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                            Announcing ncurses 5.1

   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.

   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
   ncurses.

   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!

   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.

   The ncurses distribution is available via anonymous FTP at the GNU
   distribution site [1]ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/ncurses. It is also
   available at [2]ftp://dickey.his.com/ncurses.

                                 Release Notes

   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:
     * made the extended terminal capabilities
       (configure --enable-tcap-names) a standard feature (though the
       configure script can disable it, it is built by default).
     * removed the trace() 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.
     * 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.
     * modified curses.h.in, undef'ing some symbols to avoid conflict
       with C++ STL.

   New features:
     * added a new extension, assume_default_colors() 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
       use_default_colors().
     * 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 use_extended_names() by adding
       "obsolete" termcap strings to terminfo.src
          + modified tic so that if extended names (i.e.,
            configure --enable-tcap-names) are active, then tic -x will
            also write "obsolete" capabilities that are present in the
            terminfo source.
          + 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.
          + add -a option to tic and infocmp, which retains commented-out
            capabilities during source translation/comparison, e.g.,
            captoinfo and infotocap.
     * implemented limited support for UTF-8, useful with XFree86 xterm:
          + if the configure --enable-widec option is given, append 'w'
            to names of the generated libraries (e.g., libncursesw.so) to
            avoid conflict with existing ncurses libraries.
          + 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.
          + modified view.c to make a rudimentary viewer of UTF-8 text.
     * modify raw() and noraw() to clear/restore IEXTEN flag which
       affects stty lnext on systems such as FreeBSD
     * 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".
     * added configure option --with-manpage-symlinks, which provides for
       fully indexing manpage entries by making symbolic links for the
       aliases.
     * changed unctrl() to render C1 characters (128-159) as ~@, ~A, etc.
     * add experimental configure option --enable-colorfgbg to check for
       $COLORTERM variable as set by rxvt/aterm/Eterm.
     * made the infocmp -F option less verbose.
     * dropped support for gnat 3.10 (gnat 3.12 is current).

   Major bug fixes:
     * modified infocmp -e, -E options to ensure that generated
       fallback.c type for Booleans agrees with term.h
     * documented a special case of incompatiblity between ncurses 4.2
       and 5.0, added a section for this in INSTALL.
     * 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.
     * 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.
     * 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.
     * modified echo() behavior of getch() to match Solaris curses for
       carriage return and backspace (reported by Neil Zanella).
     * corrected offsets used for subwindows in wresize()
     * 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
     * corrected logic in lib_twait.c as used by lib_mouse.c for GPM
       mouse support when poll() is used rather than select().
     * made several fixes for buffer overflows, unchecked recursion,
       improvements in performance, etc. See the NEWS file for details.

                              Features of Ncurses

   The ncurses package is fully compatible with SVr4 (System V Release 4)
   curses:
     * All 257 of the SVr4 calls have been implemented (and are
       documented).
     * Full support for SVr4 curses features including keyboard mapping,
       color, forms-drawing with ACS characters, and automatic
       recognition of keypad and function keys.
     * An emulation of the SVr4 panels library, supporting a stack of
       windows with backing store, is included.
     * An emulation of the SVr4 menus library, supporting a uniform but
       flexible interface for menu programming, is included.
     * An emulation of the SVr4 form library, supporting data collection
       through on-screen forms, is included.
     * Binary terminfo entries generated by the ncurses tic(1)
       implementation are bit-for-bit-compatible with the entry format
       SVr4 curses uses.
     * The utilities have options to allow you to filter terminfo entries
       for use with less capable curses/terminfo versions such as the
       HP/UX and AIX ports.

