mestbl -- create a messages locale table


mestbl [ specfile ]


The utility mestbl is provided to allow LC_MESSAGES locales to be defined. It reads in a specification file (or standard input if specfile is not defined), containing a definition for a particular locale's response strings to yes/no queries, and produces a concise format table file, to be read by setlocale(S).

The response strings may be specified as a string held within double quotes or as a series of characters which are specified in one of six different ways (the following examples all specify the ASCII character ``A''):

65 - decimal
0101 - octal
0x41 - hexadecimal
'A' - quoted character
'\101' - quoted octal
'\x41' - quoted hexadecimal

or a combination of both methods, for example:

'y' "es"

is identical to:


To specify the response strings, the above string definitions must be preceded by the keyword YESSTR= for affirmative responses, and NOSTR= for negative responses.

If a hash character (#) appears in any line, all characters following the hash character are treated as a comment and ignored up to the end of the line, unless the hash is within a quoted string.

The concise format locale table is placed in a file named messages in the current directory. This file should be copied or moved to the correct place in the setlocale file tree (see locale(M)). To prevent accidental corruption of the output data, the file is created with no write permission; if the mestbl utility is run in a directory containing a write-protected messages file, the utility will ask if the existing file should be replaced -- any response other than ``yes'' or ``y'' will cause mestbl to terminate without overwriting the existing file.


All error messages are self-explanatory.

See also

chrtbl(M), coltbl(M), locale(M), mesconv(M), montbl(M), numtbl(M), setlocale(S), timtbl(M)

Standards conformance

mestbl is not part of any currently supported standard; it is an extension of AT&T System V provided by The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc.
© 2003 Caldera International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003