create collation database
colltbl [file | -]
The colltbl command takes as input a specification
file, file, that describes the collating
sequence for a particular language
and creates a database that can be read by
transforms its first
argument and places the result in its second argument.
The transformed string is such that it can be correctly ordered
with other transformed strings by using strncmp [see
transforms its arguments and does a comparison.
If no input file is supplied, stdin is read.
The output file produced contains the database with collating sequence
information in a form usable by system commands and routines.
The name of this output file is the value you assign to the keyword
read in from
Before this file can be used,
it must be installed in the
directory with the name
by someone who is super-user or a member of group bin.
locale corresponds to
the language area whose collation sequence is described in file.
This file must be readable by user,
group, and other; no other permissions should be set.
To use the collating sequence information in this file,
environment variable appropriately
The colltbl command can support languages whose collating
sequence can be completely described by the following cases:
The specification file consists of three types of statements:
Ordering of single characters within the code set.
For example, in Swedish, ``V'' is sorted after
``U'', before ``X'', and
with ``W'' (``V'' and ``W'' are considered identical as far
as sorting is concerned).
Ordering of ``double characters'' in the collation sequence.
For example, in Spanish, ``ch'' and ``ll''
are collated after ``c''
and ``l'', respectively.
Ordering of a single character as if it consists of two characters.
For example, in German, the ``sharp s,'' ``ß'',
is sorted as ``ss''.
This is a special instance of the next case below.
Substitution of one character string with another character string.
In the example above, the string ``ß'' is replaced with ``ss''
Ignoring certain characters in the code set during collation.
For example, if - were ignored during collation, then the
strings ``re-locate'' and ``relocate'' would compare as equal.
Secondary ordering between characters.
In the case where two
characters are sorted together in the collation sequence, (that is,
they have the same primary ordering),
there is sometimes a secondary
ordering that is used if two strings are identical except for
characters that have the same primary ordering.
For example, in French, the letters ``e'' and
``é'' have the same
primary ordering but ``e'' comes before
``é'' in the secondary
Thus the word ``lever'' would be ordered before ``léver'',
but ``léver'' would be sorted before
(Note that if ``e'' came before ``é'' in the primary ordering,
then ``léver'' would be sorted after ``levitate''.)
The substitute statement is optional.
The order is and codeset statements must
appear in the specification file.
filename is the name of the output file to be created by
order is order_list
order_list is a list of symbols, separated by semicolons,
that defines the collating sequence.
The special symbol ...
specifies symbols that are lexically sequential in a short-hand
order is a;b;c;d;...;x;y;z
would specify the list of lowercase letters.
Of course, this could be further compressed to just
A symbol can be up to two bytes in length and can be represented
in any one of the following ways:
Any combination of these may be used as well.
the symbol itself (for example,
``a'' for the lowercase letter ``a'')
in octal representation (for example, \141 or 0141 for the letter
in hexadecimal representation (for example, \x61 or 0x61
for the letter ``a'')
The backslash character, ``\'' , is used for continuation.
No characters are permitted after the backslash character.
Symbols enclosed in parentheses are assigned the same primary ordering
but different secondary ordering.
Symbols enclosed in curly brackets are assigned only the same primary ordering.
order is a;b;c;ch;d;(e;é);f;...;z;\
In the above example, ``e'' and ``é'' are assigned the
same primary ordering and different secondary ordering, digits 1
through 9 are assigned the same primary ordering and no secondary ordering.
Only primary ordering is assigned to the remaining symbols.
Notice how double letters can be specified in the collating
sequence (letter ``ch'' comes between ``c'' and ``d'').
If a character is not included in the order is statement,
it is excluded from the ordering and will be ignored during
substitute string with repl
The substitute statement substitutes
the string string with the string repl.
can be used, for example,
to provide rules to sort the
abbreviated month names numerically:
substitute "Jan" with "01"
substitute "Feb" with "02"
substitute "Dec" with "12"
A simpler use of the substitute statement would be
to substitute a single character
with two characters, as with the substitution
of ``ß'' with ``ss'' in German.
Any lines in the specification file with a ``#'' in the
first column are treated as comments and are ignored.
Empty lines are also ignored.
The following example shows the collation specification
required to support a hypothetical telephone book sorting
The sorting sequence is defined by the following rules:
The input specification file to colltbl will contain:
Upper- and lowercase letters must be sorted together, but uppercase
letters have precedence over lowercase letters.
All special characters and punctuation should be ignored.
Digits must be sorted as their alphabetic counterparts (for example,
``0'' as zero, ``1'' as one).
The ``Ch'', ``ch'', ``CH''
combinations must be collated between
``C'' and ``D''.
``V'' and ``W'', ``v'' and ``w''
must be collated together.
order is A;a;B;b;C;c;CH;Ch;ch;D;d;E;e;F;f;\
substitute "0" with "zero"
substitute "1" with "one"
substitute "2" with "two"
substitute "3" with "three"
substitute "4" with "four"
substitute "5" with "five"
substitute "6" with "six"
substitute "7" with "seven"
substitute "8" with "eight"
substitute "9" with "nine"
LC_COLLATE database for locale
input file used to construct
in the default locale.
© 2004 The SCO Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
UnixWare 7 Release 7.1.4 - 25 April 2004