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-<HTML>
-<HEAD>
-<TITLE>Ada95 Binding for ncurses</Title>
-<link rev=made href="mailto:bug-ncurses@gnu.org">
-<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
-</HEAD>
-<BODY>
-<H1>Ada95 Binding for ncurses</H1>
-by J&uuml;rgen Pfeifer.
-
-<HR SIZE=3 NOSHADE>
-<H2>General Remarks</H2>
-<UL>
-<LI>This document describes Version 01.00 of the binding.</LI>
-<LI>The functionality is modeled to be compatible with the ncurses
-package, a clone of the SVr4 curses model.<BR>
-I did the development on an Intel box running the latest stable release of
-<A HREF="http://www.linux.org">Linux</A>, ncurses and the most recent released
-<A HREF="http://www.gnat.com">GNU Ada Translator</A>
-gnat versions. For any older versions of ncurses and gnat
-it is not guaranteed to work.</LI>
-<LI>You must have the m4 macroprocessor to build this package.
-If you don't have this program, you can get the FSF version
-<A HREF="ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/">here</A>.</LI>
-<LI>Ada programs are supposed to be readable. One of my
-favorite methods to make code readable is to use expressive
-names for the identifiers. You can find a list of a mapping
-of the cryptic curses names to the Ada names in this <A HREF="ada/table.html">table</A>.</LI>
-<LI>This is not a typical one-to-one interface mapping. It is
-close to one-to-one on the functional level. Each (n)curses function
-has it's counterpart with a more or less similar formal parameter list
-in the binding. It is not one-to-one with respect to the datatypes.
-I tried to make records out of the flat chtype and similar structures,
-so you don't have to do bit operations to mark an attributed character
-as bold. Just make the boolean member <STRONG>bold</STRONG> of the record
-true. The binding also hides the structures like WINDOW, PANEL, MENU, FORM
-etc. ! It's a pure functional API.</LI>
-<LI>I try to do as much error checking as possible and feasible
-in the binding. I will raise an Ada exception when something
-went wrong in the low-level curses. This has the effect that - at least
-first time in my life - (n)curses programs have now a very rigid error
-checking, but - thanks to Ada - you don't have to code the orgiastic
-error checking style of C.</LI>
-<LI>Support for wide characters is currently not in the binding, as it
-is not really in ncurses at this point in time.</LI>
-</UL>
-
-<H2>Limitations</H2>
-<UL>
-<LI>I provide no SCREEN datatype and functions to set a new screen.
-If you need this (mostly for debugging I guess), write a small
-C routine doing all this and import it into your Ada program.</LI>
-<LI>I provide no functions to switch on/off curses tracing options.
-Same suggestion as above.</LI>
-<LI>Although Ada95 is an OO Language, this binding doesn't provide
-an OO abstraction of the (n)curses functionality. As mentioned above
-it's a thin binding for the (n)curses functions. But without any
-doubt it would be nice to build on top of this an OO abstraction
-of (n)curses functionality.<BR>
-The only exception is the method how fieldtypes are represented in
-this Binding. We provide an abstract tagged type Field_Type from
-which the various fieldtypes are derived.</LI>
-<LI>I currently do not support the link_fieldtype functionality of the
-forms subsystem.</LI>
-<LI>The *_IO packages are currently output only.</LI>
-</UL>
-
-<H2>Hierarchy of packages</H2>
-<UL>
-<LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface__ads.htm">Terminal_Interface</A>
- <UL><LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses__ads.htm">Curses</A>
- <UL><LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-mouse__ads.htm">Mouse</A>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-panels__ads.htm">Panels</A>
- <UL><LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-panels-user_data__ads.htm">User_Data</A>
- </UL>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-menus__ads.htm">Menus</A>
- <UL><LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-menus-menu_user_data__ads.htm">Menu_User_Data</A>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-menus-item_user_data__ads.htm">Item_User_Data</A>
- </UL>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-forms__ads.htm">Forms</A>
