Subject: Re: xterm v. xterm-old
To: Thomas Dickey <>
From: M L Riechers <>
List: current-users
Date: 02/08/2001 17:27:12
On Fri, 9 Feb 2001 03:00:52 +1100 quoth Geoff Wing 

> gabriel rosenkoetter wrote about Re: xterm v. xterm-old:
> :On Thu, Feb 08, 2001 at 10:48:01AM +1100, Geoff Wing wrote:
> :> OK, then if someone has XTerm*Foreground then they also need to
> :> include the other colours under the XTerm class, not the VT100 (sub?)class.
> :> Well, it worked for me (in 88b, v132 & v150) to also add the following
> :> if XTerm*Foreground is set.
> :[...]
> :You have *got* to be shitting me.
> :This should not be necessary just to get reasonable behavior out of
> :xterm.

gabriel rosenkoetter, in his original piece, continued on with:

> I mean, I'll do it, but, um, this is most certainly irritating
> enough to change, because making every color work off Foreground
> without any warning at all is complete bollocks.

Yeah, well rock _my_ socks off -- this pretty well summed up my
frustration: why should xterm use a (capitalized F)oreground colour
for just about _everything_?

> It's not necessary.  As Tom Dickey said, it's just a matter of using ...

Er, OK. Light dawns perhaps just a little, at least concerning
Foreground vs. foreground.

Earlier, on Wed, 7 Feb 2001 20:24:36 -0500 Thomas Dickey rejoined me:

> On Wed, Feb 07, 2001 at 08:01:19PM -0500, M L Riechers wrote:
> > Well, I found xrdb, read the man page, and did
> > 
> >  xrdb -remove -
> > 
> > and promptly blew away _all_ my x terminal resources. (Darn!)
> what about the .Xdefaults?

The .Xdefaults files are still there, but, I believe I'm correct in
stating that the only time the .Xdefaults come into play is when the X
server, or xdm, or xinit starts, it dumps the contents of .Xdefaults
to the X server. This, I believe, happens about one time per
initiation of the X window system.

IIRC, the X server holds the X terminal resources.  Running client
applications shouldn't need to consult the .Xdefaults file(s). I've
got home directories, each with an .Xdefaults file (not to mention the
default system .Xdefaults), just on three machines I'm currently
using, so imagine the confusion if each were different.

So, if I infer correctly, the xterm window picks up X resources
pertinent to it from the X resources stored in the X server
process. It does this once -- when it starts. So the .Xdefaults file
is not pertinent to the xterm window, even if the X terminal has been
wiped clean of resources, and thus has no bearing on the problems at

> > Now, aside from the fact that I have no x terminal resources anymore,
> > all is well.
> > 
> > However, I think the xterm program might be due a couple of touch-ups?
> no - I think most of the problems were from using the "Foreground"
> and "Background" rather than "foreground" and "background".  (It's
> not been an faq - this is perhaps the 4th time someone's reported the
> problem in the past 3-4 years).

Okee dokee.  I set foreground instead of Foreground, and background
instead of Background (and some other things); xrdb gave me:

Thu Feb  8 15:54:12 on /tmp A) xrdb -query
*XTerm*font:    -*-courier-medium-r-*-*-22-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
*XTerm*font5:   -*-*-medium-r-*-*-16-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
*XTerm*font6:   -*-*-medium-r-*-*-24-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
*XTerm.geometry:        96x32+10+10
XTerm*background:       dimgrey
XTerm*foreground:       greenyellow

Then I did things with lynx, curser selection, etc.  All is now well.

Completing Geoff Wing's Fri, 9 Feb 2001 03:00:52 +1100 observation:

> It's not necessary.  As Tom Dickey said, it's just a matter of using
> the proper name for the 'foreground' resource (with a small 'f') instead
> of the 'Foreground' class.  Otherwise you're setting something different
> to what you think.

Ah, hark, back to 4-5 years ago, X programming, Classes, etc.  But two
questions: why should a Foreground change change _the_whole_world_,
and why should class be changed from the X terminal resources? And why
is all this happening Just Now, and not lo, these many years?  (OK,
that's three).

Not trying to be querulous, but I am trying to understand. Soap It's
not terribly pleasant to have your formerly nicely readable text now
show up mostly readable, sometimes barely readable, and other times
one great splotch of colour, and I have to admit, I got a bit peeved.
My apologies for any heat. \Soap

Sign me genuinely puzzled,