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Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2023 16:27:53 +0000
From: Alastair Houghton <>
To: Pablo Correa Gomez <>
Cc:, Rich Felker <>
Subject: Re: setlocale() again

On 27 Oct 2023, at 21:15, Pablo Correa Gomez <> wrote:
> I'm Pablo, one of postmarketOS maintainers, and by chance bumped into
> this thread. I am super happy that you sent these messages, since I am
> in the process of adding support for musl into Glib test suite, and
> bumped into exactly the same problem as you did.

Hi Pablo. Sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you. I’ve been somewhat busy with other things.

> From the developer perspective, I really like your proposal. However,
> from the user and distro maintainer perspective, I am a bit more
> hesitant. As daily user of an alpine system localized in Spanish, I
> acknowledge and identify the problem that you present of "1,024" vs
> "1.024". However, I would argue that such thing is a small problem,
> compared to completely losing localization in Spanish. In practice, I
> would say both these examples are only theoric, since both Spanish and
> French are supported musl-locales. 

Indeed. I’d add to that though that with the present behaviour, there’s very little incentive for people to add support for their native language to Musl, since they can tolerate the unusual behaviour wherein Musl pretends it has locale data for their language (you yourself say “such thing is a small problem”, which illustrates the point, I think).

> So my real concern, is what could happen to all those users of
> languages not supported by musl locales and that currently (to some
> extent) have their systems localized?

The exact same thing that happens to people in a similar position on Glibc systems, namely they don’t get their programs localized until they install locale data for the C library.  This is not especially unreasonable behaviour, honestly.  I think the community of people using Musl-based distributions is of above average competence and many users will be entirely capable of submitting a patch to musl-locales for their language if it isn’t supported (I’d say the situation on Glibc-based distributions is different; there are definitely less technically able users running desktop Linux these days).

Kind regards,


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