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Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2022 14:41:38 +0100
From: ellie <>
Subject: A journey of weird file sorting and desktop systems

After spending a bit wondering why files like "elder1" and "Elder2" end 
up at completely different spots in the file list on my postmarketOS 
(=Alpine-based) system, I filed a ticket with the Nemo file manager. 
Turns out Nemo just uses locale-dependent sorting, so I spent an hour 
trying to set LC_COLLATE to fix this, until I stumbled across the remark 
on musl's website that LC_COLLATE sorting is simply not supported. So I 
seem to be stuck with this, which I did not expect.

This to me seems kind of disastrous on a desktop system. I just fail to 
see any average default user (who doesn't know ASCII in their head) 
expecting "elder1" and "Elder2" to be miles apart in a sorted listing 
even as a default US person, let alone in some other language that may 
be expected to use a different sorting for whatever reason. (This 
affects umlauts too, I assume? So that'd be most European languages 
having file lists entirely messed up, too.) The sorting shouldn't be 
stuck as something that just makes sense to programmers and balks at any 
special vowels, and it appears at least as of now there is just no way 
to fix this.

Should desktop file managers like Nemo not be using this sorting 
function? Or is musl not intended for desktop use, and postmarketOS 
should switch? Otherwise, it seems like this omission in musl seems like 
kind of a big deal. Or is it really just me who is constantly confused 
as to where any file is at in any file lists...?

Or in other words, would be kind of cool if this could be changed

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