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.\" $Id: curs_terminfo.3x,v 1.43 2013/07/20 19:29:59 tom Exp $
.TH curs_terminfo 3X ""
.ie \n(.g .ds `` \(lq
.el .ds `` ``
.ie \n(.g .ds '' \(rq
.el .ds '' ''
.de bP
.IP \(bu 4
.ds n 5
.hy 0
\fBvidputs\fR \- \fBcurses\fR interfaces to terminfo database
\fB#include <curses.h>\fR
\fB#include <term.h>\fR
\fBint setupterm(char *\fR\fIterm\fR\fB, int \fR\fIfildes\fR\fB, int *\fR\fIerrret\fR\fB);\fR
\fBint setterm(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 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
\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(char *\fR\fIcapname\fR\fB);\fR
\fBint tigetnum(char *\fR\fIcapname\fR\fB);\fR
\fBchar *tigetstr(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
functionality, \fBcurses\fR routines are more suitable and their use is
.SS Initialization
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
[listed in \fBterminfo\fR(\*n)].
Each initialization routine provides applications with 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
order) to get the definitions for these strings, numbers, and flags.
The \fBterminfo\fR variables
\fBlines\fR and \fBcolumns\fR are initialized by \fBsetupterm\fR as
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 and the program is running in a window, the current window size
is used. 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
with \fBtputs\fR or \fBputp\fR.
Call \fBreset_shell_mode\fR to restore the
tty modes before exiting [see \fBcurs_kernel\fR(3X)].
Programs which use
cursor addressing should
output \fBenter_ca_mode\fR upon startup and
output \fBexit_ca_mode\fR before exiting.
Programs which execute shell subprocesses should
call \fBreset_shell_mode\fR and
output \fBexit_ca_mode\fR before the shell
is called and
output \fBenter_ca_mode\fR and
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.
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
is normal.
If \fBERR\fR is returned, examine \fIerrret\fR:
.TP 5
.B 1
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.
.TP 5
.B 0
means that the terminal could not be found,
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.
.TP 5
.B \-1
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:
\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:
\fBsetupterm(\fR\fIterm\fR\fB, 1, (int *)0)\fR
provides the same functionality as \fBsetterm(\fR\fIterm\fR\fB)\fR.
The \fBsetterm\fR routine is provided for BSD compatibility, and
is not recommended for new programs.
.\" ***************************************************************************
.SS The Terminal State
The \fBsetupterm\fR routine stores its information about the terminal
in a \fBTERMINAL\fP structure pointed to by the global variable \fBcur_term\fP.
If it detects an error,
or decides that the terminal is unsuitable (hardcopy or generic),
it discards this information,
making it not available to applications.
If \fBsetupterm\fP is called repeatedly for the same terminal type,
it will reuse the information.
It maintains only one copy of a given terminal's capabilities in memory.
If it is called for different terminal types,
\fBsetupterm\fP allocates new storage for each set of terminal capabilities.
The \fBset_curterm\fR routine sets \fBcur_term\fR to
\fInterm\fR, and makes all of the \fBterminfo\fR boolean, numeric, and
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
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.
The \fBrestartterm\fR routine is similar to \fBsetupterm\fR and \fBinitscr\fR,
except that it is called after restoring memory to a previous state (for
example, when reloading a game saved as a core image dump).
\fBrestartterm\fP assumes that the windows and the input and output options
are the same as when memory was saved,
but the terminal type and baud rate may be different.
Accordingly, \fBrestartterm\fP saves various tty state bits,
calls \fBsetupterm\fP, and then restores the bits.
.\" ***************************************************************************
.SS Formatting Output
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.
\fBtiparm\fP is a newer form of \fBtparm\fP which uses \fI<stdarg.h>\fP
rather than a fixed-parameter list.
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
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 \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
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,
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.
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
effect immediately (rather than at the next refresh).
.\" ***************************************************************************
.SS Terminal Capability Functions
The \fBtigetflag\fR, \fBtigetnum\fR and \fBtigetstr\fR routines return
the value of the capability corresponding to the \fBterminfo\fR
\fIcapname\fR passed to them, such as \fBxenl\fR.
The \fIcapname\fR for each capability is given in the table column entitled
\fIcapname\fR code in the capabilities section of \fBterminfo\fR(\*n).
These routines return special values to denote errors.
The \fBtigetflag\fR routine returns
if \fIcapname\fR is not a boolean capability,
if it is canceled or absent from the terminal description.
The \fBtigetnum\fR routine returns
if \fIcapname\fR is not a numeric capability, or
if it is canceled or absent from the terminal description.
The \fBtigetstr\fR routine returns
\fB(char *)\-1\fR
if \fIcapname\fR is not a string capability,
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")
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
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.
Routines that return pointers always return \fBNULL\fR on error.
X/Open defines no error conditions.
In this implementation
.RS 5
.TP 5
returns an error
if its terminal parameter is null.
.TP 5
calls \fBtputs\fP, returning the same error-codes.
.TP 5
returns an error
if the associated call to \fBsetupterm\fP returns an error.
.TP 5
returns an error
if it cannot allocate enough memory, or
create the initial windows (stdscr, curscr, newscr).
Other error conditions are documented above.
.TP 5
returns an error if the string parameter is null.
It does not detect I/O errors:
X/Open states that \fBtputs\fP ignores the return value
of the output function \fIputc\fP.
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.
\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.
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),
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.
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.
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
In System V Release 4, the third argument of \fBtputs\fR has the type
\fBint (*putc)(char)\fR.
At least one implementation of X/Open Curses (Solaris) returns a value
other than OK/ERR 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.
Both \fBncurses\fP and System V Release 4 curses implement \fBmvcur\fR using
the SCREEN data allocated in either \fBinitscr\fR or \fBnewterm\fR.
So though it is documented as a terminfo function,
\fBmvcur\fR is really a curses function which is not well specified.
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.