[moin-user] ListPages macro doesn't work

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.org.uk
Mon Sep 4 06:47:44 EDT 2017

On Monday 4. September 2017 11.27.42 Lars Kruse wrote:
> Am Mon, 04 Sep 2017 09:22:01 +0200 schrieb Volker Wysk <post at volker-
> > 
> > I mean, could one locale be fitting for a different one too, as far as
> > sorting is concerned?
> As far as I understand locales: no.
> (if someone knows better: please correct me)

I'm not sure whether I really understand locales better, but here are a few 
things that might help. Firstly, you can get the default locale as follows:

import locale
locale.setlocale(locale.LC_ALL, "") # returns the locale string

This has to be done to make the process's locale information available. It is 
possible that something does this already in Moin, but as mentioned before, it 
is questionable that the process's locale is relevant for a user of a Web 
application. Now you can get the locale details more conveniently.

For example, to ask for the collation:

language, charset = locale.getlocale(locale.LC_COLLATE)

I would think that the collation is the most pertinent locale setting when it 
comes to sorting things. So, it might be more interesting to set this based on 
any details about the user provided by Moin. The MoinMoin.user.User object has 
a language attribute that could work in principle, but I'm not convinced that 
this is enough by itself. More on that in a moment.

Anyway, you can set the collation as follows:

locale.setlocale(locale.LC_COLLATE, "no_NO") # something I just tested

And you can apply the locale sorting as follows:


This will correctly sort a sequence of names where Norwegian letters are used. 
It seems that Unicode will work, too.

Why I don't think the Moin language code is enough is that the locale system 
is rather particular about what you ask it for. However, it seems that you can 
get a proper locale from the Moin language as follows:

language = request.user.language # will probably work given a request
localename = locale.normalize(language)

For me, this yielded "no_NO.ISO8859-1" from "no".

A few problems emerge when using locale support for sorting. Firstly, you need 
to have the necessary locales installed for the functions to work. Secondly, 
switching locales affects the entire program, so you have to be careful not to 
cause side-effects, although this is less of a problem in a plain CGI 

Another thing noted earlier is that locales are language specific, so if your 
list of page names contains both German names and names using non-German 
characters, the sorting of those other characters may not be as desired. 
Libraries like ICU might try and reconcile different collations, but it is 
probably an open-ended problem. Bindings for Python are available here:


The documentation for the locale functionality is found here:



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