Subject: Re: -key "introduction"
To: Johnny Billquist <bqt@Update.UU.SE>
From: Steven M. Bellovin <email@example.com>
Date: 03/29/2005 17:04:15
In message <Pine.LNX.4.62.0503292338220.29558@Psilocybe.Update.UU.SE>, Johnny B
>On Tue, 29 Mar 2005, Zbigniew Baniewski wrote:
>> On Tue, Mar 29, 2005 at 01:11:44PM -0600, Richard Rauch wrote:
>> > Well, if there are no misunderstandings, then, it seems that this is
>> > fixed in -current.
>> To avoid any further misunderstanings:
>> Do you have "proper Delete" key (when cursor "eats" the following characters
>> not moving itself from its position) in the console (text) mode? In the
>> command line of the shell, in the applications too - never mind (at the
>> moment) the XTerm window?
>That is not how I would define "proper Delete". And therein lies the
>problem. Traditionally, the key marked "<X]", "<-" or whatever, located
>above the return key, have sent the ASCII DEL character. This key have
>traditionally been used to delete the character to the left of the cursor.
>Then came the IBM PC, and in traditional IBM style, they decided to do
>things their own way. Fast forward 20 years, and some people now believe
>the IBM way is the right way, while others still believe the traditional
>way is the right way. Traditionally, sending a backspace is more or less
>meaningless. It's an ASCII character meant to move the cursor (or printing
>head) one space to the left. Don't make much sense as input, but people
>are free to interpret it any way they want to. In EMACS for instance, it's
>the code for getting HELP.
There are many versions of that history, and I don't think it's worth
debating. If you really want to be traditional, the delete key was
-- and had to be -- \177 because it was used to overstrike paper tape
characters. \177 punched all holes in the character, of course, and
readers ignored that character.
However, since I can't find any support for paper tape anywhere on
NetBSD except in ppt(6), I think I'm not going to worry about the
--Prof. Steven M. Bellovin, http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb