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+ $Id: announce.html,v 1.37 2000/07/02 01:50:20 tom Exp $
+<TITLE>Announcing ncurses 5.1</TITLE>
+<link rev=made href="mailto:bug-ncurses@gnu.org">
+<H1>Announcing ncurses 5.1</H1>
+The ncurses (new curses) library is a free software emulation of
+curses in System V Release 4.0, and more. It uses terminfo format,
+supports pads and color
+and multiple highlights and forms characters and function-key mapping,
+and has all the other SYSV-curses enhancements over BSD curses.<P>
+In mid-June 1995, the maintainer of 4.4BSD curses declared that he
+considered 4.4BSD curses obsolete, and is encouraging the keepers of
+Unix releases such as BSD/OS, freeBSD and netBSD to switch over to
+The ncurses code was developed under GNU/Linux. It should port easily to
+any ANSI/POSIX-conforming UNIX. It has even been ported to OS/2 Warp!<P>
+The distribution includes the library and support utilities, including a
+terminfo compiler tic(1), a decompiler infocmp(1), clear(1), tput(1), tset(1),
+and a termcap conversion tool captoinfo(1). Full manual pages are provided for
+the library and tools.<P>
+The ncurses distribution is available via anonymous FTP at
+the GNU distribution site
+<A HREF="ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/ncurses">ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/ncurses</A>.
+It is also available at
+<A HREF="ftp://dickey.his.com/ncurses">ftp://dickey.his.com/ncurses</A>.
+<H1>Release Notes</H1>
+This release is designed to be upward compatible from ncurses 5.0; very few
+applications will require recompilation, depending on the platform.
+These are the highlights from the change-log since ncurses 5.0 release.
+Interface changes:
+ <li>made the extended terminal capabilities
+ (<code>configure&nbsp;--enable-tcap-names</code>)
+ a standard feature (though the configure script can disable it,
+ it is built by default).
+ <li>removed the <code>trace()</code> function and related trace support
+ from the production library. This is the only interface change that
+ may cause problems with existing applications linked to shared
+ libraries, since not all platforms use the minor version number.
+ <li>explicitly initialized to zero several data items which were
+ implicitly initialized, e.g., cur_term. If not explicitly
+ initialized, their storage type is C (common), and causes problems
+ linking on some platforms.
+ <li>modified curses.h.in, undef'ing some symbols to avoid conflict with
+ C++ STL.
+New features:
+ <li>added a new extension, <code>assume_default_colors()</code> to
+ provide better control over the use of default colors. This is
+ the principal visible difference between ncurses 5.1 and preceding
+ versions. The new extension allows an application to specify what
+ colors pair 0 uses. It defaults to white on black, unless you
+ have invoked <code>use_default_colors()</code>.
+ <li>made several fixes to the terminfo-to-termcap conversion, and
+ have been using the generated termcaps without further hand-tuning.
+ This builds on the extension <code>use_extended_names()</code> by
+ adding "obsolete" termcap strings to terminfo.src
+ <ul>
+ <li>modified <code>tic</code> so that if extended names (i.e.,
+ configure&nbsp;--enable-tcap-names) are active, then <code>tic&nbsp;-x</code>
+ will also write "obsolete" capabilities that are present in the
+ terminfo source.
+ <li>added screen's AX capability (for ECMA SGR 39 and 49) to applicable
+ terminfo entries, use presence of this as a check for a small
+ improvement in setting default colors.
+ <li>add -a option to tic and infocmp, which retains commented-out
+ capabilities during source translation/comparison, e.g., captoinfo
+ and infotocap.
+ </ul>
+ <li>implemented limited support for UTF-8, useful with XFree86 xterm:
+ <ul>
+ <li>if the <code>configure&nbsp;--enable-widec</code> option is
+ given, append 'w' to names of the generated libraries (e.g.,
+ libncursesw.so) to avoid conflict with existing ncurses libraries.
+ <li>add a simple UTF-8 output driver to the experimental
+ wide-character support. If any of the environment variables
+ LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE or LANG contain the string "UTF-8", this driver
+ will be used to translate the output to UTF-8.
