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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 <bqt%softjar.se@localhost> 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, http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb
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