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Re: [Bug-apl] Another option for APL keyboard mapping

From: Elias Mårtenson
Subject: Re: [Bug-apl] Another option for APL keyboard mapping
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:09:40 +0800

If you have never seen anything else, then I must assume that you haven't looked hard enough. :-)  In fact, the usual way was to simply set the high bit to 1 to indicate Alt. Emacs implemented a workaround for terminals that did not support this (the Esc-prefix) and many terminal emulators have adopted this these days, making it full-circle if you will.


On 23 October 2014 14:06, David B. Lamkins <address@hidden> wrote:
Thanks, Elias.

I was inspired by what I saw coming out of `showkey`, so I looked at the
source and realized that the foundation was very simple. The only really
tricky part was distinguishing between the ANSI CSI (a two-character
prefix of all ANSI cursor and function keys) and the APL `←` which is
identical to the CSI but has nothing following until the next key press.

Like you, I had a moment where I thought this ought to be integrated in
GNU APL. Then I realized that GNU APL needs to see the Unicode
representation of the APL characters so that curses can do the right
thing with the cursor keys.

That said, I'd be happy to share `akt` as a contribution to the
"keyboards" section of the GNU APL distribution.

I don't understand your concern regarding ESC as a prefix. ESC prefixing
has been consistently available in all of the terminal emulators I've
seen in the past decade or more on Macs, PCs and many flavors of Linux.
I'd be surprised if that feature suddenly disappeared.

Even if one did encounter a terminal emulator that doesn't map Alt to an
ESC prefix, one may always type the ESC key as a prefix...

It'd be easy to allow specification of a different single-character
prefix, but I don't understand the need. What am I missing? Something
having to do with the layout of non-US keyboards...? Non-ANSI terminal
emulators...? Personal preference...?

I do plan to look into curses, but that solution has a larger "surface
area". `akt` was just a quick and simple hack to have a lightweight
keyboard mapper while I slowly wrap my head around curses for a
different project.

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