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

On Apr 1, 2010, at 10:08 22AM, Greg Troxel wrote:

> Johnny Billquist <> writes:
>> Magnus Eriksson wrote:
>>> To those born after the Stone Age of computing, the above doesn't
>>> even begin to make sense.  "delete character"?  It's not a
>>> character, it's an operation, it's *something you do*.
>> Not really. DEL is a character. Deleting a character to the left for
>> you as a user, is something the OS does for you, when requested.
> Agreed 100%.

Although I'm a fan of whatever the big key is in the upper right -- generally 
^H -- there is a physical reason behind the use of DEL, also known as Rubout..  
Back in paper tape days, a DEL -- all 1-bits -- could be used to overpunch any 
other character, turning it into a DEL.  This was a way to edit tapes -- but if 
you were typing on a TTY and wanted to delete to the left, you needed to do 
both BS to backspace the tape and a DEL...

                --Steve Bellovin,

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