- <UL><LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-forms-form_user_data__ads.htm">Form_User_Data</A>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-forms-field_user_data__ads.htm">Field_User_Data</A>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-forms-field_types__ads.htm">Field_Types</A>
- <UL><LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-forms-field_types-alpha__ads.htm">Alpha</A>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-forms-field_types-alphanumeric__ads.htm">AlphaNumeric</A>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-forms-field_types-intfield__ads.htm">IntField</A>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-forms-field_types-numeric__ads.htm">Numeric</A>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-forms-field_types-regexp__ads.htm">RegExp</A>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-forms-field_types-ipv4_address__ads.htm">IPV4_Address</A>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-forms-field_types-enumeration__ads.htm">Enumeration</A>
- <UL><LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-forms-field_types-enumeration-ada__ads.htm">Ada</A>
- </UL>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-forms-field_types-user__ads.htm">User</A>
- <UL><LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-forms-field_types-user-choice__ads.htm">Choice</A>
- </UL>
- </UL>
- </UL>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-text_io__ads.htm">Text_IO</A>
- <UL><LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-text_io-integer_io__ads.htm">Integer_IO</A>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-text_io-float_io__ads.htm">Float_IO</A>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-text_io-fixed_io__ads.htm">Fixed_IO</A>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-text_io-decimal_io__ads.htm">Decimal_IO</A>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-text_io-modular_io__ads.htm">Modular_IO</A>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-text_io-enumeration_io__ads.htm">Enumeration_IO</A>
- <LI><A HREF="ada/terminal_interface-curses-text_io-complex_io__ads.htm">Complex_IO</A>
- </UL>
- </UL>
- </UL>
-</UL>
-If you want to navigate through the html pages of the package specs, click <A HREF="ada/index.htm">here</A>.
-<H2>Implementation Details</H2>
-<H4>Behind the abstraction</H4>
-All the new types like <STRONG>Window</STRONG>, <STRONG>Panel</STRONG>,
-<STRONG>Menu</STRONG>, <STRONG>Form</STRONG> etc. are just
-opaque representations of the pointers to the corresponding
-low level (n)curses structures like
-<STRONG>WINDOW *</STRONG>, <STRONG>PANEL *</STRONG>,
-<STRONG>MENU *</STRONG> or <STRONG>FORM *</STRONG>.
-So you can safely pass them to C routines that expect a pointer
-to one of those structures.
-<H4>Extended ripoffline() usage</H4>
-The official documentation of (n)curses says, that the line parameter
-determines only whether or not exactly <STRONG>one</STRONG> line is
-stolen from the top or bottom of the screen. So essentially only the
-sign of the parameter is evaluated. ncurses has internally implemented
-it in a way, that uses the line parameter also to control the amount of
-lines to steal. This mechanism is used in the <STRONG>Rip_Off_Lines</STRONG>
-routine of the binding.
-<H4><A NAME="userpointer">How user defined field types work</A></H4>
-TBD
-<H4>Enumeration fields handling</H4>
-The (n)curses documentation says, that the String arrays to be passed to
-an TYPE_ENUM fieldtype must not be automatic variables. This is not true
-in this binding, because it is internally arranged to safely copy these
-values.
-<H4><A NAME="compiler">Using other Ada compilers</A></H4>
-This should basically not be a problem.
-<H4>Port to other curses implementations</H4>
-Basically it should not be too hard to make all this run on a regular SVr4
-implementation of curses. The problems are probably these:<BR>
-<UL>
-<LI>ncurses has some additional features which are presented in this binding. You
-have two choices to deal with this:
-<UL>
-<LI>Emulate the feature in this binding</LI>
-<LI>Raise an exception for non implemented features</LI>
-</UL>
-Most likely you will follow a mixed approach. Some features are easy to simulate,
-others will be hard if not impossible.</LI>
-</UL>
-I'm quite sure I forgot something.
-</BODY>
-</HTML>