To: None <email@example.com>
From: Richard Rauch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 01/29/2003 09:28:20
(I'm not sure where is really the best place to post this. Some
people use current-users for this sort of thing, but IMHO that's
the wrong place to discuss ideas, unless the ideas only relate to
features found only in -current...)
We have a program called window that ships with the base system.
I learned about it and used it before I set up X for the first
time, so I have a bit of nostalgia for it. (^&
The window sources seem to be fairly stagnant. I think that this
is for several reasons, probably including:
* Perhaps X is more pervasive (more memory, faster CPU's, cheaper
graphics hardware, and perhaps better support on existing ports).
* wscons does virtual consoles. (And it looks like someone
has finally committed a scrollback-buffer to wscons in the
* GNU screen is in pkgsrc and does most/all of the things that
window does, and some things that window doesn't (or does them
better---e.g., it emulates a VT100-like terminal so you can
run screen, ssh out to another box, and set TERM to something
that will almost certainly work).
(GNU EMACS also provides a lot of comparable functionality
if you create split windows and run shell processes...)
I still think that it would be desirable to have window kept
around, and improved. It is under the Berkeley license (which
I find more agreeable, personally), and is "one of our own",
originating under 4.3BSD (okay, not originating under NetBSD,
but under a BSD). It also provides things that wscons still
doesn't support (cut and paste and simultaneous views of
concurrent windows---also dynamically resizable).
I'd like to:
* Export the existing window's TERMCAP to our termcap database.
(Maybe also push it out to terminfo?) At the very least, a
NetBSD user should be able to run window, ssh to another
NetBSD box, and get better-than-dumb-terminal behavior.
(With luck, maybe the entry will spread to other termcap's.)
* Modify window to emulate a more common terminal type (or
define a new "window-v3" TERM setting as a superset of something
like a VT220).
* Add "missing" features (the one that springss to my mind is
GNU screen's ability to reconnect a disconnected terminal:
ssh to a remote, run screen, lose the connect, reconnect, run
screen again, and your old context/processes are ready and
waiting for you).
Before I commit myself to this, I thought that I'd test the waters.
Does anyone object (why?). What would be a better term-type, if
not VT220 (or is the current window-v2 really okay, if you happen
to know that <X> is common in termcap's and more or less compatible)?
What other features might be added?
And, then perhaps the most important: If some or all of the above
were to be done, would it be likely to be accepted into the NetBSD
"I probably don't know what I'm talking about." --email@example.com