Dark Terminal Magic

Hans Fugal hans at fugal.net
Tue Feb 12 09:10:40 MST 2008

Shane Hathaway wrote:
> 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. :-)

Neat. Thanks for sharing. In the meantime I've been trying the other 
terminals with strange names, and I've found that TERM=dtterm actually 
works quite well. Aptitude, mutt, and screen are all happy.

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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