Palle Girgensohn's ICU patch

From: Jakob Egger <jakob(at)eggerapps(dot)at>
To: PostgreSQL Packagers <pgsql-packagers(at)postgresql(dot)org>, pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Cc: Bussmann Tobias <tobias(dot)bussmann(at)scnat(dot)ch>
Subject: Palle Girgensohn's ICU patch
Date: 2014-11-26 07:31:10
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When packaging PostgreSQL for, I discovered a problem: strcoll doesn't work for multibyte encodings on OS X. As a consequence, text sorting in PostgreSQL doesn't work. The only workaround seemed to be to use a legacy encoding like latin1, which is inacceptable.

I discovered that OS X shares this limitation with FreeBSD, and there exists a patch written by Palle Girgensohn that uses the ICU library for collating strings instead of the std-c strcoll function. You can find it at <>

I applied the patch, and according to preliminary testing with 9.4rc1 it seems to work flawlessly on OS X as well.
See <>

I have two questions:

1) Does anybody else have experience with this patch? Is it safe to release PostgreSQL binaries with this patch applied to the public?

2) Is there a reason why this patch hasn't been merged into core over the years? Since it requires setting a configure switch (--with-icu) it shouldn't break anything?

Best regards,
Jakob Egger


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