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supporting obscure languages

From: Albert Cahalan
Subject: supporting obscure languages
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2009 13:28:50 -0500

First, you may assume that the locale is UTF-8. We only care about
the messages and getting stuff like iswprint or towupper to work in
the default (no Turkish i, etc.) Unicode way.

Given a fairly normal program, how can the user force the use of a
specific known messages file? Consider /tmp/testfile.mo in a locale
that isn't otherwise defined in any way.

Now suppose that the file is stored in the expected place. The user
wants to use /usr/share/locale/zam/LC_MESSAGES/someprog.mo with a
program that claims to be someprog. Again, the locale isn't supported
in any other way; there is merely a *.mo file installed. Without
giving the full path, and with minimal complexity, how can the user
get this file to be used?

How can a program offer a non-environment way to override the source
of messages? The obvious setlocale(LC_ALL,"zam") does not work, nor
does the troublesome (because other locales need more) substitution
of setlocale(LC_MESSAGES,"zam").

BTW, please consider it a bug that that doesn't just work.

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