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5.7 4.2 L2 PyICU VS BabelThe official repository for Babel, the Python Internationalization Library
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README file for PyICU
Welcome to PyICU, a Python extension wrapping the ICU C++ libraries.
ICU stands for "International Components for Unicode". These are the i18n libraries of the Unicode Consortium. They implement much of the Unicode Standard, many of its companion Unicode Technical Standards, and much of Unicode CLDR.
The PyICU source code is hosted on GitHub at https://github.com/ovalhub/pyicu.
The ICU homepage is http://site.icu-project.org/
See also the CLDR homepage at http://cldr.unicode.org/
Before building PyICU the ICU libraries must be built and installed. Refer to each system's instructions for more information.
PyICU is built with distutils or setuptools:
- verify that the icu-config program is available or that the
setup.pycontain correct values for your platform. Starting with ICU 60, -std=c++11 must appear in your CFLAGS.
python setup.py build
sudo python setup.py install
Mac OS X Make sure that
DYLD_LIBRARY_PATHcontains paths to the directory(ies) containing the ICU libs.
Linux & Solaris Make sure that
LD_LIBRARY_PATHcontains paths to the directory(ies) containing the ICU libs or that you added the corresponding
Windows Make sure that
PATHcontains paths to the directory(ies) containing the ICU DLLs.
CHANGES file for an up to date log of changes and additions.
There is no API documentation for PyICU. The API for ICU is documented at http://icu-project.org/apiref/icu4c/ and the following patterns can be used to translate from the C++ APIs to the corresponding Python APIs.
The ICU string type,
UnicodeString, is a type pointing at a mutable
UChar Unicode 16-bit wide characters. The Python unicode type
is an immutable string of 16-bit or 32-bit wide Unicode characters.
Because of these differences,
UnicodeString and Python's
type are not merged into the same type when crossing the C++ boundary.
ICU APIs taking
UnicodeString arguments have been overloaded to also
accept Python str or unicode type arguments. In the case of
utf-8 encoding is assumed when converting them to
To convert a Python
str encoded in an encoding other than
UnicodeString use the
ICU's C++ APIs accept and return
UnicodeString arguments in several
ways: by value, by pointer or by reference.
When an ICU C++ API is documented to accept a
parameter, it is safe to assume that there are several corresponding
PyICU python APIs making it accessible in simpler ways:
For example, the
'UnicodeString &Locale::getDisplayName(UnicodeString &)' API,
can be invoked from Python in several ways:
The ICU way
>>> from icu import UnicodeString, Locale >>> locale = Locale('pt_BR') >>> string = UnicodeString() >>> name = locale.getDisplayName(string) >>> name <UnicodeString: Portuguese (Brazil)> >>> name is string True <-- string arg was returned, modified in place
The Python way
>>> from icu import Locale >>> locale = Locale('pt_BR') >>> name = locale.getDisplayName() >>> name u'Portuguese (Brazil)'
UnicodeStringobject was allocated and converted to a Python
A UnicodeString can be coerced to a Python unicode string with Python's
unicode() constructor. The usual
[:] operators are all available, with the additional
twists that slicing is not read-only and that
+= is also available
since a UnicodeString is mutable. For example:
>>> name = locale.getDisplayName() u'Portuguese (Brazil)' >>> name = UnicodeString(name) >>> name <UnicodeString: Portuguese (Brazil)> >>> unicode(name) u'Portuguese (Brazil)' >>> len(name) 19 >>> str(name) <-- works when chars fit with default encoding 'Portuguese (Brazil)' >>> name u't' >>> name[12:18] <UnicodeString: Brazil> >>> name[12:18] = 'the country of Brasil' >>> name <UnicodeString: Portuguese (the country of Brasil)> >>> name += ' oh joy' >>> name <UnicodeString: Portuguese (the country of Brasil) oh joy>
The C++ ICU library does not use C++ exceptions to report errors. ICU
C++ APIs return errors via a
UErrorCode reference argument. All such
APIs are wrapped by Python APIs that omit this argument and throw an
ICUError Python exception instead. The same is true for ICU APIs
taking both a
ParseError and a
UErrorCode, they are both to be
For example, the
'UnicodeString &DateFormat::format(const Formattable &,
UnicodeString &, UErrorCode &)' API, documented at
is invoked from Python with:
>>> from icu import DateFormat, Formattable >>> df = DateFormat.createInstance() >>> df <SimpleDateFormat: M/d/yy h:mm a> >>> f = Formattable(940284258.0, Formattable.kIsDate) >>> df.format(f) u'10/18/99 3:04 PM'
Of course, the simpler
UnicodeString &)' documented here:
can be used too:
>>> from icu import DateFormat >>> df = DateFormat.createInstance() >>> df <SimpleDateFormat: M/d/yy h:mm a> >>> df.format(940284258.0) u'10/18/99 3:04 PM'
ICU uses a double floating point type called
UDate that represents the
number of milliseconds elapsed since 1970-jan-01 UTC for dates.
In Python, the value returned by the
function is the number of seconds since 1970-jan-01 UTC. Because of this
difference, floating point values are multiplied by 1000 when passed to
UDate and divided by 1000 when returned as
datetime objects, with or without timezone information, can
also be used with APIs taking
UDate arguments. The
objects get converted to
UDate when crossing into the C++ layer.
Many ICU API take array arguments. A list of elements of the array element types is to be passed from Python.
StringEnumeration has three
unext() which returns
snext() which returns
Any of these methods can be used as an iterator, using the Python
For example, let
e be a
[s for s in e] is a list of 'str' objects [s for s in iter(e.unext, None)] is a list of 'unicode' objects [s for s in iter(e.snext, None)] is a list of 'UnicodeString' objects
TimeZone type may be wrapped with an
ICUtzinfo type for
usage with Python's
datetime type. For example::
tz = ICUtzinfo(TimeZone.createTimeZone('US/Mountain')) datetime.now(tz)
or, even simpler::
tz = ICUtzinfo.getInstance('Pacific/Fiji') datetime.now(tz)
To get the default time zone use::
defaultTZ = ICUtzinfo.getDefault()
To get the time zone's id, use the
tzid attribute or coerce the time
zone to a string::
ICUtzinfo.getInstance('Pacific/Fiji').tzid -> 'Pacific/Fiji' str(ICUtzinfo.getInstance('Pacific/Fiji')) -> 'Pacific/Fiji'