Subject: Re: A solution for termcap lossage?
To: None <,>
From: Brett Lymn <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 04/26/1999 21:35:59
According to Greg A. Woods:
>It is in a dead end with a steam roller rumbling towards it, even if
>it's still kicking.  It's original author says so,

and to borrow the words of another author "rumours of it's demise are
grossly exaggerated"

> and if you care to
>take a look at what's in ncurses-4 these days you'll find you've many
>man-years worth of work to even begin to catch up.

I have looked, I am not convinced - ncurses does to some odd things
which I do not believe to be correct.  I have looked at the X/Open
curses specification, I know what is there.

>  Let it lie in peace
>and save your efforts for something more practical.  We *really* don't
>need another slightly different "wheel" in this department.

If the wheel fits better then repairs are in order.

>>  Changes to our curses has made
>> the need for ncurses abate somewhat.
>Only for trivial reasons.

I am wondering if you have looked at the changes...

>  All the real reasons still exist.

They are?

>Quite the contrary -- I run SunOS-4 binaries that were linked against
>/usr/5lib/libcurses.a.  Sure, I can run all the old SunOS-4 crap to deal
>with terminfo entries too, but that's silly if I can integrate all my
>terminfo support into one database.

Let's play with this for a while.  OK so we want to use the terminfo
as per the Sun implementation so we can run some statically linked
binary.  Fine and dandy.  Now, what is the format of the file that tic
writes on the Sun?  Is the file architecture dependant?  Is the format
consistent across vendors?  Are you really sure? How do we choose if
it is not?

>  The same goes for other platforms
>with binary compatability for systems that use terminfo.  Besides there
>are many even more practical reasons to maintain the same format of
>database, and very few real reasons to break binary compatability.

I cannot see where binary compatiability is broken.  There is an
answer and that is setting up the emulation environment.  I know this
to be inconvenient but that is part and parcel of emulating another

For people running native code there is a bigger advantage in having a
single capability database that has compatiable api's for both
terminfo and termcap.  That is the terminal entries can then be
consistent for both.  You do not have to remember to update both systems.

Brett Lymn, Computer Systems Administrator, British Aerospace Australia