Let's use the en locale

Jeff Schering jeffschering at gmail.com
Sun Nov 6 19:24:09 UTC 2005


We have been using the C locale as the default locale in our repos
since the beginning, but I don't think it is a good idea to continue
with it.

A description of locales in general and the C locale in particular can
be found here: 
http://www.chemie.fu-berlin.de/chemnet/use/info/libc/libc_19.html. On
that page you will find this:  "... the standard C locale. The
attributes and behavior it provides are specified in the ANSI C
standard. When your program starts up, it initially uses this locale
by default."

The C locale is specific to software programs, and is neither intended
for, nor applicable to, documentation. The C locale does not exist in
the docbook processing tools. (If xsltproc encounters an unrecognized
locale such as C, it defaults to en and emits a warning. Other tools,
iirc, simply choke.)

I suspect the GNOME docteam used C as a default locale because the
GNOME devels use the C locale as the default in their code repos. And
then the Ubuntu docteam used C because the GNOME docteam uses C.

Whatever the reason for our current use of the C locale, we should
drop it. It is inappropriate for us to use C instead of en for
documentation. The C locale has no business in docs; it is the locale
that C programs use when they first start up, before they call

I suggest we switch to en as the default locale for our docs. We write
docs, not software, so we should use doc locales.

There will be a certain amount of pain if we switch now, but it will
be better in the long run if we use the appropriate default locale in
our docs and processing chain.

Thoughts, anyone?


GPG Key: 1024D/F23C67E8 2005-02-20 Jeff Schering <jeffschering at gmail.com>

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