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Re: Ncurses & native WIN32 support...

From: William McBrine
Subject: Re: Ncurses & native WIN32 support...
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 05:34:02 -0500 (EST)

On Tue, 8 Nov 2005, Austin Gilbert wrote:

I can tell you that PDCurses doesn't compile on my Mac OS 10.4.3 machine out of the box :( This makes me somewhat concerned about its portability.

No, no, that's not what it's for. It doesn't *have* to be portable (though it is -- just not as portable as ncurses). You don't write for PDCurses or ncurses; you write for the standard curses API, and link against ncurses, system curses, or PDCurses, as appropriate, depending on your target platform. If you use advanced features that are ncurses- or PDCurses- specific, you ifdef them. But most programs won't need that.

Even if you did get PDCurses working on your Mac, that would be of limited usefulness, since the "X11" port of PDCurses (the only one that could work on the Mac) is just that -- it runs directly on X, rather than in a terminal, as you might expect. Incidentally, there are completely different implementations of curses for Mac OS 9 and other systems. The general idea is that curses is a portable API, while the implementation is system-specific. PDCurses and ncurses are implementations that are themselves somewhat cross-platform; but the key to portability is the API.

The way I look at is, use ncurses where support for different terminal types is desired -- mainly Unix -- and PDCurses for systems with no terminfo/termcap capabilities -- mainly DOS, Windows and OS/2.

William McBrine <address@hidden>

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