Subject: Re: wscons termcap entry
To: Joerg Klemenz <>
From: Jaromir Dolecek <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 07/04/2002 11:00:29
Joerg Klemenz wrote:
> Jaromir Dolecek wrote:
> > Joerg Klemenz wrote:
> > > Why does NetBSD not use terminfo by default anyway?
> > 
> > Why should it?
>        This  implementation  is  ``new
>        curses'' (ncurses) and is  the  approved  replacement  for
>        4.4BSD classic curses, which has been discontinued.
> 		-- ncurses man page

Yeah, but NetBSD curses are not '4.4BSD classic curses', though
obviously it is based on it.

> Thomas Dickey told me he left some of E. Raymods statements in the
> docs because he found it "amusing" but you cannot disregard the fact
> that BSD curses is really really old and - accoring to Dickey - incomplete
> and buggy.

AGAIN, 4.4BSD curses might have been, but our curses aren't vanilla
4.4BSD curses.

BTW, I like old code - 'cause it doesn't contain exciting new bugs and
old bugs are already fixed.

Our curses are 'complete' (for example, colour is supported, thanks
to Julian Coleman and Brett Lymn), and debugged. The code is also
better structured than ncurses (which shows e.g. if you compile
static programs using curses, which we need for install media),
and generally of higher quality; not to mention it's smaller than
ncurses.  The code also has friendlier licence; AFAIK ncurses is
under LGPL, right?

AFAIK ncurses and NetBSD curses are equal feature-wise, besides
using different terminal information database format.

> And doesn't everyone uses terminfo outside of *BSD?

IIRC even some other *BSD use ncurses. 

> Does the use of BSD curses and termcap has some "religious" reason
> I am not aware of?

No, nothing religious AFAIK. It is one of factors to avoid
unneeded reliance on GNU tools where better alternatives are
available, but general code quality of NetBSD curses is more important.

Jaromir Dolecek <>
-=- We should be mindful of the potential goal, but as the tantric    -=-
-=- Buddhist masters say, ``You may notice during meditation that you -=-
-=- sometimes levitate or glow.   Do not let this distract you.''     -=-