Subject: Re: New release of uwscons with improved multilingual support
To: Bang Jun-Young <>
From: Reinoud Zandijk <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 03/16/2001 20:12:11
Hi Bang and Hubert,

On Fri, 16 Mar 2001, Bang Jun-Young wrote:
> > Documentation. As far as I understand, the whole wscons subsystem is
> > undocumented, and it would be nice to have some documentation available
> > for it, so people can switch their platforms to wscons more easily. I see
> > Reinoud fight on arm platforms, and I think if the required interfaces
> > would be documented, it would help.
> Although NetBSD has clean design over other OS'es in many aspects,
> it's also true that most of the technical details on kernel are not
> documented yet. wscons isn't an exception.

Well there is a a man-page about wscons but its a bit focused on kernel
config and userland configuration but it misses the vital kernel
interfacing logic and design.

> IMHO, it's not necessarily difficult to port wscons to other platforms
> without documentation. What exactly is he fighting against?

Euhm, well :)) you asked for it hehe... I got a couple of problems on my
way that can also partly due to not being a developer to long.

My first problem was getting a framework to start on ... Jason suggested
the tc/cfb framebuffer driver as a start wich was a big help. What didn't
help was the complexity of my video chip wich has multiple depths and
multiple screensizes as well as hardware scrolling... that needs some
thinking first.

The keyboard was not that difficult too allthough i stumbled on a more
practical thing that i had to create my own translation tables since the
standard wskbd tables are build around XT key codes wich obviously didnt
work for my machine.

Then i had the trouble that the kernel kept panicing about a
cn_tab->cn_dev == NODEV ... it turned out that due to a bug my isconsole
flag wasnt set and thus the emul code didnt set this device. This is not
documented too ... i was trying to set this variable myself and was trying
to include stuff in my cntab but this all wasnt nessisary after all ...
also not documented.

Ans so i can continue... as in how to specify and update the device's
colour map ... do i have to translate the colourmap of rasops to the
dec_ctab ? or what? it isnt documented too .. I can only compare it with
other implementations.

> > Also, is there some interface that allows reading text that's on a certain
> > console, and emulate some user input from the keyboad, so we can implement
> > cut&paste on the console?
> Such an interface isn't there yet, but shouldn't be hard to implement
> technically. We may need to have a `gpm'ish mouse driver for wscons
> before doing it.

Sounds very nice indeed... we can use the wsmouse for this :)

I also would like to create a Xwscons but that is just a thought still.