|Skip Navigation Links|
|Exit Print View|
|International Language Environment Guide Oracle Solaris 11 Information Library|
Different cultures often use different conventions to format numbers, to write the date and time, to delimit words and phrases, or to quote written and spoken material. A locale determines the way in which the following operations, files, formats, and expressions are handled for different regions:
Encoding and processing of text data
Language identification and encoding of resource files
Rendering and layout of text strings
Interchange of text between clients
Input method selection to meet the codeset and text processing requirements of the chosen script
Fonts and icon files that are culturally specific
User Interface Definition (UID) files
Date and time formats
Regular expression handling
Format for informative and diagnostic messages and interactive responses
The Oracle Solaris environment separates language and culture-dependent information from the application and saves the information outside the application. This method eliminates the need to translate, rewrite, or recompile the application for each market. The only requirement to enter a new market is to localize the external information to the local language and customs.
The following sections describe the differences that exist for locale categories and other differences between languages.
$ date +%X
Table 1-2 International Time Formats
Time can be represented by both a 12-hour clock and a 24-hour clock. The hour and minute separator can be either a colon ( : ) or a period ( . ) or a dash ( - ).
Time zone splits occur between and within countries. Although a time zone can be described in terms of the number of hours it is ahead of, or behind, Coordinated Universal Time, UTC (or Greenwich Mean Time, GMT), this number is not always an integer. For example, Newfoundland is in a time zone that is half an hour different from the adjacent time zone.
Daylight Saving Time (DST) starts and ends on dates that can vary from country to country. Many countries do not implement DST at all. Additionally, Daylight Saving Time can vary within a time zone. In the U.S. for example, the implementation is a state decision.
The following table shows some of the date formats used around the world. Variations can exist even within a country. You can display the date format on your current locale by issuing the following command:
$ date +%x
Table 1-3 International Date Formats
There are various number formats specified by locales, for example Great Britain and the United States use a period to indicate the decimal place. Many other countries use a comma instead. The decimal separator is also called the radix character. Likewise, while Great Britain and the United States use a comma to separate groups of thousands, many other countries use a period instead, and some countries separate thousands groups with a thin space (Unicode character U+2009).
Data files containing locale-specific formats are frequently misinterpreted when transferred to a system in a different locale. For example, a file containing numbers in a French format is not useful to a British-specific program.
The following table shows some commonly used numeric formats. The information on numeric delimiters for current locale can be obtained by issuing the following command:
$ locale -ck LC_NUMERIC
Table 1-4 International Numeric Conventions
Note - No particular locale conventions exist that specify how to separate numbers in a list.
Currency units, presentation order, and local and international symbols for currency vary greatly around the world. The monetary formats for current locale can be obtained by issuing the following command:
$ locale -ck LC_MONETARY
The following table shows monetary formats in some countries.
Table 1-5 International Monetary Conventions
The Euro currency is supported in all UTF-8 locales. Legacy locales based on the ISO8859-15 code set are also available and exist with @euro (e.g. da_DK.ISO8859-15@euro) variants for countries which have not adopted Euro as their currency.