[OS X TeX] Biber problem in sorting

Tomas Jonsson tomas.jonsson at cefos.gu.se
Tue Feb 23 17:01:07 EST 2010

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 quite lost here. Anyone?


More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list