Termcap and Terminfo

Overview

While termcap and terminfo are no longer as important as they once were, due to the growth of the X terminal market and increased standardization among ASCII terminals, handling different terminal types can still be a headache for system administrators. The termcap and terminfo databases are UNIX's solution to the difficulty of supporting many terminals without writing special drivers for each terminal. Termcap (BSD) and terminfo (System V) describe the features of hundreds of terminals, together with a library ...

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Overview

While termcap and terminfo are no longer as important as they once were, due to the growth of the X terminal market and increased standardization among ASCII terminals, handling different terminal types can still be a headache for system administrators. The termcap and terminfo databases are UNIX's solution to the difficulty of supporting many terminals without writing special drivers for each terminal. Termcap (BSD) and terminfo (System V) describe the features of hundreds of terminals, together with a library of routines that allow programs to use those capabilities.

This book documents hundreds of capabilities and syntax for termcap and terminfo, writing and debugging terminal descriptions, and terminal initialization.

Contents include:

  • Terminal independence: the need for termcap and terminfo.
  • Reading termcap and terminfo entries.
  • Capability syntax.
  • Initializing the terminal environment.
  • Writing termcap and terminfo entries.
  • Converting between termcap and terminfo.
  • Detailed descriptions of the capabilities.
  • Screen dimensions and cursor movement.
  • Initialization and reset.
  • Special and equivalent terminals.
  • Many useful appendices.

While termcap and terminfo are no longer as important as they once were, due to the growth of the X terminal market and increased standardization among ASCH terminals, handling different terminal types can still be a headache for system administrators. This book documents hundreds of capabilities and syntax for termcap and terminfo, writing and debugging terminal descriptions, and terminal initialization.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780937175224
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/10/1988
  • Series: Nutshell Handbooks Series
  • Edition description: 3RD
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Mui started working for O'Reilly & Associates in 1986. She was first hired as a production assistant, later became an apprentice system administrator, and now is a writer. Her first writing job was for termcap and terminfo, which she co-authored with John Strang and Tim O'Reilly. She also wrote Pick BASIC, on programming applications for Pick systems. In between writing jobs, Linda works on troff macros and tools for the O'Reilly & Associates production staff. Linda was raised in the Bronx, New York and now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Lately she has been trying to improve herself by learning how to swim, play billiards, and accessorize.

Tim O'Reilly is the founder and CEO of O'Reilly & Associates, thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world. O'Reilly also publishes online through the O'Reilly Network (www.oreillynet.com) and hosts conferences on technology topics. Tim is an activist for open source and open standards, and an opponent of software patents and other incursions of new intellectual property laws into the public domain. Tim's long term vision for his company is to help change the world by capturing and transmitting the knowledge of innovators.

John Strang now finds himself "a consumer—rather than a producer of Nutshells." He is currently a diagnostic radiologist (MD) at Stanford University. He is married to a pediatrician, Susie, and they have two children, Katie and Alex. John enjoys hiking, bicycling, and dabbling in other sciences. He plans to use his experience as an author at ORA to write his own book on radiology.

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