C# Parsing is Regional(Culture) Sensitive


The Problem
Our C# application sent a query to Solr server, and parsing the response. It works fine, until recently one of our customers hits one exception:
Exception Message [Input string was not in a correct format.]
System.Number.ParseDouble(String value, NumberStyles options, NumberFormatInfo numfmt)
at System.Double.Parse(String s, NumberStyles style)

The Root Cause
Check the language settings, the server machine is using Finnish:fi-FI. 
The Solr response always uses en-US locale format for numbers, it uses "." period as decimal separator:
<double name="min">10.01</double>

But in fi-FI[Finnish(Finland)], it uses "," comma as decimal separator.

This would cause double.parse fail to parse the string like: 10.01, and throws exception: 
Input string was not in a correct format.

The fix is easy: using en-US culture when do double.parse: double.Parse("10.01", new CultureInfo("en-US")); or set en-US culture as the current culture of current thread:
Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = new CultureInfo("en-US");

The workaround before we release the fix is to change the region and language settings to en_US for the user who starts the application.

Test Code
using System.Globalization;
using System.Threading;
// Add it via "add reference"
using Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UnitTesting;

static void Main(string[] args)
{
    CultureInfo originalCulture = Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture;
    Console.WriteLine("Orignal Culture: " + originalCulture);
    CultureInfo enUS = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture("en-US");

    CultureInfo fiFi = CultureInfo.CreateSpecificCulture("fi-FI");
    testParse(enUS, fiFi);
    testToString(enUS, fiFi);
    
    Console.ReadLine();
}
private static void testToString(CultureInfo enUS, CultureInfo fiFi)
{
    Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = fiFi;
    double d = 0.2;
    // output fi-FI format: 0,2
    String str = d.ToString();
    Console.WriteLine("fi-FI: " + d.ToString());
    Assert.AreEqual("0,2", str);

    str = d.ToString(enUS);
    // output en-US format: 0.2
    Console.WriteLine("fi-FI: " + str);
    Assert.AreEqual("0.2", str);
}
private static void testParse(CultureInfo enUS, CultureInfo fiFi)
{
    Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = fiFi;
    // print 10,01
    Console.WriteLine(10.01);
    double d1 = double.Parse("10,01");

    // use en-US to parse, this works fine.
    double d2 = double.Parse("10.01", enUS);
    try
    {
        // the follwing code would cause exception:  Input string was not in a correct format.
        double d3 = double.Parse("10.01");
        Assert.Fail("should fail");
    }
    catch (Exception e)
    {
        Console.WriteLine("expected ex: " + e);
    }
    // change culture to en-US
    Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = enUS;
    double d4 = double.Parse("10.01");
}

Update:
Today, we meet similar error, but this time is when C# sends a double string to java application: the region is actually de-AT. C# sent 0,2 to java servlet which is unable to parse it.

The solution is to convert to en-US: d.ToString(enUS)

Lesson Learned
When trouble shoot this problem in customser case, I noticed when I type some character, it is converted to other word, at that time, I should notice the customer is using a different language setting.

How to check Windows Region and Language Setting
Checking the Regional and Language Settings

Resources:
Java Locale “Finnish (Finland)” (fi-FI)
Using Language Identifiers (RFC 3066) - Region Code List

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