Dark Terminal Magic

Shane Hathaway shane at hathawaymix.org
Mon Feb 11 23:19:33 MST 2008

Hans Fugal wrote:
> Interesting. Yes and no. I have two boxes handy, one is an ubuntu 7.10 
> box with ncurses 5.6 and the other is a debian box with 5.5. The same 
> behavior on both, but really it makes since since TERM is set to xterm 
> or rxvt which do support bce, so naturally ncurses will use it instead 
> of drawing spaces or whatever workaround it would implement for a 
> terminfo that doesn't support bce. So I still need to find a magic TERM 
> setting for OS X, but it's sounding like maybe there is one to find.

Fiddling around, I found the "tack" tool, which apparently lets you 
interactively edit (for some definition of interactive) a terminfo file. 
  I *think* I managed to create a variant of xterm with bce disabled, 
but I don't have OS X available to test the result.

While in my home directory, with TERM=xterm in my environment, I started 
tack and pushed:

   n e e bce<Enter> w q q q y

This created an ASCII file called "xterm".  Then I typed "tic xterm", 
which created ~/.terminfo/x/xterm.  I assume ncurses prefers the 
terminfo in my home directory.

This is the first time I've seen this stuff.  It's weird but efficient; 
I suppose that in theory I can solve all sorts of terminal compatibility 
bugs quickly this way.  However, there's no way I'm going to remember 
much of it unless I write it down.  Hence this email. :-)


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