Locale issues -- weird KDE lag

James Richard Tyrer tyrerj at acm.org
Thu Oct 7 23:49:20 BST 2004

Brian S. Stephan wrote:
> Hi. Prodded along by the discussion on UTF-8 elsewhere on this list I 
> decided to try changing my locale (in Linux) to something UTF-8 based. 
> Upon doing so, I have noticed some strange problems with KDE's behavior.
> First let me say that as far as I know, UTF-8 is working correctly. I put:
> LANG=en_US.UTF-8
> in my /etc/env.d/ directory and updated /etc/profile.env then logged out 
> and back in. echo $LANG in bash shows the correct setting, and bash can 
> correctly read filenames with accented characters and even Japanese kanji. 
> That's not the problem though.
> Just about everything KDE-based seems to start slower, even when only 
> displaying "standard" English characters.
> KSensors is the worst example (when I click the system tray icon to draw my 
> sensor panel, it is a white window for about half a second before anything 
> useful is drawn), but it's not KDE proper so I'll move on to other 
> examples, such as KWrite. When I start KWrite, at first only the window 
> title bar and window outline is drawn, with a gray area where the menu and 
> toolbars go and the text input area is empty. Then after about half a 
> second, everything is finished being drawn as usual. If I open two files 
> (first to populate the existing window, second to open a new one) the 
> second window is as quick to draw as always, so it's just program init. 
> And all this on an Athlon XP 2500+, I'd hate to see the lag on my other, 
> slower boxes.
> The problem is this doesn't happen when I don't have $LANG set.
> Every real KDE app seems to behave this way. The first time Kopete is 
> drawn, same deal. Every other time I hide to system tray and restore it, 
> it's snappy. I used lsof to see what resources were in use and found that 
> every app is loading /usr/lib/locale/locale-archive while when I don't 
> have $LANG set only some apps load that. I don't know if this is expected 
> or not.
> My problem may seem trivial but it's a distraction and a certain 
> performance degradation. Please help.

It is possible that something is timing out looking for some LC_* setting.

Do you have: LC_ALL set?  And do you have any of the other: LC_* set?

	env | grep LC_

You should (unless you need to configure the locale stuff individually) set 
LC_ALL to <local>.utf8 (the same as you have set LANG).  You can set LANG to the 
same or set it to "C" (to default to the language for the locale).
> P.S. What is ~/.kde/share/locale/ for? I have it but it is empty.

That is probably for KDE -- my directory is also empty.  Perhaps you have to 
have installed a KDE i18n package for this to be used for anything.

The LANG and LC_* settings are for the OS.

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