Subject: A solution for termcap lossage?
To: None <,>
From: Brett Lymn <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 04/21/1999 22:48:47
        Myself and Julian Coleman have been doing some work on
upgrading the NetBSD curses library, hopefully to full POSIX
compliance (no guarentee on when/if that will occur though).  One
thing we have discussed is how to exceed the 1023 character limit
imposed by the tgetent call as it is clear to us that this limit will
cause us grief.  One approach is to create a new call that is
functionally similar to tgetent but does not truncate the termcap
entry but, rather, returns an malloc'ed buffer containing the complete
entry - this is very easy to implement, I have already done so (the
patch for libterm is available on request).

        Unfortunately, tweaking termcap does not get us POSIX
compliance.  For that we must have terminfo.  This does not please me
but thems the breaks.  I certainly am opposed to the "maze of twisty
little files, all the same" concept for terminfo that is implemented
on all the SVRx machines I have ever seen.  I think we can do better
than that.  My tentative thoughts on this are to have a single source
for both terminfo and termcap and proffer the appropriate information
depending on how the information is accessed - i.e. if tgetent is used
then you get a termcap style if the terminfo calls are used you get
terminfo style.

        I am looking for some ideas here - not a SVR4 vs BSD
wrangling.  Any thoughts/input?

Brett Lymn, Computer Systems Administrator, British Aerospace Australia