[OS X TeX] Biber problem in sorting

Simon Spiegel simon at simifilm.ch
Fri Feb 26 22:25:54 CET 2010

On 23.02.2010, at 23:01, Tomas Jonsson wrote:

> Hi, I've been trying out the BibTeX replacement Biber because it's unicode aware, but I have run into problems concerning the alphabetic sorting for swedish. I have asked at the Biber forum and there seems to be some problems concerning the collation table in Mac OS X (in "/usr/share/locale/sv_SE.UTF-8" (I'm using Mac OS X 10.6.2). Biber (a Perl program) relies on this to do the sorting.
> The problem is: When using biber 0.5.1 and biblatex 0.90 in swedish (encoding utf-8), the alphabetic sorting consequently puts ä (small and capital a with diaeresis above) before å (small and capital a with ring above), which are separate letters in swedish and comes after z and before ö (small and capital o with diaeresis). The order should be the reverse, å (a-ring) before ä (a-diaeresis). 
> The problem seems to be in Mac OS X. I've been told other systems do get the correct output. ("Well, given the locale "sv_SE.UTF8", the 'sort' function should in principle behave correctly. But the implementation is very much system-specific and outside of Perl's control. On most Unix-like systems the collation tables for specific locales are provided by the glibc library. I have tried the following after generating the locale data for sv_SE.utf8 on my linux machine with glibc 2.11.1, and it seems to work as expected:") The sv_SE.UTF-8 locale's collation table is a symlink to "la_LN.US-ASCII/LC_COLLATE" as is all the other utf-8 collation files in /usr/share/locale, which I find strange.

I'm not really sure if this really answers your question, but I realized today that the Unicode::Collate which comes installed with Snow Leopard seems to be incomplete or at least not identical to the one on CPAN. It doesn't have all the necessary sorting stuff. If you do a force install of Unicode::Collate (sudo cpan -f Unicode::Collate) then the correct allkeys.txt is installed. Don't really know if this helps for your specific problem.


Simon Spiegel
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8002 Zürich

Telephon: ++41 44 451 5334
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„I'm not that easy to impress. – O, a blue car!“ Homer Simpson

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