Subject: Re: ncurses and terminfo are broken on Solaris/SunOS (Re: pkg/20881)
To: grant beattie <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 04/03/2003 19:31:30
[ On Friday, April 4, 2003 at 10:04:15 (+1000), grant beattie wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: ncurses and terminfo are broken on Solaris/SunOS (Re: pkg/20881)
> I would suggest the reverse is better - ncurses shouldn't install the
> screen terminfo files, since we have them elsewhere (which is a more
> authoritative source).

What you're actually saying there is that ncurses shouldn't install any
terminfo entries for any terminal or terminal emulator where those
entries have more authoritative sources.  Clearly that would be very

Remember the terminfo entries for terminal emulators are needed _only_
where the applications are run, not ever where the terminal emulator is
run.  Sometimes those places are the same place, but lots of other times
they are not the same place, and the latter case is the important
defining case.

As for "authoritative sources", well, like I said, if there's a bug in
the ncurses-supplied terminfo entries for _any_ terminal description
then that's something which should be fixed in the ncurses distribution
and perhaps in the interim with a patch in pkgsrc.

Furthermore consider the native libcurses and its termcap database.  If
"screen" installs its own terminfo entries for use by devel/ncurses then
what do you suggest be done for the native termcap-using applications?

The only correct thing for the misc/screen package to do here is follow
the very good example of x11/xterm and provide stand-alone sample
terminfo and termcap entries that savvy users can find where they run
their emulator and "install" if necessary where they run their

> I imagine that most systems include an 'xterm' termcap/terminfo entry,
> so this is the "right" thing to do.

Unfortunately existing "xterm" entries are very often not correct for
the new xterm implementation, including the ones in NetBSD's termcap, so
no, that's not the "Right Thing(tm)" to do.

> screen is a bit different, most non-open-source OSs probably don't
> have a termcap/terminfo entry for it, which is why the screen pkg
> provides it.

Which brings us full circle back to the question of why "ansi" isn't a
sufficiently complete and correct terminal type to use with screen.

								Greg A. Woods

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