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Re: [Lynx-dev] What blanks the blank spaces at the beginning of a line?

From: Mouse
Subject: Re: [Lynx-dev] What blanks the blank spaces at the beginning of a line?
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2018 09:06:54 -0400 (EDT)

>> Your symptoms sound potentially like what happens when one output
>> layer believes that the TAB character overwrites the columns it
>> passes over with spaces, while the actual output hardware just moves
>> the cursor....'

> [...] I think lynx doesn't use TABs, does it?

Not in its own right, perhaps.  But the underlying cursor-update code
(libcurses or whatever it's built with) may well use tabs in order to
reduce characters sent to the terminal.  (This is a historical relic in
many respects, but it still does matter in some cases.)

> HTML treats TABs as single SPACEs, right?  If so, a browser asserting
> one would be un-HTML.

You're confusing tabs on _input_ to lynx, from HTML, with tabs on
_output_ from lynx, generated by the screen update code.

What the outlined problem actually sounds like to me is screen update
code that doesn't realize that spaces can have visible attributes.
This is a reasonable assumption when attributes are things like "bold"
or "italic"; it is not for attributes like "reverse video" or "yellow
on blue".  This sounds to me like some code thinking that a character
cell doesn't need to be updated because it has a space in it and the
new character is a space, without noticing that they have visibly
different attributes.  Unfortunately, if this is what's going on, the
relevant code is probably not in lynx, instead being in the underlying
screen-update library, and thus not under lynx's control.

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