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Re: Frequent locales problems for new users

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: Frequent locales problems for new users
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2020 16:07:22 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.3 (gnu/linux)


Leo Famulari <address@hidden> skribis:

> Warning! Locales! New users seem to have trouble with Guix locales every
> day.
> I think we can improve the situation.
> First, we can deprecate the glibc-utf8-locales package and not mention
> it in the manual section Application Setup. I've seen users think they
> had to install it in order to get UTF-8 support. Everyone should be
> using glibc-locales. Eventually we can rename it to
> 'glibc-locales-for-tests', and hide the package too.

Well, we still need to be able to install locales somehow, right?  :-)

> Second, we need to make sure that is setting up
> GUIX_LOCPATH correctly. I see that the binary tarball's store includes
> glibc-utf8-locales, so it should be possible for things to "just work",
> ignoring that it's the wrong locales package. Does anyone know any
> particular issues with the installer that would cause trouble?

‘guix-command’ in (guix self) creates a ‘guix’ binary where GUIX_LOCPATH
points to ‘glibc-utf8-locales’, always.  That means that ‘guix pull’
returns a ‘guix’ program that works fine, provided you use one of the
locales in ‘glibc-utf8-locales’ *or* you have installed ‘glibc-locales’
and set ‘GUIX_LOCPATH’.

The ‘guix’ binary of the ‘guix’ package does something similar.

These two should already eliminate most problems.  Now, we should
investigate actual problems to see why they show up precisely (for that
we need to see the output of commands, the contents of the .service
file, and so on).  That will allow us to determine the best course of

As for ‘glibc-utf8-locales’ vs. ‘glibc-locales’: the reason for choosing
the former by default over the latter is size (14 MiB vs. 917 MiB).
Perhaps an improvement would be for ‘glibc-utf8-locales’ to be more true
to its name: to include all the UTF-8 locales glibc supports rather than
an arbitrary sample thereof.



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