MirBSD manpage: localeconv(3), setlocale(3)

SETLOCALE(3)               BSD Programmer's Manual                SETLOCALE(3)


     setlocale, localeconv - natural language formatting for C


     #include <locale.h>

     char *
     setlocale(int category, const char *locale);

     struct lconv *


     The setlocale() function sets the C library's notion of natural language
     formatting style for particular sets of routines. Each such style is
     called a "locale" and is invoked using an appropriate name passed as a C
     string. The localeconv() routine returns the current locale's parameters
     for formatting numbers.

     The setlocale() function recognises several categories of routines. These
     are the categories and the sets of routines they select:

     LC_ALL       Set the entire locale generically.

     LC_COLLATE   Set a locale for string collation routines. This controls
                  alphabetic ordering in strcoll() and strxfrm().

     LC_CTYPE     Set a locale for the ctype(3) functions. This controls
                  recognition of upper and lower case, alphabetic or non-
                  alphabetic characters, and so on.

                  In the current implementation, one additional locale is sup-
                  ported in this category, namely en_US.UTF-8, which is
                  selected if the locale string matches "UTF-8" or "utf8",

     LC_MONETARY  Set a locale for formatting monetary values; this affects
                  the localeconv() function.

     LC_NUMERIC   Set a locale for formatting numbers. This controls the for-
                  matting of decimal points in input and output of floating
                  point numbers in functions such as printf() and scanf(), as
                  well as values returned by localeconv().

     LC_TIME      Set a locale for formatting dates and times using the
                  strftime() function.

     Only three locales are defined by default, the empty string "" which
     denotes the native environment, and the "C" and "POSIX" locales, which
     denote the C language environment. A locale argument of NULL causes set-
     locale() to return the current locale. By default, C programs start in
     the "C" locale. The only function in the library that sets the locale is
     setlocale(); the locale is never changed as a side effect of some other

     The localeconv() function returns a pointer to a structure which provides
     parameters for formatting numbers, especially currency values:

           struct lconv {
                   char    *decimal_point;
                   char    *thousands_sep;
                   char    *grouping;
                   char    *int_curr_symbol;
                   char    *currency_symbol;
                   char    *mon_decimal_point;
                   char    *mon_thousands_sep;
                   char    *mon_grouping;
                   char    *positive_sign;
                   char    *negative_sign;
                   char    int_frac_digits;
                   char    frac_digits;
                   char    p_cs_precedes;
                   char    p_sep_by_space;
                   char    n_cs_precedes;
                   char    n_sep_by_space;
                   char    p_sign_posn;
                   char    n_sign_posn;

     The individual fields have the following meanings:

     decimal_point      The decimal point character, except for currency

     thousands_sep      The separator between groups of digits before the de-
                        cimal point, except for currency values.

     grouping           The sizes of the groups of digits, except for currency
                        values. This is a pointer to a vector of integers,
                        each of size char, representing group size from low
                        order digit groups to high order (right to left). The
                        list may be terminated with 0 or CHAR_MAX. If the list
                        is terminated with 0, the last group size before the 0
                        is repeated to account for all the digits. If the list
                        is terminated with CHAR_MAX, no more grouping is per-

     int_curr_symbol    The standardised international currency symbol.

     currency_symbol    The local currency symbol.

     mon_decimal_point  The decimal point character for currency values.

     mon_thousands_sep  The separator for digit groups in currency values.

     mon_grouping       Like grouping but for currency values.

     positive_sign      The character used to denote non-negative currency
                        values, usually the empty string.

     negative_sign      The character used to denote negative currency values,
                        usually a minus sign.

     int_frac_digits    The number of digits after the decimal point in an
                        international-style currency value.

     frac_digits        The number of digits after the decimal point in the
                        local style for currency values.

     p_cs_precedes      1 if the currency symbol precedes the currency value
                        for non-negative values, 0 if it follows.

     p_sep_by_space     1 if a space is inserted between the currency symbol
                        and the currency value for non-negative values, 0 oth-

     n_cs_precedes      Like p_cs_precedes but for negative values.

     n_sep_by_space     Like p_sep_by_space but for negative values.

     p_sign_posn        The location of the positive_sign with respect to a
                        non-negative quantity and the currency_symbol, coded
                        as follows:

                        0    Parentheses around the entire string.
                        1    Before the string.
                        2    After the string.
                        3    Just before currency_symbol.
                        4    Just after currency_symbol.

     n_sign_posn        Like p_sign_posn but for negative currency values.

     Unless mentioned above, an empty string as a value for a field indicates
     a zero length result or a value that is not in the current locale. A
     CHAR_MAX result similarly denotes an unavailable value.


     The setlocale() function returns NULL and fails to change the locale if
     the given combination of category and locale makes no sense. The lo-
     caleconv() function returns a pointer to a static object which may be al-
     tered by later calls to setlocale() or localeconv().


     The setlocale() and localeconv() functions conform to ANSI X3.159-1989
     ("ANSI C89").


     The setlocale() and localeconv() functions first appeared in 4.4BSD.


     The current implementation supports only the "C" and "POSIX" locales for
     all but the LC_CTYPE locale, and only the "en_US.UTF-8" LC_CTYPE locale.
     Soon, to remove this bug, the "C.UTF-8", "C" and "POSIX" locales will be
     supported for LC_CTYPE.

     In spite of the gnarly currency support in localeconv(), the standards
     don't include any functions for generalised currency formatting.

     LC_COLLATE does not make sense for many languages. Use of LC_MONETARY
     could lead to misleading results until we have a real time currency
     conversion function. LC_NUMERIC and LC_TIME are personal choices and
     should not be wrapped up with the other categories.

MirBSD #10-current             January 2, 2016                               2

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