Dark Terminal Magic

Hans Fugal hans at fugal.net
Sun Feb 10 22:20:28 MST 2008

Some of you may be resting on your laurels. You think you can answer 
anyone's Linux question with two ears tied behind your back. Well here's 
something to humble you. I think there may be someone or someones on 
this list who can answer it (I hope so), but I know there are probably 
many who, like me, cannot.

The problem actually is on OS X, but it involves linux. OS X's 
Terminal.app doesn't show ANSI color stuff quite right. The best way to 
test it is to ssh into a debian box and run aptitude. See how the color 
bars don't go all the way to the right? There's repaint issues too I think.

Now, apparently the reason for the color bars not filling is that 
Terminal.app doesn't support back_color_erase (bce), but xterm (and rxvt 
and other useful TERM values that I've tried) does. So TERM=xterm says 
go ahead and use bce and then bce doesn't do what it's supposed to do. 
AFAICT that's the reason things are broken, and that's the extent of my 
understanding of termcap/terminfo issues.

Is there a way to make a terminfo or termcap or whatever that unsets 
that bce bit? Would it have to reside on the target machine, I assume? 
Is there a common TERM setting that might work better than xterm or rxvt 
or xterm-color or whatever (and supports color)? If one was able to iron 
out the terminfo settings that reflect Terminal.app's capabilities, 
would it be able to make its way into the official terminfo 
distribution, or is that an unchanging fossil now?

Hans Fugal ; http://hans.fugal.net

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the
right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
     -- Johann Sebastian Bach

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