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+.TH tack 1M ""
+.ds n 5
+.ds d @TERMINFO@
+\fBtack\fR - \fIterminfo\fR action checker
+\fBtack\fR [-itV] [term]
+The \fBtack\fR program has three purposes:
+(1) to help you build a new terminfo entry describing an unknown terminal,
+(2) to test the correctness of an existing entry, and
+(3) to develop the correct pad timings needed to ensure that screen updates
+don't fall behind the incoming data stream.
+\fBTack\fR presents a series of screen-painting and interactive
+tests in ways which are intended to make any mismatches between the
+terminfo entry and reality visually obvious.
+\fBTack\fR also provides tools that can help in understanding how
+the terminal operates.
+.I "\-i"
+Usually \fBtack\fR will send the reset and init strings to the terminal
+when the program starts up. The \fI-i\fR option will inhibit the
+terminal initialization.
+.I "\-t"
+Tell \fBtack\fR to override the terminfo settings for basic terminal
+functions. When this option is set \fBtack\fR will translate
+(cr) to \\r, (cud1) to \\n, (ind) to \\n, (nel) to \\r\\n,
+(cub1) to \\b, (bel) to \\007, (ff) to \\f and (ht) to \\t.
+.I "\-V"
+Display the version information and exit.
+.I "term"
+Terminfo terminal name to be tested. If not present then the $TERM
+environment variable will be used.
+Since \fBtack\fR is designed to test terminfo's it is not possible
+to rely on the correctness of the terminfo data base. Because of this
+the menuing system used with \fBtack\fR is vary primitive. When a
+menu is printed it will scroll the entire screen. To compensate
+for this verbose menu system \fBtack\fR permits menu selection
+type ahead.
+If you already know what action you would like \fBtack\fR to perform
+then you can enter that value immediately and avoid the menu display.
+When in doubt the question mark (?) is a good character to type.
+A carriage return will execute the default action. These default
+actions are designed to run all the standard tests.
+When \fBtack\fR first comes up it will display some basic information
+about the terminal. Take some time to verify this information.
+If it is wrong many of the subsequent tests will fail. The most
+important item is the screen size. If the screen size is wrong there
+is no point in proceeding. (home) and (clear) are also critical
+to the success of subsequent tests. The values of (cr) (ind)
+(cub1) and (ht) may effect the tests if they are defined incorrectly.
+If they are undefined \fBtack\fR will set them to reasonable defaults.
+The last two entries on the display are the enquire and acknowledge strings.
+These strings are taken from the user strings (u9) and (u8).
+By now you must be wondering why the terminfo names are enclosed
+in parenthesis. This has no profound meaning other than it makes
+them stand out. The \fBtack\fR program uses this convention any time
+it displays a terminfo name. Remember \fBtack\fR is designed to
+rely on as little of the terminfo entry as possible.
+\fBTack\fR has a number of tools that are designed to help gather
+information about the terminal. Although these functions are not
+dependent on terminal type, you may wish to execute \fBtack\fR
+with options \fI\-it\fR. This will turn off initialization
+and default the standard entries.
+These tools may be reached from the main menu by selecting
+the 'tools' entry.
+\fBEcho tool\fR: All data typed from the keyboard will be echoed back
+to the terminal. Control characters are not translated to the up arrow format
+but are sent as control characters. This allows you to test an escape
+sequence and see what it actually does. You may also elect to
+\fBenable hex output on echo tool\fR this will echo the characters in
+hexadecimal. Once the test is running you may enter the 'lines'
+or 'columns' keywords which will display a pattern that will help
+you determine your screen size. A complete list of keywords will
+be displayed when the test starts. Type 'help' to redisplay
+the list of available commands.
+\fBReply tool\fR: This tool acts much like the echo tool, but
+control characters that are sent from the terminal more than one character
+after a carriage return will be expanded to the up arrow format. For example
+on a standard ANSI terminal you may type:
+ CR ESC [ c
+and the response will be echoed as something like:
+ ^[ [ ? 6 c
+\fBANSI sgr display\fR: This test assumes you have an ANSI terminal. It
+goes through attribute numbers 0 to 79, displaying each in turn and using that
+SGR number to write the text. This shows you which of the SGR
+modes are actually implemented by the terminal. Note: some terminals (such as
+Tektronix color) use the private use characters to augment the functionality of
+the SGR command. These private use characters may be interjected into the
+escape sequence by typing the character ( <, =, >, ? ) after the original
+display has been shown.