+ <li>modified view.c to make a rudimentary viewer of UTF-8 text.
+ </ul>
+ <li>modify <code>raw()</code> and <code>noraw()</code> to clear/restore
+ IEXTEN flag which affects stty lnext on systems such as FreeBSD
+ <li>reordered tests during mouse initialization to allow for gpm to run in
+ xterm, or for xterm to be used under OS/2 EMX. Also dropped test for
+ $DISPLAY in favor of kmous=\E[M or $TERM containing "xterm".
+ <li>added configure option <code>--with-manpage-symlinks</code>, which
+ provides for fully indexing manpage entries by making symbolic links
+ for the aliases.
+ <li>changed <code>unctrl()</code> to render C1 characters (128-159) as
+ <code>~@</code>, <code>~A</code>, etc.
+ <li>add experimental configure option --enable-colorfgbg to check for
+ $COLORTERM variable as set by rxvt/aterm/Eterm.
+ <li>made the <code>infocmp -F</code> option less verbose.
+ <li>dropped support for gnat 3.10 (gnat 3.12 is current).
+Major bug fixes:
+ <li>modified infocmp -e, -E options to ensure that generated fallback.c
+ type for Booleans agrees with term.h
+ <li>documented a special case of incompatiblity between ncurses 4.2 and
+ 5.0, added a section for this in INSTALL.
+ <li>corrected tests for file-descriptors in OS/2 EMX mouse support. A
+ negative value could be used by FD_SET, causing the select() call to
+ wait indefinitely.
+ <li>made 'tput flash' work properly for xterm by flushing output in
+ delay_output() when using napms(), and modifying xterm's terminfo to
+ specify no padding character. Otherwise, xterm's reported baud rate
+ could mislead ncurses into producing too few padding characters.
+ <li>modified lib_addch.c to allow repeated update to the lower-right
+ corner, rather than displaying only the first character written until
+ the cursor is moved. Recent versions of SVr4 curses can update the
+ lower-right corner, and behave this way.
+ <li>modified echo() behavior of getch() to match Solaris curses for
+ carriage return and backspace (reported by Neil Zanella).
+ <li>corrected offsets used for subwindows in <code>wresize()</code>
+ <li>modified configure script so AC_MSG_ERROR is temporarily defined to
+ a warning in AC_PROG_CXX to make it recover from a missing C++
+ compiler without requiring user to add --without-cxx option
+ <li>corrected logic in lib_twait.c as used by lib_mouse.c for GPM mouse
+ support when poll() is used rather than select().
+ <li>made several fixes for buffer overflows, unchecked recursion,
+ improvements in performance, etc. See the NEWS file for details.
+<H1>Features of Ncurses</H1>
+The ncurses package is fully compatible with SVr4 (System V Release 4) curses:
+<LI>All 257 of the SVr4 calls have been implemented (and are documented).
+<LI>Full support for SVr4 curses features including keyboard mapping, color,
+forms-drawing with ACS characters, and automatic recognition of keypad
+and function keys.
+<LI>An emulation of the SVr4 panels library, supporting
+a stack of windows with backing store, is included.
+<LI>An emulation of the SVr4 menus library, supporting
+a uniform but flexible interface for menu programming, is included.
+<LI>An emulation of the SVr4 form library, supporting
+data collection through on-screen forms, is included.
+<LI>Binary terminfo entries generated by the ncurses tic(1) implementation
+are bit-for-bit-compatible with the entry format SVr4 curses uses.
+<LI>The utilities have options to allow you to filter terminfo
+entries for use with less capable <STRONG>curses</STRONG>/<STRONG>terminfo</STRONG>
+versions such as the HP/UX and AIX ports.</UL>
+The ncurses package also has many useful extensions over SVr4:
+<LI>The API is 8-bit clean and base-level conformant with the X/OPEN curses
+specification, XSI curses (that is, it implements all BASE level features,
+but not all EXTENDED features). Most EXTENDED-level features not directly
+concerned with wide-character support are implemented, including many
+function calls not supported under SVr4 curses (but portability of all
+calls is documented so you can use the SVr4 subset only).
