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rxvt-unicode-9.15nb1 and irssi-0.8.15nb4 vs netbsd-5 curses

Now that pkgsrc-2012Q1 has been branched, I'm getting around to updating
my machines that run the "netbsd-5" branch.  One of the first packages
I install is "x11/rxvt-unicode".  In previous pkgsrc branches, it was
"rxvt-unicode-9.06nb2".  The latest branch updates to

The resulting executable 'urxvt' sets the TERM environment variable to
"rxvt-unicode-256color".  Of course, utilities in the base system that
use the curses library (particularly 'vi' and 'less') complain about an
unknown or not-fully-functional terminal.

Making a symbolic link ${HOME}/.termcap pointing to


lets 'less' and 'vi' work OK.

I also install "chat/irssi".  In the past (rxvt-unicode-9.06nb2, default
TERM=rxvt-unicode), 'irssi' could perform color highlighting on IRC
events when run in 'urxvt'.  Now, with the rxvt-unicode-9.15nb1 version
(even using TERM=rxvt-unicode), 'irssi' thinks the terminal is not
color-capable, even with the local "~/.termcap" file (it otherwise

If the 'urxvt' instance in which 'irssi' is to run sets TERM=rxvt (or
TERM=xterm) or uses the "-tn rxvt" (or "-tn xterm") options, 'irssi'
sees the terminal as color-capable (as "rxvt" and "xterm" are in the
system default termcap file/database).

If I make a hashed database with:

  cap_mkdb -f ~/.termcap ~/.termcap

(resulting in ~/.termcap.db), the behavior of 'irssi' is the same as
above (considers it a non-color terminal).  Furthermore, all curses-using
utilites will consult ONLY this database rather than fall back to the
system termcap database.  Thus if "TERM=xterm" is set, curses-using
utilities will fail with "Unknown terminal type: xterm".

By contrast, on netbsd-6 and -current (which use a terminfo-type
curses implementation), compiling a local "~/.terminfo.db" with:

  tic -o ~/.terminfo \

is sufficient to satisfy all curses-using utilities and 'irssi' sees
the default "TERM=rxvt-unicode-256color" as a color-capable terminal.

Is there any way to get 'irssi' to recognize the color capability of
the new 'urxvt' on netbsd-5 without changing the reported TERM type?

|/"\ John D. Baker, KN5UKS               NetBSD     Darwin/MacOS X
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