FW: "Euro" and the POSIX locale model

Date: Wed Oct 22 1997 - 13:02:21 EDT

Have these limitations in the POSIX locale been communicated to IEEE?


From: kenw@sybase.com [SMTP:kenw@sybase.com]
Sent: 21 October, 1997 14:25
To: Multiple Recipients of
Subject: Re: "Euro" and the POSIX locale model

> The current POSIX locale model doesn't support multiple currencies
(I'm aware of
> the ungoing discussions on this in CEN/TC304). I'm interested in
hearing what
> others think wrt to implementation of locales with Euro currency
support on
> existing POSIX based systems in the interim.

Not much.
> My assumption is that these
> systems could support the Euro by supplying additional Latin-0 based
(or UTF-8
> based) POSIX locales - say fr_EU.iso8859-0 or *fr_EU.UTF-8.

Hoo boy. Just what we need. I realize that defenders of the POSIX
locale model (and maintainers of software based on it) will have to
come up with some such solutions. But isn't it becoming obvious by now
that good internationalization design for software doesn't tie all
aspects of localizable differences in behavior to single locale
constructs, expecting all correct behavior to be defined there?
Definition of currencies and the topology of their usage across
software to define both monetary ratios and localizable currency
formatting rules are *different* from character sets used for data
conversion. They are *different* from collation rules. They are
*different* from language identity. Anybody with a ounce of
object-oriented design background can see that such things don't
belong together in properly designed classes. Or for that matter, any
background in table normalization in databases would suggest that
tracking such things separately and then doing virtual "joins" from
separate tables to define particular combinations of language,
character set, collation, and local formatting behavior, would make
more sense than trying to create separate entries in one table for all
possible combinations-which is where the locale model leads.
> Is this a correct assumption?
> Comments?
> *Is there a 3166 code for the European Union?. If not any
suggestions on a
> naming convention for Euro based locales.

No. See other email on the Euro thread today.
I realize that this may not be viewed as a very constructive response
to your questions, which, no doubt, are posed in good faith. However,
I have very little patience with the tyranny of the locale model of
internationalization, which is presented as the only standard
solution, and which has a rigid hold of many language standards as
well. It is an ill-conceived design which ill-serves the purpose it
was intended for, and when faced with additional requirements, such as
dealing with the Euro currency or the Universal Character Set, it
keeps getting more and more baroque and hard to implement.
Ken Whistler

> rgds
> tom
> ps
> I'm aware that latin-0 may not be the official name.

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