Subject: Re: new console driver code
To: current-users@NetBSD.ORG, Ty Sarna <>
From: Matthias Drochner <>
List: current-users
Date: 03/23/1998 23:21:53
Excerpts from netbsd: 22-Mar-98 Re: new console driver code Ty (1276)

> Will this include per-virtual-terminal keymaps? How flexible will the
> mapping be? Also, will fonts be per-vt?

A keymap per virtual terminal... interesting idea, I didn't think about it
yet. As the code is laid out, it seems possible to implement.
The font-per-vt is something I thought of, but it is not fully implemented
because it needs some ideas how to share fonts among different VTs
to avoid a waste of ressources.
That's all waiting for ideas and for people doing the work...

> I took some Russian a few months ago

Sdrawsdvui towarishtsh (or so:-)

> and I'd like to have a different keymap on that one that
> acted "normally" when caps lock (and by that I mean left-ctrl, since I
> swap them) is off, and generates KOI-8 when caps lock is on.

Isn't that more like the ALTGR on european keyboards - something
which changes the meaning of the keyboard completely?
(OK, the ALTGR is not locking normally.)
One can in principle have complete flexibility in key assignment if
he spends a table of N*(2^M) entries, with N the number of keys
and M the number of modifiers (locking + non-locking). It needs
a tradeoff to keep that all in a reasonable size of code and data.
(It must work as console in early startup too -- perhaps without
fancy features, but if a huge table is nedded, it must be present in
the boot image.)
The tradeoff in the current code (by Juergen Hannken-Illjes, not
yet in the tree) looks that the semantics is the modifiers is mostly
fixed in code, but the location of the keys is freely definable. So you
can use any key as CAPS-LOCK, but it will always subtract
32 from the ASCII codes. (Not exactly, but you got it...)
Perhaps it would be acceptable to switch the complete keymap
when a special key is pressed (eg F1 -- ever used ChiWriter)?

> Do (or will they be able to be made to, with new keymap code) F9...F12
> work like CTL-ALT-F1...F8 as in pcvt?

The CTL-ALT-F1...F8 stuff is only hacked in for now, to
get the virtual consoles working until a real key mapping
scheme is coming. I'm sure you can use any key to switch
consoles then.

best regards