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SubjectRe: [PATCH] ncurses based config V2

On Sun, Sep 14, 2008 at 1:52 PM, Willy Tarreau <> wrote:
> Hello,
> sorry, it seems I missed this mail.
> On Sat, Sep 06, 2008 at 08:41:56AM +0300, Nir Tzachar wrote:
>> Hello.
>> On Fri, Sep 5, 2008 at 10:59 PM, Willy Tarreau <> wrote:
>> > Hello,
>> >
>> > On Fri, Sep 05, 2008 at 11:27:00AM +0300, Nir Tzachar wrote:
>> >> Changes:
>> >> 1) Fixed segfaults in help window.
>> >> 2) Removed the instructions window, made the instructions appear as a button
>> >> which displays a popup window.
>> >> 3) Added hot keys support. As ncurses does not support several colors inside
>> >> a menu, keys are highlighted using "()".
>> >> 4) Optimized for 80x24 terminals.
>> >> 6) Fixed zconf.y to use _menu_init
>> >> 7) added nconfig to "make help"
>> >> 8) Misc fixes.
>> >>
>> >> Comments are appreciated.
>> >
>> > OK, I've just tried it. Here are the first comments I can make :
>> >
>> > - colors are too dark. Cyan on black is barely readable, red on black is
>> > almost unreadable and blue on black is not readable at all, I have to
>> > switch off the light to read it. Most often you'll see light shades of
>> > grey (even white) in interfaces because it's hard to see dark shades,
>> > and bright flashy letters would dazzle and be seen as fuzzy. Many colors
>> > are perfectly readable on while or even light grey (except yellow and
>> > sometimes cyan). Blue backgrounds were often used under DOS and were
>> > OK with almost all colors except red (well-known eye focus problem).
>> > But there was a trick, pixels were very large in 640x200, nowaydays
>> > we have small pixels and letters are not much readable anymore on blue
>> > backgrounds. For your tests, you can try to load
>> > xterm -bg <color> -fg <color> and ensure that you're using a medium
>> > font (tickness of 1-pixel).
>> The thing with colors is that they are very personal...
> "personal" is true when it comes from a matter of taste. Here it's a matter
> of readability.
>> The colors I
>> have work great on my terminals. I don't think I can come up with one
>> scheme which looks nice to everybody, hence the support for color
>> schemes.
> I understand. I think that the original colors of make menuconfig are
> OK and readable everywhere.

But they give it a very archaic look. We should come up with something better.

>> If you can come up with a color scheme which works gr8 for
>> you, I'll be happy to add it. If you are interested, check the
>> INIT_PAIR macros of the patch.
> OK I might do (I just don't have time right now).

That would be gr8.

>> > - pressing arrows too fast regularly escapes (probably because of the
>> > ESC prefix, I don't know). This is rather strange, because no other
>> > application does this to me.
>> I cannot reproduce this. What terminal emulator are you using, and
>> which ncurses version?
> I've just checked, ncurses-5.3. I also ensured that it's the same I
> use with all my other progs (including mutt, vim, emacs, alsamixer,
> less, gnuplot, kismet, lynx, ...). It is possible that there is something
> very subtle, but I can't imagine what :-/

I can't reproduce this. I tried with ncurses 5.3 and a clean xterm,
and it works ok. Try to
$> export TERM=vt100 before and tell me if this helps. In any way, can
you please send me your termcap file? I'm grabbing at straws here...

>> Also, can you please send me the terminal emulator config file?
> It's just a bare xterm running with TERM=xterm-color. I forgot to test on
> the console.
>> > Is there a specific initialization
>> > sequence with ncurses to state that arrows should return special codes
>> > instead of the ESC prefix ? (I have no idea)
>> Yes. You need to specify you want to get keypad events, otherwise they
>> just appear as ESC.
> OK. I just found there is the ESCDELAY variable to define the ESC timeout.
> They also talk about notimeout() in curs_inopts(3), which sounds pretty
> well related to what I observe.

They do not have the same effect. Using ESCDELAY is a hack, but there
is no better option to get a plain ESC key without a timeout.

> [skipping all fixed reports]
>> > - I'm not convinced that the parenthesis around hotkeys make the menu
>> > that much readable, especially when there are lots of short words or
>> > even acronyms. Eg :
>> > [ ] (U)TS namespace
>> > [ ] (I)PC namespace
>> > [ ] (U)ser namespace (EXPERIMENTAL)
>> > [ ] (P)ID Namespaces (EXPERIMENTAL)
>> I agree, but could not come up with any other visible mark to note the hotkey.
>> > I don't know if there is something such as a bold attribute in ncurses,
>> > it would make sense to use it IMHO because you don't force a color on
>> > people's terms, you rely on the style which works well for them.
>> There is a bold attribute, but you cannot set it for a single letter
>> of a menu item, as far as I know.
> OK I understand. You might want to use the brighter color set (as menuconfig
> does). Terminals sometimes translate them to bold characters.

All the text in a menu item must be in the same color and with the
same attributes. There is no way to emphasize a single section, either
by coloring it differently or making it bold.

>> > I'm sorry I don't go further for now, the arrows causing frequent exits is
>> > too bothersome, I've started it about 30 times just for this report, it's
>> > too hard to navigate. I hope that the points above are already helpful.
>> Thanks for the input. I would really like to solve the issue you have
>> with arrow keys. Can you also send a trace of key presses which cause
>> you to exit, and which window is active?
> Sorry, the directory in which I built has been removed since. But it happened
> in any window, starting with the main menu. That's why I think it's just an
> initialization issue.

What do you mean by an "initialization issue" ?


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