+\fBANSI status reports\fR: This test queries the terminal in standard
+ANSI/VT-100 fashion. The results of this test may help
+determine what options are supported by your terminal.
+\fBANSI character sets\fR: This test displays the character sets
+available on a ANSI/VT-100 style terminal.
+Character sets on a real VT-100 terminal are usually defined
+with smacs=\\E(0 and rmacs=\\E(B. The first character after the
+escape defines the font bank. The second character defines the
+character set. This test allows you to view any of the possible
+combinations. Private use character sets are defined by the digits.
+Standard character sets are located in the alphabetic range.
+You can verify the correctness of an entry with the `begin testing'
+function. This entry is the default action and will be chosen
+if you hit carriage return (or enter). This will bring up a
+secondary menu that allows you to select more specific tests.
+The general philosophy of the program is, for each capability, to send an
+appropriate test pattern to the terminal then send a description of
+what the user should expect. Occasionally (as when checking function-key
+capabilities) the program will ask you to enter input for it to check.
+If the test fails then you have the option of dynamically changing
+the terminfo entry and re-running the test. This is done with
+the 'edit terminfo' menu item. The edit submenu allows you to change
+the offending terminfo entry and immediately retest the capability.
+The edit menu lets you do other things with the terminfo, such as;
+display the entire terminfo entry,
+display which caps have been tested and display which caps cannot
+be tested. This menu also allows you to write the newly modified
+terminfo to disc. If you have made any modifications to the
+terminfo \fBtack\fR will ask you if you want to save the file
+to disc before it exits. The filename will be the same as the terminal name.
+After the program exits you can run the tic(1M) compiler on the
+new terminfo to install it in the terminfo data base.
+.SS Theory of Overruns and Padding
+Some terminals require significant amounts of time (that is, more than one
+transmitted-character interval) to do screen updates that change large
+portions of the screen, such as screen clears, line insertions,
+line deletions, and scrolls (including scrolls triggered by line feeds
+or a write to the lowest, right-hand-most cell of the screen).
+If the computer continues to send characters to the terminal while one
+of these time-consuming operations is going on, the screen may be garbled.
+Since the length of a character transmission time varies inversely with
+transmission speed in cps, entries which function at lower speeds may
+break at higher speeds.
+Similar problems result if the host machine is simply sending characters at a
+sustained rate faster than the terminal can buffer and process them. In either
+case, when the terminal cannot process them and can't tell the host to stop
+soon enough, it will just drop them. The dropped characters could be text,
+escape sequences or the escape character itself, causing some really
+strange-looking displays. This kind of glitch is called an \fIoverrun\fR.
+In terminfo entries, you can attach a \fBpad time\fR to each string capability
+that is a number of milliseconds to delay after sending it. This will give
+the terminal time to catch up and avoid overruns.
+If you are running a software terminal emulator, or you are on an X pseudo-tty,
+or your terminal is on an RS-232C line which correctly handles RTS/CTS
+hardware flow control, then pads are not strictly necessary. However, some
+display packages (such as ncurses(3X)) use the pad counts to calculate
+the fastest way to implement certain functions.
+For example: scrolling the screen may be faster than deleting the top line.
+One common way to avoid overruns is with XON/XOFF handshaking.
+But even this handshake may have problems at high baud rates.
+This is a result of the way XON/XOFF works. The terminal tells
+the host to stop with an XOFF. When the host gets this character, it stops
+sending. However, there is a small amount of time between the stop request and
+the actual stop. During this window, the terminal must continue to accept
+characters even though it has told the host to stop. If the terminal sends
+the stop request too late, then its internal buffer will overflow. If it sends
+the stop character too early, then the terminal is not getting the most
+efficient use out of its internal buffers. In a real application at high baud
+rates, a terminal could get a dozen or more characters before the host gets
+around to suspending transmission. Connecting the terminal over a network
+will make the problem much worse.
+(RTS/CTS handshaking does not have this problem because the UARTs are
+signal-connected and the "stop flow" is done at the lowest level, without
+software intervention).
