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[gnuastro-commits] master 7388500: Book (tutorial): added box for changi

From: Mohammad Akhlaghi
Subject: [gnuastro-commits] master 7388500: Book (tutorial): added box for changing locale
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 2020 19:36:41 -0500 (EST)

branch: master
commit 7388500118794b9eda74c6c2cf68c1cf0176af6e
Author: Mohammad Akhlaghi <>
Commit: Mohammad Akhlaghi <>

    Book (tutorial): added box for changing locale
    Until now when a system's locale didn't use the point ('.') as a decimal
    separator, the resulting numbers wouldn't be interpretted properly and give
    false results. In particular these two lines in the tutorial:
    echo $n $r | awk '{print $1 * ($2^2) * 3600}'
    for z in $(seq 0.1 0.1 5); do
    With this commit, a box has been added in the first place such cases may
    come up and a short description of locales is given with known issues and
    how to solve this problem. Also, at the start of the code boxes in the
    "Angular coverage on the sky" and "Cosmological coverage", a line was added
    to set 'LANG=C' and avoid potential confusions.
    This was reported by Andrés García-Serra Romero and Carlos Morales Socorro.
 THANKS                       |  1 +
 doc/announce-acknowledge.txt |  1 +
 doc/gnuastro.texi            | 42 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 3 files changed, 44 insertions(+)

diff --git a/THANKS b/THANKS
index 7bb6c82..fb348b8 100644
--- a/THANKS
+++ b/THANKS
@@ -42,6 +42,7 @@ support in Gnuastro. The list is ordered alphabetically (by 
family name).
     Elham Eftekhari            
     Paul Eggert                
     Gaspar Galaz               
+    Andrés García-Serra Romero 
     Thérèse Godefroy           
     Madusha Gunawardhana       
     Bruno Haible               
diff --git a/doc/announce-acknowledge.txt b/doc/announce-acknowledge.txt
index da63076..85329b4 100644
--- a/doc/announce-acknowledge.txt
+++ b/doc/announce-acknowledge.txt
@@ -1,6 +1,7 @@
 Alphabetically ordered list to acknowledge in the next release.
 Paul Eggert
+Andrés García-Serra Romero
 Bruno Haible
 Martin Kuemmel
 Javier Licandro
diff --git a/doc/gnuastro.texi b/doc/gnuastro.texi
index 84af5ad..7428db7 100644
--- a/doc/gnuastro.texi
+++ b/doc/gnuastro.texi
@@ -2223,7 +2223,42 @@ This is especially convenient when you just want to make 
a small change to your
 Press the ``up'' key on your keyboard (possibly multiple times) to see your 
previous command(s) and modify them accordingly.
 @end cartouche
+@cindex Locale
+@cindex @code{LANG}
+@cindex @code{LC_ALL}
+@cindex Decimal separator
+@strong{Your locale doesn't use `.' as decimal separator:} the input/output of 
some core operating system tools like @command{awk} or @command{seq} depend on 
the @url{, system 
+For example in Spanish and some other languages the decimal separator (symbol 
used to separate the integer and fractional part of a number), is a comma.
+Therefore in systems that have Spanish as their default Locale, @command{seq} 
will print half of unity as `@code{0,5}' (instead of `@code{0.5}').
+This can cause problems for parsing the printed numbers in other programs.
+You can check your current locale with the @code{locale} command.
+You can test your default decimal separator with this command:
+seq 0.5 1
+@end example
+To avoid these kinds of locale-specific problems (for example another program 
not being able to read `@code{0,5}' as half of unity), you can change the 
locale by setting the @code{LANG} environment variable (or the 
lower-level/generic @code{LC_ALL}).
+You can do it only for a single command (the first one below), or all commands 
within the running session (the second command below):
+## Change the locale to the standard, only for this 'seq' command.
+$ LANG=C seq 0.5 1
+## Change the locale to the standard, for all commands after it.
+$ export LANG=C
+@end example
+If you want to change it generally for all future sessions, you can put the 
second command in your shell's startup file.
+For more on startup files, please see @ref{Installation directory}.
+@end cartouche
+## If your system language uses ',' (not '.') as decimal separator.
+$ export LANG=C
 ## See the general statistics of non-blank pixel values.
 $ aststatistics flat-ir/xdf-f160w.fits
@@ -2288,6 +2323,9 @@ In particular, you need the tangential distance covered 
by 1 arc-second as raw o
 Combined with the field's area that was measured before, we can calculate the 
tangential distance in Mega Parsecs squared (@mymath{Mpc^2}).
+## If your system language uses ',' (not '.') as decimal separator.
+$ export LANG=C
 ## Print general cosmological properties at redshift 2 (for example).
 $ astcosmiccal -z2
@@ -2337,6 +2375,10 @@ You can use it instead of typing all the different 
redshifts in this example.
 For example the loop below will calculate and print the tangential coverage of 
this field across a larger range of redshifts (0.1 to 5) and with finer 
increments of 0.1.
+## If your system language uses ',' (not '.') as decimal separator.
+$ export LANG=C
+## The loop over the redshifts
 $ for z in $(seq 0.1 0.1 5); do                                  \
     k=$(astcosmiccal -z$z --arcsectandist);                      \
     echo $z $k $a | awk '@{print $1, ($2*60)^2 * $3 / 1e6@}';   \

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