Re: [pgsql-packagers] Palle Girgensohn's ICU patch

From: Palle Girgensohn <girgen(at)pingpong(dot)net>
To: Jakob Egger <jakob(at)eggerapps(dot)at>
Cc: PostgreSQL Packagers <pgsql-packagers(at)postgresql(dot)org>, "pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org" <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>, Bussmann Tobias <tobias(dot)bussmann(at)scnat(dot)ch>
Subject: Re: [pgsql-packagers] Palle Girgensohn's ICU patch
Date: 2014-11-26 07:41:49
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This is indeed a very well tested patch as we've run it in production for 8+ years on 20+ systems.

It is not included upstreams mainly because I did ask for it to happen. I've been aiming to do it but haven't got around to it. Also, since 9.2 (?) there is support in PostgreSQL for setting collate locale per column. This is not yet supported by the patch, which makes it non-complete. You could argue that this is not as important as supporting the primary locale, but it would be hard to argue about that, it would have to be added for it to reach inclusion upstreams.

So, I can vouch for it, it does the job just fine. Upstreams support will happen eventually.


> 26 nov 2014 kl. 08yt:31 skrev Jakob Egger <jakob(at)eggerapps(dot)at>:
> 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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