+<LI>Unlike SVr3 curses, ncurses can write to the rightmost-bottommost corner
+of the screen if your terminal has an insert-character capability.
+<LI>Ada95 and C++ bindings.
+<LI>Support for mouse event reporting with X Window xterm and OS/2 console windows.
+<LI>Extended mouse support via Alessandro Rubini's gpm package.
+<LI>The function <CODE>wresize()</CODE> allows you to resize windows, preserving
+their data.
+<LI>The function <CODE>use_default_colors()</CODE> allows you to
+use the terminal's default colors for the default color pair,
+achieving the effect of transparent colors.
+<LI>The functions <CODE>keyok()</CODE>
+and <CODE>define_key()</CODE> allow
+you to better control the use of function keys,
+e.g., disabling the ncurses KEY_MOUSE,
+or by defining more than one control sequence to map to a given key code.
+<LI>Support for 16-color terminals, such as aixterm and XFree86 xterm.
+<LI>Better cursor-movement optimization. The package now features a
+cursor-local-movement computation more efficient than either BSD's
+or System V's.
+<LI>Super hardware scrolling support. The screen-update code incorporates
+a novel, simple, and cheap algorithm that enables it to make optimal
+use of hardware scrolling, line-insertion, and line-deletion
+for screen-line movements. This algorithm is more powerful than
+the 4.4BSD curses quickch() routine.
+<LI>Real support for terminals with the magic-cookie glitch. The
+screen-update code will refrain from drawing a highlight if the magic-
+cookie unattributed spaces required just before the beginning and
+after the end would step on a non-space character. It will
+automatically shift highlight boundaries when doing so would make it
+possible to draw the highlight without changing the visual appearance
+of the screen.
+<LI>It is possible to generate the library with a list of pre-loaded
+fallback entries linked to it so that it can serve those terminal types even
+when no terminfo tree or termcap file is accessible (this may be useful
+for support of screen-oriented programs that must run in single-user mode).
+<LI>The tic(1)/captoinfo utility provided with ncurses has the
+ability to translate many termcaps from the XENIX, IBM and
+AT&amp;T extension sets.
+<LI>A BSD-like tset(1) utility is provided.
+<LI>The ncurses library and utilities will automatically read terminfo
+entries from $HOME/.terminfo if it exists, and compile to that directory
+if it exists and the user has no write access to the system directory.
+This feature makes it easier for users to have personal terminfo entries
+without giving up access to the system terminfo directory.
+<LI>You may specify a path of directories to search for compiled
+descriptions with the environment variable TERMINFO_DIRS (this
+generalizes the feature provided by TERMINFO under stock System V.)
+<LI>In terminfo source files, use capabilities may refer not just to
+other entries in the same source file (as in System V) but also to
+compiled entries in either the system terminfo directory or the user's
+$HOME/.terminfo directory.
+<LI>A script (<STRONG>capconvert</STRONG>) is provided to help BSD users
+transition from termcap to terminfo. It gathers the information in a
+TERMCAP environment variable and/or a ~/.termcap local entries file
+and converts it to an equivalent local terminfo tree under $HOME/.terminfo.
+<LI>Automatic fallback to the /etc/termcap file can be compiled in
+when it is not possible to build a terminfo tree. This feature is neither
+fast nor cheap, you don't want to use it unless you have to,
+but it's there.
+<LI>The table-of-entries utility <STRONG>toe</STRONG> makes it easy for users to
+see exactly what terminal types are available on the system.
+<LI>The library meets the XSI requirement that every macro entry
+point have a corresponding function which may be linked (and will be
+prototype-checked) if the macro definition is disabled with
+<LI>An HTML "Introduction to Programming with NCURSES" document provides
+a narrative introduction to the curses programming interface.