   The ncurses package also has many useful extensions over SVr4:
     * 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).
     * Unlike SVr3 curses, ncurses can write to the rightmost-bottommost
       corner of the screen if your terminal has an insert-character
       capability.
     * Ada95 and C++ bindings.
     * Support for mouse event reporting with X Window xterm and OS/2
       console windows.
     * Extended mouse support via Alessandro Rubini's gpm package.
     * The function wresize() allows you to resize windows, preserving
       their data.
     * The function use_default_colors() allows you to use the terminal's
       default colors for the default color pair, achieving the effect of
       transparent colors.
     * The functions keyok() and define_key() 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.
     * Support for 16-color terminals, such as aixterm and XFree86 xterm.
     * Better cursor-movement optimization. The package now features a
       cursor-local-movement computation more efficient than either BSD's
       or System V's.
     * 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.
     * 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.
     * 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).
     * The tic(1)/captoinfo utility provided with ncurses has the ability
       to translate many termcaps from the XENIX, IBM and AT&T extension
       sets.
     * A BSD-like tset(1) utility is provided.
     * 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.
     * 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.)
     * 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.
     * A script (capconvert) 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.
     * 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.
     * The table-of-entries utility toe makes it easy for users to see
       exactly what terminal types are available on the system.
     * 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
       #undef.
     * An HTML "Introduction to Programming with NCURSES" document
       provides a narrative introduction to the curses programming
       interface.

                             State of the Package

   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.

   The ncurses code has been tested with a wide variety of applications
   including (versions starting with those noted):

   cdk
          Curses Development Kit
          [3]Curses Development Kit [4]http://dickey.his.com/cdk.

   ded
          directory-editor
          [5]http://dickey.his.com/ded.

   dialog
          the underlying application used in Slackware's setup, and the
          basis for similar applications on GNU/Linux.
          [6]http://dickey.his.com/dialog.

   lynx
          the character-screen WWW browser
          [7]http://lynx.isc.org/release.

   Midnight Commander 4.1
          file manager

   mutt
          mail utility
          [8]http://www.mutt.org.

   ncftp
          file-transfer utility

   nvi
          New vi versions 1.50 are able to use ncurses versions 1.9.7 and
          later.

   tin
          newsreader, supporting color, MIME
          [9]http://www.tin.org.

   taper
          tape archive utility

   vh-1.6
          Volks-Hypertext browser for the Jargon File

   as well as some that use ncurses for the terminfo support alone:

   minicom
          terminal emulator

   vile
          vi-like-emacs
          [10]http://dickey.his.com/vile.

   The ncurses distribution includes a selection of test programs
   (including a few games).

Who's Who and What's What

   The original developers of ncurses are [11]Zeyd Ben-Halim and [12]Eric
   S. Raymond. Ongoing work is being done by [13]Thomas Dickey and
   [14]Jrgen Pfeifer. [15]Thomas Dickey acts as the maintainer for the
   Free Software Foundation, which holds the copyright on ncurses.
   Contact the current maintainers at [16]bug-ncurses@gnu.org.

   To join the ncurses mailing list, please write email to
   bug-ncurses-request@gnu.org containing the line:
             subscribe <name>@<host.domain>

   This list is open to anyone interested in helping with the development
   and testing of this package.

   Beta versions of ncurses and patches to the current release are made
   available at [17]ftp://dickey.his.com/ncurses.

Future Plans

     * Extended-level XPG4 conformance, with internationalization
       support.
     * 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.

Other Related Resources

   The distribution includes and uses a version of the terminfo-format
   terminal description file maintained by Eric Raymond.
   [18]http://earthspace.net/~esr/terminfo.

   You can find lots of information on terminal-related topics not
   covered in the terminfo file at [19]Richard Shuford's archive.

References

   1. ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/ncurses
   2. ftp://dickey.his.com/ncurses
   3. http://www.vexus.ca/CDK.html
   4. http://dickey.his.com/cdk/cdk.html
   5. http://dickey.his.com/ded/ded.html
   6. http://dickey.his.com/dialog/dialog.html
   7. http://lynx.isc.org/release/
   8. http://www.mutt.org/
   9. http://www.tin.org/
  10. http://dickey.his.com/vile/vile.html
  11. mailto:zmbenhal@netcom.com
  12. http://www.ccil.org/~esr/home.html
  13. mailto:dickey@herndon4.his.com
  14. mailto:juergen.pfeifer@gmx.net
  15. mailto:dickey@herndon4.his.com
  16. mailto:bug-ncurses@gnu.org
  17. ftp://dickey.his.com/ncurses
  18. http://earthspace.net/~esr/terminfo
  19. http://www.cs.utk.edu/~shuford/terminal_index.html