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The GNU C Library

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7. Locales and Internationalization

Different countries and cultures have varying conventions for how to communicate. These conventions range from very simple ones, such as the format for representing dates and times, to very complex ones, such as the language spoken.

Internationalization of software means programming it to be able to adapt to the user's favorite conventions. In ISO C, internationalization works by means of locales. Each locale specifies a collection of conventions, one convention for each purpose. The user chooses a set of conventions by specifying a locale (via environment variables).

All programs inherit the chosen locale as part of their environment. Provided the programs are written to obey the choice of locale, they will follow the conventions preferred by the user.

7.1 What Effects a Locale Has  Actions affected by the choice of locale.
7.2 Choosing a Locale  How the user specifies a locale.
7.3 Categories of Activities that Locales Affect  Different purposes for which you can select a locale.
7.4 How Programs Set the Locale  How a program specifies the locale with library functions.
7.5 Standard Locales  Locale names available on all systems.
7.6 Accessing Locale Information  How to access the information for the locale.
7.7 A dedicated function to format numbers  
7.8 Yes-or-No Questions  Check a Response against the locale.

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