+.SS Timing your terminal
+In order to get accurate timings from your terminal \fBtack\fR
+needs to know when the terminal has finished processing all the
+characters that were sent. This requires a different type of handshaking
+than the XON/XOFF that is supported by most terminals. \fBTack\fR
+needs to send a request to the terminal and wait for its reply.
+Many terminals will respond with an ACK when they receive an ENQ.
+This is the preferred method since the sequence is short.
+ANSI/VT-100 style terminals can mimic this handshake with the
+escape sequence that requests 'primary device attributes'.
+ ESC [ c
+The terminal will respond with a sequence like:
+ ESC [ ? 1 ; 0 c
+\fBTack\fR assumes that (u9) is the enquire sequence and that (u8) is the
+acknowledge string. A VT-100 style terminal could set u9=\\E[c
+and u8=\\E[?1;0c.
+Acknowledge strings fall into two categories.
+1) Strings with a unique terminating character and,
+2) strings of fixed length.
+The acknowledge string for the VT-100 is of the first type since
+it always ends with the letter 'c'. Some Tektronics terminals
+have fixed length acknowledge strings. \fBTack\fR supports both
+types of strings by scanning for the terminating character until
+the length of the expected acknowledge string has arrived.
+(u8) should be set to some typical acknowledge that will be
+returned when (u9) is sent.
+\fBTack\fR will test this sequence before running any of the pad
+tests or the function key tests. \fBTack\fR will ask you the following:
+ Hit lower case g to start testing...
+After it sends this message it will send the enquire string.
+It will then read characters from the terminal until it sees the
+letter g.
+.SS Testing and Repairing Pad Timings
+The pad timings in distributed terminfo entries are often incorrect. One
+major motivation for this program is to make it relatively easy to tune these
+You can verify and edit the pad timings for a terminal with
+the `test string capabilities'
+function (this is also part of the `normal test sequence' function).
+The key to determining pad times is to find out the effective baud rate of
+the terminal. The effective baud rate determines the number of characters
+per second that the terminal can accept without either handshaking or
+losing data. This rate is frequently less than the nominal cps rate on the
+RS-232 line.
+\fBTack\fR uses the effective baud rate to judge the duration of the test and
+how much a particular escape sequence will perturb the terminal.
+Each pad test has two associated variables that can be tweaked to help verify
+the correctness of the pad timings. One is the pad test length. The other is
+the pad multiplier, which is used if the pad prefix includes `*'. In curses
+use, it is often the first parameter of the capability (if there is one).
+For a capability like (dch) or (il) this will be the number of character
+positions or lines affected, respectively.
+\fBTack\fR will run the pad tests and display the results to the terminal.
+On capabilities that have multipliers \fBtack\fR will not tell you
+if the pad needs the multiplier or not. You must make this decision
+yourself by rerunning the test with a different multiplier.
+If the padding changes in proportion to the multiplier than the
+multiplier is required. If the multiplier has little or no effect on
+the suggested padding then the multiplier is not needed.
+Some capabilities will take several runs to get a good feel for
+the correct values. You may wish to make the test longer
+to get more accurate results. System load will also effect the
+results (a heavily loaded system will not stress the
+terminal as much, possibly leading to pad timings that are too short).
+The tests done at the beginning of the program are assumed to be correct later
+in the code. In particular, \fBtack\fR displays the number of lines and
+columns indicated in the terminfo entry as part of its initial output.
+If these values are wrong a large number of tests will fail or give incorrect
+.TP 12
+If logging is enabled then all characters written to the terminal
+will also be written to the log file. This gives you the ability
+to see how the tests were performed. This feature is disabled by default.
+.TP 12
+.I "term"
+If you make changes to the terminfo entry \fBtack\fR will save
+the new terminfo to a file. The file will have the same name
+as the terminal name.
+\fBterminfo\fR(\*n), \fBncurses\fR(3X), \fBtic\fR(1m), \fBinfocmp\fR(1m).
+You should also have the documentation supplied by the terminal
+If the screen size is incorrect, many of the tests will fail.
+Concept, design, and original implementation by
+Daniel Weaver <danw@znyx.com>. Portions of the code and
+documentation are by Eric S. Raymond <esr@snark.thyrsus.com>.
+.\"# The following sets edit modes for GNU EMACS
+.\"# Local Variables:
+.\"# mode:nroff
+.\"# fill-column:79
+.\"# End: