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ls problem due to bad IRIX locale information

From: John Saalwaechter
Subject: ls problem due to bad IRIX locale information
Date: Thu, 13 May 2004 19:56:14 -0500

I built coreutils 5.1.3 because I wanted the latest ls features related to formatting the filesize field based on locale settings. (BTW, thanks to Paul Eggert for putting this in!)

By setting LC_NUMERIC or LANG to en_US, and setting LS_BLOCK_SIZE to "'1", I get the expected filesize output (i.e. 123456789 prints out as "123,456,789") on Solaris and Linux.

IRIX refused to work properly (at least IRIX 6.5.9m). I tracked it down to the fact that IRIX has incorrect data for the "grouping" member of the "lconv" struct that's returned by localeconv(). All the locales in IRIX return a null grouping. This looks like a known problem in IRIX from back to 1996! (http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=4hlv4l%244vm%40fido.asd.sgi.com). The grouping for en_US should be {3,0}. But *all* locales in IRIX return {0}.

This bad data in IRIX locales causes the logic in the group_number() function in lib/human.c to fail. I'm not sure what the philosophy is about coding around OS deficiencies, but I at least wanted to get this documented on the mailing list for others trying to track down this problem.

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