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Re: backspace in wscons console sends ^H to processes (Johnny Billquist) writes:

>No idea why they decided on using BS.

With teletypes you couldn't "backspace", a DEL would usually print
something like a black rectangle or echo the previous character.
You can get something similar with 'stty -echoe echoprt' (unless
you have a too modern shell that resets the terminal driver).

The notion of "backspacing" and then overwriting the input probably
comes from video displays. And there I only remember the use of
BS to erase the last character and move the cursor left while DEL
was erasing the character under the cursor and shift the remainder
of the line.

The original VT100 also chose to have a Backspace and a Delete key
next to each other.

>But I also always configure things around so that that key sends DEL 
>everywhere I am.

The majority of all systems nowadays seem to agree on using BS
(0x08) for the Backarrow key. USB uses BS, PS/2 uses DEL, but
which is older? :)

RedHat once tried to force everything to use DEL, but it probably
didn't work out as the patches are gone. Forcing everything to use
BS is probably as futile.

I have a theory that only emacs users nowadays want it to send DEL
so that they can use BS for "Help".

N.B. The original VT100 also had a linefeed key. Now try to imagine
how the world would look like if Richard Stallman had been a Wordstar
lover where LF (Ctrl-J) was the help function.

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