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Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2016 13:32:58 -0400
From: Rich Felker <>
Subject: Re: How to set UTF-8 as default

On Thu, Jun 02, 2016 at 07:10:01PM +0200, Markus Wichmann wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 02, 2016 at 05:40:54PM +0200, Remko Tronçon wrote:
> > So, if I understand correctly, any program that expects `nl_langinfo`
> > to return the locale set through environment variables (or other
> > platform-specific ways) should call setlocale(LC_*, "") before
> > querying the locale; libc/musl/... will not trigger this registration
> > itself.
> A libc that did that wouldn't be ISO-C compliant, because ISO-C says
> that the initial locale has to be "C".

Well per ISO C, it could define the C locale that way (like musl used
to) but it's subject to some restrictions that musl did not follow,
making it slightly non-conforming. POSIX however is going to require a
byte-based C locale, and already has further requirements on character
classes that made it hard to conform to without just adopting the
future requirement.

> I will often just call setlocale(LC_ALL, ""); at the start of the
> program, as that saves me the headache of selecting all the correct
> locale categories for my program.

Yes, this is a good practice, although often you want to avoid setting
LC_NUMERIC or explicitly set it back to "C" so that floating point
number parsing/printing is not broken.


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