+<H1>State of the Package</H1>
+Numerous bugs present in earlier versions have been fixed; the
+library is far more reliable than it used to be. Bounds checking in many
+`dangerous' entry points has been improved. The code is now type-safe
+according to gcc -Wall. The library has been checked for malloc leaks and
+arena corruption by the Purify memory-allocation tester.<P>
+The ncurses code has been tested with a wide variety of applications
+including (versions starting with those noted):
+<DT> cdk
+<DD> Curses Development Kit
+<A HREF="http://www.vexus.ca/CDK.html">Curses Development Kit</a>
+<A HREF="http://dickey.his.com/cdk/cdk.html">http://dickey.his.com/cdk</A>.
+<DT> ded
+<DD> directory-editor
+<A HREF="http://dickey.his.com/ded/ded.html">http://dickey.his.com/ded</A>.
+<DT> dialog
+<DD> the underlying application used in Slackware's setup, and the basis
+for similar applications on GNU/Linux.
+<A HREF="http://dickey.his.com/dialog/dialog.html">http://dickey.his.com/dialog</A>.
+<DT> lynx
+<DD> the character-screen WWW browser
+<A HREF="http://lynx.isc.org/release/">http://lynx.isc.org/release</A>.
+<DT> Midnight Commander 4.1
+<DD> file manager
+<DT> mutt
+<DD> mail utility
+<A HREF="http://www.mutt.org">http://www.mutt.org</A>.
+<DT> ncftp
+<DD> file-transfer utility
+<DT> nvi
+<DD> New vi versions 1.50 are able to use ncurses versions 1.9.7 and later.
+<DT> tin
+<DD> newsreader, supporting color, MIME
+<A HREF="http://www.tin.org">http://www.tin.org</A>.
+<DT> taper
+<DD> tape archive utility
+<DT> vh-1.6
+<DD> Volks-Hypertext browser for the Jargon File
+as well as some that use ncurses for the terminfo support alone:
+<DT> minicom
+<DD> terminal emulator
+<DT> vile
+<DD> vi-like-emacs
+<A HREF="http://dickey.his.com/vile/vile.html">http://dickey.his.com/vile</A>.
+The ncurses distribution includes a selection of test programs (including
+a few games).
+<H2>Who's Who and What's What</H2>
+The original developers of ncurses are <A
+HREF="mailto:zmbenhal@netcom.com">Zeyd Ben-Halim</A> and
+<A HREF="http://www.ccil.org/~esr/home.html">Eric S. Raymond</A>.
+Ongoing work is being done by
+<A HREF="mailto:dickey@herndon4.his.com">Thomas Dickey</A>
+<A HREF="mailto:juergen.pfeifer@gmx.net">J&uuml;rgen Pfeifer</A>.
+<A HREF="mailto:dickey@herndon4.his.com">Thomas Dickey</A>
+acts as the maintainer for the Free Software Foundation, which holds the
+copyright on ncurses.
+Contact the current maintainers at
+<A HREF="mailto:bug-ncurses@gnu.org">bug-ncurses@gnu.org</A>.
+To join the ncurses mailing list, please write email to
+<CODE>bug-ncurses-request@gnu.org</CODE> containing the line:
+ subscribe &lt;name&gt;@&lt;host.domain&gt;
+This list is open to anyone interested in helping with the development and
+testing of this package.<P>
+Beta versions of ncurses and patches to the current release are made available at
+<A HREF="ftp://dickey.his.com/ncurses">ftp://dickey.his.com/ncurses</A>.
+<H2>Future Plans</H2>
+<LI>Extended-level XPG4 conformance, with internationalization support.
+<LI>Ports to more systems, including DOS and Windows.
+We need people to help with these projects. If you are interested in working
+on them, please join the ncurses list.
+<H2>Other Related Resources</H2>
+The distribution includes and uses a version of the terminfo-format
+terminal description file maintained by Eric Raymond.
+<A HREF="http://earthspace.net/~esr/terminfo">http://earthspace.net/~esr/terminfo</A>.<P>
+You can find lots of information on terminal-related topics
+not covered in the terminfo file at
+<A HREF="http://www.cs.utk.edu/~shuford/terminal_index.html">Richard Shuford's
+# The following sets edit modes for GNU EMACS
+# Local Variables:
+# mode:html
+# case-fold-search:nil
+# fill-column:70
+# End: