Diffstat (limited to 'man/curs_terminfo.3x')
1 files changed, 279 insertions, 87 deletions
diff --git a/man/curs_terminfo.3x b/man/curs_terminfo.3x
index 7d440bf53ebc..c6eac6e30536 100644
@@ -1,5 +1,5 @@
-.\" Copyright (c) 1999-2011,2013 Free Software Foundation, Inc. *
+.\" Copyright (c) 1999-2018,2020 Free Software Foundation, Inc. *
.\" Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a *
.\" copy of this software and associated documentation files (the *
@@ -26,14 +26,15 @@
.\" authorization. *
-.\" $Id: curs_terminfo.3x,v 1.43 2013/07/20 19:29:59 tom Exp $
+.\" $Id: curs_terminfo.3x,v 1.63 2020/01/18 23:55:46 tom Exp $
.TH curs_terminfo 3X ""
.ie \n(.g .ds `` \(lq
.el .ds `` ``
.ie \n(.g .ds '' \(rq
.el .ds '' ''
-.IP \(bu 4
+.ie n .IP \(bu 4
+.el .IP \(bu 2
.ds n 5
@@ -63,23 +64,35 @@
-\fBint setupterm(char *\fR\fIterm\fR\fB, int \fR\fIfildes\fR\fB, int *\fR\fIerrret\fR\fB);\fR
+\fBconst char * const boolnames;\fP
+\fBconst char * const boolcodes;\fP
+\fBconst char * const boolfnames;\fP
+\fBconst char * const numnames;\fP
+\fBconst char * const numcodes;\fP
+\fBconst char * const numfnames;\fP
+\fBconst char * const strnames;\fP
+\fBconst char * const strcodes;\fP
+\fBconst char * const strfnames;\fP
+\fBint setupterm(const char *\fR\fIterm\fR\fB, int \fR\fIfiledes\fR\fB, int *\fR\fIerrret\fR\fB);\fR
-\fBint setterm(char *\fR\fIterm\fR\fB);\fR
+\fBint setterm(const char *\fR\fIterm\fR\fB);\fR
\fBTERMINAL *set_curterm(TERMINAL *\fR\fInterm\fR\fB);\fR
\fBint del_curterm(TERMINAL *\fR\fIoterm\fR\fB);\fR
-\fBint restartterm(char *\fR\fIterm\fR\fB, int \fR\fIfildes\fR\fB, int *\fR\fIerrret\fR\fB);\fR
-\fBchar *tparm(char *\fR\fIstr\fR\fB, ...);\fR
+\fBint restartterm(const char *\fR\fIterm\fR\fB, int \fR\fIfiledes\fR\fB, int *\fR\fIerrret\fR\fB);\fR
+\fBchar *tparm(const char *\fR\fIstr\fR\fB, ...);\fR
\fBint tputs(const char *\fR\fIstr\fR\fB, int \fR\fIaffcnt\fR\fB, int (*\fR\fIputc\fR\fB)(int));\fR
\fBint putp(const char *\fR\fIstr\fR\fB);\fR
\fBint vidputs(chtype \fR\fIattrs\fR\fB, int (*\fR\fIputc\fR\fB)(int));\fR
\fBint vidattr(chtype \fR\fIattrs\fR\fB);\fR
@@ -87,32 +100,34 @@
\fBint vid_puts(attr_t \fR\fIattrs\fR\fB, short \fR\fIpair\fR\fB, void *\fR\fIopts\fR\fB, int (*\fR\fIputc\fR\fB)(int));\fR
\fBint vid_attr(attr_t \fR\fIattrs\fR\fB, short \fR\fIpair\fR\fB, void *\fR\fIopts\fR\fB);\fR
\fBint mvcur(int \fR\fIoldrow\fR\fB, int \fR\fIoldcol\fR\fB, int \fR\fInewrow\fR, int \fR\fInewcol\fR\fB);\fR
+\fBint tigetflag(const char *\fR\fIcapname\fR\fB);\fR
-\fBint tigetflag(char *\fR\fIcapname\fR\fB);\fR
-\fBint tigetnum(char *\fR\fIcapname\fR\fB);\fR
-\fBchar *tigetstr(char *\fR\fIcapname\fR\fB);\fR
+\fBint tigetnum(const char *\fR\fIcapname\fR\fB);\fR
+\fBchar *tigetstr(const char *\fR\fIcapname\fR\fB);\fR
\fBchar *tiparm(const char *\fR\fIstr\fR\fB, ...);\fR
These low-level routines must be called by programs that have to deal
directly with the \fBterminfo\fR database to handle certain terminal
-capabilities, such as programming function keys. For all other
+capabilities, such as programming function keys.
+For all other
functionality, \fBcurses\fR routines are more suitable and their use is
-Initially, \fBsetupterm\fR should be called. Note that
-\fBsetupterm\fR is automatically called by \fBinitscr\fR and
-\fBnewterm\fR. This defines the set of terminal-dependent variables
+Initially, \fBsetupterm\fR should be called.
+The high-level curses functions \fBinitscr\fR and
+\fBnewterm\fR call \fBsetupterm\fP to initialize the
+low-level set of terminal-dependent variables
[listed in \fBterminfo\fR(\*n)].
-Each initialization routine provides applications with the
+Applications can use the
terminal capabilities either directly (via header definitions),
or by special functions.
The header files \fBcurses.h\fR and \fBterm.h\fR should be included (in this
@@ -126,14 +141,18 @@ If \fBuse_env(FALSE)\fR has been called, values for
\fBlines\fR and \fBcolumns\fR specified in \fBterminfo\fR are used.
Otherwise, if the environment variables \fBLINES\fR and \fBCOLUMNS\fR
-exist, their values are used. If these environment variables do not
+exist, their values are used.
+If these environment variables do not
exist and the program is running in a window, the current window size
-is used. Otherwise, if the environment variables do not exist, the
+Otherwise, if the environment variables do not exist, the
values for \fBlines\fR and \fBcolumns\fR specified in the
\fBterminfo\fR database are used.
-Parameterized strings should be passed through \fBtparm\fR to instantiate them.
-All \fBterminfo\fR strings [including the output of \fBtparm\fR] should be printed
+Parameterized strings should be passed through \fBtparm\fR to instantiate them.
+All \fBterminfo\fR strings
+(including the output of \fBtparm\fR)
+should be printed
with \fBtputs\fR or \fBputp\fR.
Call \fBreset_shell_mode\fR to restore the
tty modes before exiting [see \fBcurs_kernel\fR(3X)].
@@ -156,23 +175,35 @@ call \fBreset_prog_mode\fR after returning from the shell.
The \fBsetupterm\fR routine reads in the \fBterminfo\fR database,
initializing the \fBterminfo\fR structures, but does not set up the
-output virtualization structures used by \fBcurses\fR. The terminal
-type is the character string \fIterm\fR; if \fIterm\fR is null, the
-environment variable \fBTERM\fR is used.
-All output is to file descriptor \fBfildes\fR which is initialized for output.
+output virtualization structures used by \fBcurses\fR.
+These are its parameters:
+is the terminal type, a character string.
+If \fIterm\fR is null, the environment variable \fBTERM\fR is used.
+is the file descriptor used for all output.
+points to an optional location where an error status can be returned to
If \fIerrret\fR is not null,
then \fBsetupterm\fR returns \fBOK\fR or
\fBERR\fR and stores a status value in the integer pointed to by
A return value of \fBOK\fR combined with status of \fB1\fR in \fIerrret\fR
If \fBERR\fR is returned, examine \fIerrret\fR:
means that the terminal is hardcopy, cannot be used for curses applications.
\fBsetupterm\fP determines if the entry is a hardcopy type by
-checking the \fIhc\fP (\fIhardcopy\fP) capability.
+checking the \fBhc\fP (\fBhardcopy\fP) capability.
means that the terminal could not be found,
@@ -180,18 +211,21 @@ or that it is a generic type,
having too little information for curses applications to run.
\fBsetupterm\fP determines if the entry is a generic type by
-checking the \fIgn\fP (\fIgeneric\fP) capability.
+checking the \fBgn\fP (\fBgeneric\fP) capability.
means that the \fBterminfo\fR database could not be found.
If \fIerrret\fR is
null, \fBsetupterm\fR prints an error message upon finding an error
-and exits. Thus, the simplest call is:
+Thus, the simplest call is:
\fBsetupterm((char *)0, 1, (int *)0);\fR,
which uses all the defaults and sends the output to \fBstdout\fR.
The \fBsetterm\fR routine was replaced by \fBsetupterm\fR. The call:
@@ -222,7 +256,8 @@ string variables use the values from \fInterm\fR.
It returns the old value of \fBcur_term\fR.
The \fBdel_curterm\fR routine frees the space pointed to by
-\fIoterm\fR and makes it available for further use. If \fIoterm\fR is
+\fIoterm\fR and makes it available for further use.
