.
       (See "The localeconv function" if you care about these

       Output produced by print() is also affected by the current
       locale: it depends on whether "use locale" or "no locale"
       is in effect, and corresponds to what you'd get from
       printf() in the "C" locale.  The same is true for Perl's
       internal conversions between numeric and string formats:

               use POSIX qw(strtod);
               use locale;

               $n = 5/2;   # Assign numeric 2.5 to $n

               $a  =  "  $n";  #  Locale-dependent  conversion to

               print "half five is $n0;       #  Locale-dependent

               printf  "half five is %g0, $n;  # Locale-dependent

               print "DECIMAL POINT IS COMMA0
                   if $n == (strtod("2,5"))[0];  #  Locale-dependent conversion
       See also I18N::Langinfo and "RADIXCHAR".

       Category LC_MONETARY: Formatting of monetary amounts

       The C standard defines the "LC_MONETARY" category, but no
       function that is affected by its contents.  (Those with
       experience of standards committees will recognize that the
       working group decided to punt on the issue.)  Consequently,
 Perl takes no notice of it.  If you really want
       to use "LC_MONETARY", you can query its contents--see "The
       localeconv function"--and use the information that it
       returns in your application's own formatting of currency
       amounts.  However, you may well find that the information,
       voluminous and complex though it may be, still does not
       quite meet your requirements: currency formatting is a
       hard nut to crack.

       See also I18N::Langinfo and "CRNCYSTR".

       LC_TIME    [Toc]    [Back]

       Output produced by POSIX::strftime(), which builds a formatted
 human-readable date/time string, is affected by the
       current "LC_TIME" locale.  Thus, in a French locale, the
       output produced by the %B format element (full month name)
       for the first month of the year would be "janvier".
       Here's how to get a list of long month names in the current

               use POSIX qw(strftime);
               for (0..11) {
                   $long_month_name[$_] =
                       strftime("%B", 0, 0, 0, 1, $_, 96);

       Note: "use locale" isn't needed in this example: as a
       function that exists only to generate locale-dependent
       results, strftime() always obeys the current "LC_TIME"

       See also I18N::Langinfo and "ABDAY_1".."ABDAY_7",
       "DAY_1".."DAY_7", "ABMON_1".."ABMON_12", and

       Other categories    [Toc]    [Back]

       The remaining locale category, "LC_MESSAGES" (possibly
       supplemented by others in particular implementations) is
       not currently used by Perl--except possibly to affect the
       behavior of library functions called by extensions outside
       the standard Perl distribution and by the operating system
       and its utilities.  Note especially that the string value
       of $! and the error messages given by external utilities
       may be changed by "LC_MESSAGES".  If you want to have
       portable error codes, use "%!".  See Errno.

SECURITY    [Toc]    [Back]

       Although the main discussion of Perl security issues can
       be found in perlsec, a discussion of Perl's locale handling
 would be incomplete if it did not draw your attention
 to locale-dependent security issues.  Locales--particularly
 on systems that allow unprivileged users to
       build their own locales--are untrustworthy.  A malicious
       (or just plain broken) locale can make a locale-aware
       application give unexpected results.  Here are a few possibilities:

       o   Regular expression checks for safe file names or mail
           addresses using "528LC_CTYPE"
           locale that claims that characters such as ">" and "|"
           are alphanumeric.

       o   String interpolation with case-mapping, as in, say,
           "$dest = "C:U$name.$ext"", may produce dangerous
           results if a bogus LC_CTYPE case-mapping table is in

       o   A sneaky "LC_COLLATE" locale could result in the names
           of students with "D" grades appearing ahead of those
           with "A"s.

       o   An application that takes the trouble to use information
 in "LC_MONETARY" may format debits as if they
           were credits and vice versa if that locale has been
           subverted.  Or it might make payments in US dollars
           instead of Hong Kong dollars.

       o   The date and day names in dates formatted by strf-
           time() could be manipulated to advantage by a malicious
 user able to subvert the "LC_DATE" locale.
           ("Look--it says I wasn't in the building on  Sunday.")

       Such dangers are not peculiar to the locale system: any
       aspect of an application's environment which may be modified
 maliciously presents similar challenges.  Similarly,
       they are not specific to Perl: any programming language
       that allows you to write programs that take account of
       their environment exposes you to these issues.

       Perl cannot protect you from all possibilities shown in
       the examples--there is no substitute for your own vigilance--but,
 when "use locale" is in effect, Perl uses the
       tainting mechanism (see perlsec) to mark string results
       that become locale-dependent, and which may be untrustworthy
 in consequence.  Here is a summary of the tainting
       behavior of operators and functions that may be affected
       by the locale:
       o   Comparison operators ("lt", "le", "ge", "gt" and

           Scalar true/false (or less/equal/greater) result is
           never tainted.

       o   Case-mapping interpolation (with " " "" or

           Result string containing interpolated material is
           tainted if "use locale" is in effect.

       o   Matching operator ("m//"):

           Scalar true/false result never tainted.

           Subpatterns, either delivered as a list-context result
           or as $1 etc.  are tainted if "use locale" is in
           effect, and the subpattern regular expression contains
           (non-alphanumeric character), "hite-space character),
 or "n white-space character).  The
           matched-pattern variable, $&, $` (pre-match), $'
           (post-match), and $+ (last match) are also tainted if
           "use locale" is in effect and the regular expression
           contains "48W", " or "
       o   Substitution operator ("s///"):

           Has the same behavior as the match operator.  Also,
           the left operand of "=~" becomes tainted when "use
           locale" in effect if modified as a result of a substitution
 based on a regular expression match involving
           "48W", " or " or of case-mapping with
           " """ or "U".

       o   Output formatting functions (printf() and write()):

           Results are never tainted because otherwise even output
 from print, for example "print(1/7)", should be
           tainted if "use locale" is in effect.

       o   Case-mapping functions (lc(), lcfirst(), uc(),

           Results are tainted if "use locale" is in effect.

       o   POSIX locale-dependent functions (localeconv(), str-
           coll(), strftime(), strxfrm()):

           Results are never tainted.

       o   POSIX character class tests (isalnum(), isalpha(),
           isdigit(), isgraph(), islower(), isprint(), ispunct(),
           isspace(), isupper(), isxdigit()):

           True/false results are never tainted.

       Three examples illustrate locale-dependent tainting.  The
       first program, which ignores its locale, won't run: a
       value taken directly from the command line may not be used
       to name an output file when taint checks are enabled.

               #/usr/local/bin/perl -T
               # Run with taint checking

               # Command line sanity check omitted...
               $tainted_output_file = shift;

               open(F, ">$tainted_output_file")
                   or   warn   "Open   of  $untainted_output_file
failed: $!0;

       The program can be made to run by "laundering" the tainted
       value through a regular expression: the second example--which
 still ignores locale information--runs, creating
 the file named on its command line if it can.

               #/usr/local/bin/perl -T

               $tainted_output_file = shift;
               $tainted_output_file =~ m%[96
               $untainted_output_file = $&;

               open(F, ">$untainted_output_file")
                   or   warn   "Open   of  $untainted_output_file
failed: $!0;

       Compare this with a similar but locale-aware program:

               #/usr/local/bin/perl -T

               $tainted_output_file = shift;
               use locale;
               $tainted_output_file =~ m%[96
               $localized_output_file = $&;

               open(F, ">$localized_output_file")
                   or  warn   "Open   of   $localized_output_file
failed: $!0;

       This third program fails to run because $& is tainted: it
       is the result of a match involving "168use locale"
       is in effect.

ENVIRONMENT    [Toc]    [Back]

                   A string that can suppress Perl's warning
                   about failed locale settings at startup.
                   Failure can occur if the locale support in the
                   operating system is lacking (broken) in some
                   way--or if you mistyped the name of a locale
                   when you set up your environment.  If this
                   environment variable is absent, or has a value
                   that does not evaluate to integer zero--that
                   is, "0" or ""-- Perl will complain about
                   locale setting failures.

                   NOTE: PERL_BADLANG only gives you a way to
                   hide the warning message.  The message tells
                   about some problem in your system's locale
                   support, and you should investigate what the
                   problem is.

       The following environment variables are not specific to
       Perl: They are part of the standardized (ISO C, XPG4,
       POSIX 1.c) setlocale() method for controlling an application's
 opinion on data.

       LC_ALL      "LC_ALL" is the "override-all" locale environment
 variable. If set, it overrides all the
                   rest of the locale environment variables.

       LANGUAGE    NOTE: "LANGUAGE" is a GNU extension, it
                   affects you only if you are using the GNU
                   libc.  This is the case if you are using  e.g.
                   Linux.  If you are using "commercial" UNIXes
                   you are most probably not using GNU libc and
                   you can ignore "LANGUAGE".

                   However, in the case you are using "LANGUAGE":
                   it affects the language of informational,
                   warning, and error messages output by commands
                   (in other words, it's like "LC_MESSAGES") but
                   it has higher priority than LC_ALL.  Moreover,
                   it's not a single value but instead a "path"
                   (":"-separated list) of languages (not
                   locales).  See the GNU "gettext" library documentation
 for more information.

       LC_CTYPE    In the absence of "LC_ALL", "LC_CTYPE" chooses
                   the character type locale.  In the absence of
                   both "LC_ALL" and "LC_CTYPE", "LANG" chooses
                   the character type locale.

       LC_COLLATE  In the absence of "LC_ALL", "LC_COLLATE"
                   chooses the collation (sorting) locale.  In
                   the absence of both "LC_ALL" and "LC_COLLATE",
                   "LANG" chooses the collation locale.

       LC_MONETARY In the absence of "LC_ALL", "LC_MONETARY"
                   chooses the monetary formatting locale.  In
                   the absence of both "LC_ALL" and "LC_MONETARY",
 "LANG" chooses the monetary formatting
       LC_NUMERIC  In the absence of "LC_ALL", "LC_NUMERIC"
                   chooses the numeric format locale.  In the
                   absence of both "LC_ALL" and "LC_NUMERIC",
                   "LANG" chooses the numeric format.

       LC_TIME     In the absence of "LC_ALL", "LC_TIME" chooses
                   the date and time formatting locale.  In the
                   absence of both "LC_ALL" and "LC_TIME", "LANG"
                   chooses the date and time formatting locale.

       LANG        "LANG" is the "catch-all" locale environment
                   variable. If it is set, it is used as the last
                   resort after the overall "LC_ALL" and the category-specific

NOTES    [Toc]    [Back]

       Backward compatibility

       Versions of Perl prior to 5.004 mostly ignored locale
       information, generally behaving as if something similar to
       the "C" locale were always in force, even if the program
       environment suggested otherwise (see "The setlocale function").
  By default, Perl still behaves this way for backward
 compatibility.  If you want a Perl application to pay
       attention to locale information, you must use the
       "use locale" pragma (see "The use locale pragma") to
       instruct it to do so.

       Versions of Perl from 5.002 to 5.003 did use the
       "LC_CTYPE" information if available; that is, "96
       understand what were the letters according to the locale
       environment variables.  The problem was that the user had
       no control over the feature: if the C library supported
       locales, Perl used them.

       I18N:Collate obsolete

       In versions of Perl prior to 5.004, per-locale collation
       was possible using the "I18N::Collate" library module.
       This module is now mildly obsolete and should be avoided
       in new applications.  The "LC_COLLATE" functionality is
       now integrated into the Perl core language: One can use
       locale-specific scalar data completely normally with "use
       locale", so there is no longer any need to juggle with the
       scalar references of "I18N::Collate".

