gencat -- generate a formatted message catalog


   gencat [-mXlf format] catfile [msgfile . . .]


The gencat utility merges the message text source file(s) msgfile into a formatted message database catfile. The database catfile will be created if it does not already exist. If catfile does exist its messages will be included in the new catfile. If set and message numbers collide, the new message-text defined in msgfile will replace the old message text currently contained in catfile.

If - is used for catfile, then gencat writes the message catalog file to standard output. If - is used for msgfile, then gencat reads the message text source from standard input.

The message text source file (or set of files) input to gencat can contain either set and message numbers or simply message numbers, in which case the set NL_SETD [see nl_types(5)] is assumed. If msgfile is not specified, gencat will read from stdin.

The -l option lists messages to standard output. The -m option specifies ``malloc''-format messages. The -X option is the same as -m.

The -f option allows different format message catalogs to be generated. Arguments that can be used with this option are:

Produce the System V Release 4 format catalog. (This is the default if -f or -m are not specified.)

This is equivalent to the -m option. This is the default if the POSIX2 environment variable is set.

Produce message catalogs suitable for use with SCO UNIX/XENIX applications.

If the -m or -f options are not used, the format of an existing message catalog will be retained. The -f option can be used to change the format of a catalog.

The format of a message text source file is defined as follows.

NOTE: The fields of a message text source line are separated by a single ASCII space or tab character. Any other ASCII spaces or tabs are considered as being part of the subsequent field.

$set n comment
n specifies the set identifier of the following messages until the next $set, $delset, or end-of-file appears. n must be a number in the range (1 to NL_SETMAX). Set identifiers within a single source file need not be contiguous. Any string following the set identifier is treated as a comment. If no $set directive is specified in a message text source file, all messages will be located in the default message set NL_SETD.

$delset n comment
Delete message set n from an existing message catalog. Any string following the set number is treated as a comment. (If n is not a valid set it is ignored.)

$ comment
A line beginning with a dollar symbol ``$'' followed by an ASCII space or tab character is treated as a comment.

m message-text
The m denotes the message identifier, which is a number in the range (1 to NL_MSGMAX). The message-text is stored in the message catalog with the set identifier specified by the last $set directive, and with message identifier m. If the message-text is empty, and an ASCII space or tab field separator is present, an empty string is stored in the message catalog. If a message source line has a message number, but neither a field separator nor message-text, the existing message with that number (if any) is deleted from the catalog. Message identifiers need not be contiguous. The length of message-text must be in the range (0 to NL_TEXTMAX).

$quote c
This line specifies an optional quote character c, which can be used to surround message-text so that trailing spaces or null (empty) messages are visible in a message source line. By default, or if an empty $quote directive is supplied, no quoting of message-text will be recognized.

Empty lines in a message text source file are ignored.

Text strings can contain the special characters and escape sequences defined in the following table:

Description Symbol Sequence
newline NL(LF) \n
horizontal tab HT \t
vertical tab VT \v
backspace BS \b
carriage return CR \r
form feed FF \f
backslash \ \\
bit pattern ddd \ddd

  Description         Symbol     Sequence
  newline             NL(LF)     \n
  horizontal tab      HT         \t
  vertical tab        VT         \v
  backspace           BS         \b
  carriage return     CR         \r
  form feed           FF         \f
  backslash           \          \\
  bit pattern         ddd        \ddd

The escape sequence \ddd consists of backslash followed by 1, 2 or 3 octal digits, which are taken to specify the value of the desired character. If the character following a backslash is not one of those specified, the backslash is ignored.

Backslash followed by an ASCII newline character is also used to continue a string on the following line. Thus, the following two lines describe a single message string:

   1 This line continues \
   to the next line

which is equivalent to:

   1 This line continues to the next line


This version of gencat is built on the mkmsgs utility. The gencat database comprises two files: catfile.m, which is a catalog in mkmsgs format and the file catfile, which contains the information required to translate a set and message number into a simple message number which can be used in a call to gettxt.

Using gettxt constrains the catalogs to be located in a subdirectory under /usr/lib/locale. This restriction is lifted by placing only a symbolic link to the catalog in the directory /usr/lib/locale/Xopen/LC_MESSAGES when the catalog is opened. It is this link that gettxt uses when attempting to access the catalog.

The link is removed when the catalog is closed, but occasionally as applications exit abnormally without closing catalogs redundant symbolic links will be left in the directory.

For compatibility with previous version of gencat released in a number of specialized internationalization products, the -m option is supplied. This option causes gencat to build a single file catfile that is compatible with the format catalogs produced by the earlier versions. The retrieval routines detect the type of catalog they are using and act appropriately.


language-specific message file [See LANG on environ(5).]


catgets(3C), catopen(3C), gettxt(3C), mkmsgs(1), nl_types(5)

© 2004 The SCO Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
UnixWare 7 Release 7.1.4 - 25 April 2004