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Date: Sat, 26 Jul 2014 05:25:16 -0400
From: Rich Felker <>
Subject: Re: Locale bikeshed time

On Sat, Jul 26, 2014 at 11:06:56AM +0200, Jens Gustedt wrote:
> Am Samstag, den 26.07.2014, 04:03 -0400 schrieb Rich Felker:
> > The problem is that the vast majority of actual printing and parsing
> > of floating point numbers is for interchange purposes, not mere visual
> > pretty-printing,
> do you have statistics that support that claim?

Anecdotes, yes; statistics, no. Some examples that come to mind

- Anything JSON
- Text-based 3D model files
- Subtitle file timings
- Video framerates, aspect ratios, etc.
- Input files for scientific and mathematical computing.

> printing that is really concerned in interchange, should just use the
> %a formats. All other formats are intended for human readability.

In an ideal world, yes, people would use %a. In practice I don't think
I've ever seen it used. :( And the radix point affects %a anyway,
which is rather nonsensical, since there's definitely no cultural
convention for commas to be used as radix points in hex floats.

> > This goes back to the question about modern versus old tradition.
> > Alternate radix points are a cultural convention that's (seemingly,
> > hopefully) on the way out due to computers and information
> > interchange. Maybe in some sense this is cultural imperialism (or just
> > globalization or whatnot)
> +1 for imperialism

Call it what you like, but lack of a variable LC_NUMERIC has been part
of the proposed locale design since the beginning. This isn't
something new I'm springing now. The radix point in LC_NUMERIC is also
probably the single most-hated part of locale by members of the
community who objected to musl having any sort of locale support at


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