[arch-general] Locale packages

Eli Schwartz eschwartz at archlinux.org
Tue Jun 23 19:26:37 UTC 2020

On 6/23/20 3:02 PM, Daan De Meyer via arch-general wrote:
>> This is not about locale-gen. locale-gen (and /etc/locale.gen) are
>> Arch-specific custom scripts which IIRC were copied from Debian once
>> upon a time, which just run localedef. I actually use a much simpler
>> locale-gen program which uses flag files e.g. /etc/locales/en_US (file
>> contents can contain a charset but are otherwise assumed to be UTF-8).
>> It's not hard to hack your own.
> Running localedef directly doesn't really solve any of the issues I
> mentioned either though.

It would:
- avoid the *additional* issue "what to do if locale-gen doesn't exist",
- solve the issue "locale-gen does not have a --root option"

It wouldn't:
- solve the issue "host/guest glibc version mismatches"

> What if we make do with a single locale package? I just found out there's
> some progress on the C.UTF-8 locale upstream support in glibc (
> https://sourceware.org/pipermail/libc-alpha/2020-June/115224.html). It
> doesn't look like it will be built-in though unless they manage to get the
> size down significantly. If it isn't built-in, maybe we could add a single
> package just for the C.UTF-8 locale? That should be sufficient for 95% of
> the "I'm building an Arch container/vm image for development/server/any
> other development stuff" use cases which generally will be using an english
> locale and avoids all the problems I mentioned earlier without requiring
> the addition of 300+ packages. It'll have to wait until we have C.UTF-8 in
> glibc though. I guess we could add a package for en_US.UTF-8 as a stopgap
> but that doesn't seem worth the effort assuming C.UTF-8 gets merged in a
> reasonable timeframe.

The ultimate goal is to ensure C.UTF-8 always exists no matter what. If
it gets merged upstream in glibc as a non-builtin localedef generated
locale, then the probable best solution is to make locale-gen always
include C.UTF-8 regardless of which other locales are requested by the
user's system.

Or include its compiled form in the glibc package directly, if it isn't
too bloated.

> As an example of why one would need a UTF-8 locale specifically in a
> container/vm image, meson (actually python) does not like running under a
> non UTF-8 locale at all.

You're preaching to the choir, here. ;) I thoroughly agree there must be
a UTF-8 locale.

The question is at what stage should this be selected and generated.

> (I don't use mailing lists very often, I hope I didn't mess up the reply
> etiquette)

Generally people tend to delete the sections they are not replying to,
but reply inline, rather than including everytyhing the bottom as a
second copy of the sections you quoted and replied to inline. Still,
replying inline is the main thing, and you did that. :)

Eli Schwartz
Bug Wrangler and Trusted User

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