+If \fIoterm\fR is
the same as \fBcur_term\fR, references to any of the \fBterminfo\fR
boolean, numeric, and string variables thereafter may refer to invalid
memory locations until another \fBsetupterm\fR has been called.
@@ -241,6 +276,13 @@ calls \fBsetupterm\fP, and then restores the bits.
The \fBtparm\fR routine instantiates the string \fIstr\fR with
parameters \fIpi\fR. A pointer is returned to the result of \fIstr\fR
with the parameters applied.
+Application developers should keep in mind these quirks of the interface:
+Although \fBtparm\fP's actual parameters may be integers or strings,
+the prototype expects \fBlong\fP (integer) values.
+Aside from the \fBset_attributes\fP (\fBsgr\fP) capability,
+most terminal capabilities require no more than one or two parameters.
\fBtiparm\fP is a newer form of \fBtparm\fP which uses \fI<stdarg.h>\fP
rather than a fixed-parameter list.
@@ -249,36 +291,55 @@ Its numeric parameters are integers (int) rather than longs.
.SS Output Functions
The \fBtputs\fR routine applies padding information to the string
-\fIstr\fR and outputs it. The \fIstr\fR must be a terminfo string
-variable or the return value from \fBtparm\fR, \fBtgetstr\fR, or
-\fBtgoto\fR. \fIaffcnt\fR is the number of lines affected, or 1 if
-not applicable. \fIputc\fR is a \fBputchar\fR-like routine to which
+\fIstr\fR and outputs it:
+The \fIstr\fR parameter must be a terminfo string
+variable or the return value from
+\fBtparm\fR, \fBtiparm\fP, \fBtgetstr\fR, or \fBtgoto\fR.
+The \fBtgetstr\fP and \fBtgoto\fP functions are part of the \fItermcap\fP
+which happens to share this function name with the \fIterminfo\fP interface.
+\fIaffcnt\fR is the number of lines affected, or 1 if
+\fIputc\fR is a \fBputchar\fR-like routine to which
the characters are passed, one at a time.
The \fBputp\fR routine calls \fBtputs(\fR\fIstr\fR\fB, 1, putchar)\fR.
-Note that the output of \fBputp\fR always goes to \fBstdout\fR, not to
-the \fIfildes\fR specified in \fBsetupterm\fR.
+The output of \fBputp\fR always goes to \fBstdout\fR, rather than
+the \fIfiledes\fR specified in \fBsetupterm\fR.
The \fBvidputs\fR routine displays the string on the terminal in the
video attribute mode \fIattrs\fR, which is any combination of the
-attributes listed in \fBcurses\fR(3X). The characters are passed to
+attributes listed in \fBcurses\fR(3X).
+The characters are passed to
the \fBputchar\fR-like routine \fIputc\fR.
The \fBvidattr\fR routine is like the \fBvidputs\fR routine, except
that it outputs through \fBputchar\fR.
-The \fBvid_attr\fR and \fBvid_puts\fR routines correspond to vidattr and vidputs,
+The \fBvid_attr\fR and \fBvid_puts\fR routines correspond
+to vidattr and vidputs, respectively.
They use a set of arguments for representing the video attributes plus color,
-one of type attr_t for the attributes and one of short for
-the color_pair number.
+\fIattrs\fP of type \fBattr_t\fP for the attributes and
+\fIpair\fP of type \fBshort\fP for the color-pair number.
The \fBvid_attr\fR and \fBvid_puts\fR routines
are designed to use the attribute constants with the \fIWA_\fR prefix.
-The opts argument is reserved for future use.
-Currently, applications must provide a null pointer for that argument.
-The \fBmvcur\fR routine provides low-level cursor motion. It takes
+X/Open Curses reserves the \fIopts\fP argument for future use,
+saying that applications must provide a null pointer for that argument.
+As an extension,
+this implementation allows \fIopts\fP to be used as a pointer to \fBint\fP,
+which overrides the \fIpair\fP (\fBshort\fP) argument.
+The \fBmvcur\fR routine provides low-level cursor motion.
effect immediately (rather than at the next refresh).
.SS Terminal Capability Functions
@@ -318,27 +379,35 @@ or
if it is canceled or absent from the terminal description.
.SS Terminal Capability Names
These null-terminated arrays contain
-the short terminfo names ("codes"),
-the \fBtermcap\fR names, and the long terminfo names ("fnames")
+the short terminfo names (\*(``codes\*(''),
+the \fBtermcap\fR names (\*(``names\*('', and
+the long terminfo names (\*(``fnames\*('')
for each of the predefined \fBterminfo\fR variables:
-\fBchar *boolnames\fR, \fB*boolcodes\fR, \fB*boolfnames\fR
-\fBchar *numnames\fR, \fB*numcodes\fR, \fB*numfnames\fR
-\fBchar *strnames\fR, \fB*strcodes\fR, \fB*strfnames\fR
+\fBconst char *boolnames\fR, \fB*boolcodes\fR, \fB*boolfnames\fR
+\fBconst char *numnames\fR, \fB*numcodes\fR, \fB*numfnames\fR
+\fBconst char *strnames\fR, \fB*strcodes\fR, \fB*strfnames\fR
.SH RETURN VALUE
Routines that return an integer return \fBERR\fR upon failure and \fBOK\fR
-(SVr4 only specifies "an integer value other than \fBERR\fR") upon successful
-completion, unless otherwise noted in the preceding routine descriptions.
+(SVr4 only specifies \*(``an integer value other than \fBERR\fR\*('')
+upon successful completion,
+unless otherwise noted in the preceding routine descriptions.
Routines that return pointers always return \fBNULL\fR on error.
X/Open defines no error conditions.
In this implementation
returns an error
@@ -363,40 +432,180 @@ It does not detect I/O errors:
X/Open states that \fBtputs\fP ignores the return value
of the output function \fIputc\fP.
+SVr2 introduced the terminfo feature.
+Its programming manual mentioned these low-level functions:
+fixterm restore tty to \*(``in curses\*('' state
+gettmode establish current tty modes
+mvcur low level cursor motion
+utility function that uses \fBtputs\fP to send characters via \fBputchar\fP.
+resetterm set tty modes to \*(``out of curses\*('' state
+resetty reset tty flags to stored value
+saveterm save current modes as \*(``in curses\*('' state
+savetty store current tty flags
+setterm establish terminal with given type
+setupterm establish terminal with given type
+tparm instantiate a string expression with parameters
+tputs apply padding information to a string
+vidattr like \fBvidputs\fP, but outputs through \fBputchar\fP
+output a string to put terminal in a specified video attribute mode
+The programming manual also mentioned
+functions provided for termcap compatibility
+(commenting that they \*(``may go away at a later date\*(''):
+tgetent look up termcap entry for given \fIname\fP
+tgetflag get boolean entry for given \fIid\fP
+tgetnum get numeric entry for given \fIid\fP
+tgetstr get string entry for given \fIid\fP
+tgoto apply parameters to given capability
+apply padding to capability, calling a function to put characters
+Early terminfo programs obtained capability values from the
+\fBTERMINAL\fP structure initialized by \fBsetupterm\fR.
+SVr3 extended terminfo by adding functions to retrieve capability values
+(like the termcap interface),
+and reusing tgoto and tputs:
+tigetflag get boolean entry for given \fIid\fP
+tigetnum get numeric entry for given \fIid\fP
+tigetstr get string entry for given \fIid\fP
+SVr3 also replaced several of the SVr2 terminfo functions
+which had no counterpart in the termcap interface,
+documenting them as obsolete:
+\fBFunction\fR \fBReplaced by\fP
+SVr3 kept the \fBmvcur\fP, \fBvidattr\fP and \fBvidputs\fP functions,
+along with \fBputp\fP, \fBtparm\fP and \fBtputs\fP.
+The latter were needed to support padding,
+and handling functions such as \fBvidattr\fP
+(which used more than the two parameters supported by \fBtgoto\fP).
+SVr3 introduced the functions for switching between terminal
+descriptions, e.g., \fBset_curterm\fP.
+The various global variables such as \fBboolnames\fP were mentioned
+in the programming manual at this point.
+SVr4 added the \fBvid_attr\fP and \fBvid_puts\fP functions.
+There are other low-level functions declared in the curses header files
+on Unix systems,
+but none were documented.
+The functions marked \*(``obsolete\*('' remained in use
+by the Unix \fBvi\fP editor.
+.SS Legacy functions
X/Open notes that \fBvidattr\fR and \fBvidputs\fR may be macros.
The function \fBsetterm\fR is not described by X/Open and must
be considered non-portable.
All other functions are as described by X/Open.
+.SS Legacy data
\fBsetupterm\fP copies the terminal name to the array \fBttytype\fP.
This is not part of X/Open Curses, but is assumed by some applications.
-If configured to use the terminal-driver,
-e.g., for the MinGW port,
-\fBsetupterm\fP interprets a missing/empty TERM variable as the
-special value \*(``unknown\*(''.
-\fBsetupterm\fP allows explicit use of the
-the windows console driver by checking if $TERM is set to
-\*(``#win32con\*('' or an abbreviation of that string.
+Other implementions may not declare the capability name arrays.
+Some provide them without declaring them.
+X/Open does not specify them.
+Extended terminal capability names, e.g., as defined by \fB@TIC@\ \-x\fP,
+are not stored in the arrays described here.
+.SS Output buffering
Older versions of \fBncurses\fP assumed that the file descriptor passed to
\fBsetupterm\fP from \fBinitscr\fP or \fBnewterm\fP uses buffered I/O,
and would write to the corresponding stream.
In addition to the limitation that the terminal was left in block-buffered
-mode on exit (like SystemV curses),
+mode on exit (like System V curses),
it was problematic because \fBncurses\fP
did not allow a reliable way to cleanup on receiving SIGTSTP.
-The current version uses output buffers managed directly by \fBncurses\fP.
+The current version (ncurses6)
+uses output buffers managed directly by \fBncurses\fP.
Some of the low-level functions described in this manual page write
to the standard output.
They are not signal-safe.
The high-level functions in \fBncurses\fP use
alternate versions of these functions
using the more reliable buffering scheme.
+.SS Function prototypes
+The X/Open Curses prototypes are based on the SVr4 curses header declarations,
+which were defined at the same time the C language was first standardized in
+the late 1980s.
+X/Open Curses uses \fBconst\fP less effectively than a later design might,
+in some cases applying it needlessly to values are already constant,
+and in most cases overlooking parameters which normally would use \fBconst\fP.
+Using constant parameters for functions which do not use \fBconst\fP
+may prevent the program from compiling.
+On the other hand, \fIwritable strings\fP are an obsolescent feature.
+As an extension, this implementation can be configured to change the
+function prototypes to use the \fBconst\fP keyword.
+The ncurses ABI 6 enables this feature by default.
+X/Open Curses prototypes \fBtparm\fR with a fixed number of parameters,
+rather than a variable argument list.
+This implementation uses a variable argument list, but can be
+configured to use the fixed-parameter list.
+Portable applications should provide 9 parameters after the format;
+zeroes are fine for this purpose.
+In response to review comments by Thomas E. Dickey,
+X/Open Curses Issue 7 proposed the \fBtiparm\fP function in mid-2009.
+.SS Special TERM treatment
+If configured to use the terminal-driver,
+e.g., for the MinGW port,
+\fBsetupterm\fP interprets a missing/empty TERM variable as the
+special value \*(``unknown\*(''.
+\fBsetupterm\fP allows explicit use of the
+the windows console driver by checking if $TERM is set to
+\*(``#win32con\*('' or an abbreviation of that string.
+.SS Other portability issues
In System V Release 4, \fBset_curterm\fR has an \fBint\fR return type and
returns \fBOK\fR or \fBERR\fR. We have chosen to implement the X/Open Curses
@@ -406,19 +615,9 @@ In System V Release 4, the third argument of \fBtputs\fR has the type
At least one implementation of X/Open Curses (Solaris) returns a value
-other than OK/ERR from \fBtputs\fP.
+other than \fBOK\fP/\fBERR\fP from \fBtputs\fP.
That returns the length of the string, and does no error-checking.
-X/Open Curses prototypes \fBtparm\fR with a fixed number of parameters,
-rather than a variable argument list.
-This implementation uses a variable argument list, but can be
-configured to use the fixed-parameter list.
-Portable applications should provide 9 parameters after the format;
-zeroes are fine for this purpose.
-In response to comments by Thomas E. Dickey,
-X/Open Curses Issue 7 proposed the \fBtiparm\fP function in mid-2009.
X/Open notes that after calling \fBmvcur\fR, the curses state may not match the
actual terminal state, and that an application should touch and refresh
the window before resuming normal curses calls.
@@ -430,13 +629,6 @@ So though it is documented as a terminfo function,
X/Open states that the old location must be given for \fBmvcur\fP.
This implementation allows the caller to use \-1's for the old ordinates.
In that case, the old location is unknown.
-Other implementions may not declare the capability name arrays.
-Some provide them without declaring them.
-X/Open does not specify them.
-Extended terminal capability names, e.g., as defined by \fB@TIC@\ \-x\fP,
-are not stored in the arrays described here.
.SH SEE ALSO