       Sort speed and memory use impacts    [Toc]    [Back]

       Comparing and sorting by locale is usually slower than the
       default sorting; slow-downs of two to four times have been
       observed.  It will also consume more memory: once a Perl
       scalar variable has participated in any string comparison
       or sorting operation obeying the locale collation rules,
       it will take 3-15 times more memory than before.  (The
       exact multiplier depends on the string's contents, the
       operating system and the locale.) These downsides are dictated
 more by the operating system's implementation of the
       locale system than by Perl.

       write() and LC_NUMERIC

       Formats are the only part of Perl that unconditionally use
       information from a program's locale; if a program's environment
 specifies an LC_NUMERIC locale, it is always used
       to specify the decimal point character in formatted output.
  Formatted output cannot be controlled by "use
       locale" because the pragma is tied to the block structure
       of the program, and, for historical reasons, formats exist
       outside that block structure.

       Freely available locale definitions    [Toc]    [Back]

       There is a large collection of locale definitions at
       ftp://dkuug.dk/i18n/WG15-collection .  You should be aware
       that it is unsupported, and is not claimed to be fit for
       any purpose.  If your system allows installation of arbitrary
 locales, you may find the definitions useful as they
       are, or as a basis for the development of your own

       I18n and l10n    [Toc]    [Back]

       "Internationalization" is often abbreviated as i18n
       because its first and last letters are separated by eighteen
 others.  (You may guess why the internalin ... internaliti
 ... i18n tends to get abbreviated.)  In the same
       way, "localization" is often abbreviated to l10n.

       An imperfect standard    [Toc]    [Back]

       Internationalization, as defined in the C and POSIX standards,
 can be criticized as incomplete, ungainly, and having
 too large a granularity.  (Locales apply to a whole
       process, when it would arguably be more useful to have
       them apply to a single thread, window group, or whatever.)
       They also have a tendency, like standards groups, to
       divide the world into nations, when we all know that the
       world can equally well be divided into bankers, bikers,
       gamers, and so on.  But, for now, it's the only standard
       we've got.  This may be construed as a bug.

Unicode and UTF-8    [Toc]    [Back]

       The support of Unicode is new starting from Perl version
       5.6, and more fully implemented in the version 5.8.  See
       perluniintro and perlunicode for more details.

       Usually locale settings and Unicode do not affect each
       other, but there are exceptions, see "Locales" in
       perlunicode for examples.

BUGS    [Toc]    [Back]

       Broken systems

       In certain systems, the operating system's locale support
       is broken and cannot be fixed or used by Perl.  Such deficiencies
 can and will result in mysterious hangs and/or
       Perl core dumps when the "use locale" is in effect.  When
       confronted with such a system, please report in excruciating
 detail to <perlbug@perl.org>, and complain to your
       vendor: bug fixes may exist for these problems in your
       operating system.  Sometimes such bug fixes are called an
       operating system upgrade.

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

       I18N::Langinfo, perluniintro, perlunicode, open, "isalnum"
       in POSIX, "isalpha" in POSIX, "isdigit" in POSIX,
       "isgraph" in POSIX, "islower" in POSIX, "isprint" in
       POSIX, "ispunct" in POSIX, "isspace" in POSIX, "isupper"
       in POSIX, "isxdigit" in POSIX, "localeconv" in POSIX,
       "setlocale" in POSIX, "strcoll" in POSIX, "strftime" in
       POSIX, "strtod" in POSIX, "strxfrm" in POSIX.

HISTORY    [Toc]    [Back]

       Jarkko Hietaniemi's original perli18n.pod heavily hacked
       by Dominic Dunlop, assisted by the perl5-porters.  Prose
       worked over a bit by Tom Christiansen.

       Last update: Thu Jun 11 08:44:13 MDT 1998

perl v5.8.5                 2002-11-06                         20
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