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Topic Title: Locale support in Acapella for Linux
Topic Summary: Acapella expects UTF-8 encoding in Linux and ignores the locale otherwise.
Created On: 4/15/2015 10:05 AM
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 4/15/2015 10:05 AM
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Joined: 4/14/2015

A question that recently popped up in Japan was if Acapella would run under Linux if the language setting is switched to Japanese.

There are two topics here, one is the locale and the other is the character encoding used by the filesystems and elsewhere. On Linux these settings are normally configured via environment variables like $LANG which can specify both aspects, e.g. LANG=ja_JP.UTF-8.

Locale settings like decimal point and date format are important mostly for data visualization for the end user. As Acapella is mostly concerned with low-level analysis tasks, it is mostly ignoring the locale settings. For example, in log messages all decimal numbers are using the '.' character and all dates are in ISO-compatible YYYY-MM-DD format. This means that the log file can be parsed by automatic tools regardless of the locale in which it was produced. The same holds for most other data produced and consumed by Acapella.

The character encoding is an orthogonal topic. Linux is normally using UTF-8 as the encoding for the filesystem filenames and any other textual data and this is what Acapella expects as well. Acapella is internally using UTF-8 throughout, so it is a perfect match and all Japanese filenames should work and display fine. However, it is in principle possible to configure Linux to use some other encoding and in this case there might appear problems.

In short, using LANG=ja_JP.UTF-8 ought to be fine, but LANG=ja_JP.eucJP might cause surprises.

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