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Re: Revisiting Windows support

From: Bill Gray
Subject: Re: Revisiting Windows support
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2023 21:56:54 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:102.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/102.8.0

Hi Richard,

   To Thomas' reasons,  I'll add

d) the Windows support for such sequences is a nice start, but is a work in progress at best. I did have some hopes that it would mean that PDCursesMod [1] (a curses library for non-termcap/terminfo environments) could use escape sequences on Windows. One of its many "platforms" [2] uses ANSI sequences to good effect within xterm and the Linux console, and somewhat within DOS. I thought that with minor changes, this would all work on Windows as well.

But the Windows console support for things such as terminal resizing is absent, and the color support is a little scattershot. It's been a while, and it doesn't appear that getting further escape sequences to work is a priority at Microsoft. There are a variety of nuisances involving getting into virtual terminal mode and handling input (still different from what it is on any other OS).

I've left things such that you can build PDCursesMod using escape sequences on Windows, and it "sort of" works. But I'm fairly sure that most people just use the "Windows console" platform [3], which relies on the Windows console library functions, or the "Windows GUI" platform [4], rather than put up with the shortcomings of MS's implementation of escape sequences.

-- Bill

[1] https://github.com/Bill-Gray/PDCursesMod/
[2] https://github.com/Bill-Gray/PDCursesMod/tree/master/vt
[3] https://github.com/Bill-Gray/PDCursesMod/tree/master/wincon
[4] https://github.com/Bill-Gray/PDCursesMod/tree/master/wingui

On 3/20/23 20:24, Thomas Dickey wrote:
On Mon, Mar 20, 2023 at 08:31:45PM -0000, Richard wrote:
[Please do not mail me a copy of your followup]

Now that the console supports the standard ANSI escape sequences (see [1]),
is there any chance that ncurses can be properly supported on Windows?
(By "properly", I mean as a native Win32 build, not using a POSIX
compatibility shim like cygwin or mingw.)

I don't see that as being likely:

a) none of the "native Win32" tools are actually that useful for the things
    that generate code, and

b) maintaining a set of generated files to prop up a native Win32 build,
    or constructing some throwaway PowerShell scripts isn't where I want
    to spend my time -- doing that would require less attention in places
    where I do spend time -- and

c) you might have noticed that no one's available to fill in that gap :-)

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