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Re: ISO 2022 in terminals

From: Tim Allen
Subject: Re: ISO 2022 in terminals
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2011 12:36:03 +1100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

On Thu, Feb 03, 2011 at 01:58:42PM -0500, Keith Winstein wrote:
> Is there any progress on finishing the move to UTF-8 so we can turn
> off the interpretation fo ISO 2022 sequences, or did it turn out
> this was a bad idea?

The trouble is that existing terminal emulators, and existing
terminal-using programs, aren't trying to target a hypothetical
'best-practices terminal', they're targetting actual hardware terminals
that supported ISO2022 sequences (or in the case of more modern attempts
like gnome-terminal, targetting xterm which targets actual hardware
terminals). A pure UTF-8 terminal protocol is certainly possible, but
compatibility concerns[1] would make it pretty frustrating to use.

If you're willing to settle for merely not having to implement ISO 2022
yourself, rather than erasing it completely, have you tried luit?



[1]: In a nutshell: you can't modify an existing terminfo entry, because
you'll confuse other terminals that use the same entry. You can't create
a new terminfo entry, because it won't be available when people SSH to
other systems. It's kind of sad that network effects have worked out
this way, but the current system of universal vt220-compatibility does
seem to be a local maxima.

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