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Re: The Chthulhoid horror that is keyboard handling in Unix (Re: Backspace, Delete and other keys)

On Thu, 1 Apr 2010, Greg A. Woods wrote:

Of course the problem here is that there are these several levels of
understanding here, and indeed there is often confusion caused between
them because not everyone refers to the same level at the same time.

That's a very good point. (And I think more relevant to the original question than my rant.)

We _do_ still have to do all this low-level stuff though, right down to
the way bits are represented and transmitted electrically or whatever.

Yes, absolutely. There are some things we don't have to do though, like VTnn emulation, and expressing everything in terms of 7/8-bit characters.

One thing I've been thinking about is whether one could write a "terminal" for X that doesn't suck; something to replace the terminal emulators we all use, but that doesn't emulate 40-year old hardware. It works for graphical toolkits after all, they deal directly with keysyms[*] without having to go the route of converting everything to an 8-bit code before passing keystrokes to the intended program, and I don't see any obvious reason why any command line interface couldn't do the same.

[*] Admittedly I'm not completely certain on the details of what different X toolkits do here. On the other hand, you can write even text editors without really having to care much about the representation, so...


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