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Re: problem with box using linux console

From: Thomas Dickey
Subject: Re: problem with box using linux console
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 20:23:11 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.27i

On Wed, Jan 22, 2003 at 09:58:46AM -0500, address@hidden wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm having a problem with the box function but only on the linux
> console (i.e. TERM=linux).
> It just doesn't seem to work right at all.
> Sorry, I don't know the exact versions of ncurses that redhat
> distributes, but this worked ok on redhat
> 7.3 (ncurses-5.2) but doesn't with redhat 8.0 (later version of
> ncurses-5.2).  I downloaded ncurses-5.3
> to my redhat 8.0 system and the problem still occurs.  There are a set
> of test programs with the
> ncurses source.  The problem is exhibited with these as well (programs
> that use box, such as
> test/cardfile).
> I tried swapping libncurses libs and terminfo files but I really can't
> seem to isolate where the problem
> is at.
> Does anyone know what the problem is here ?

yes - the bug is related to the implementation of UTF-8 in the console.  when
UTF-8 mode is in effect, the console's support for line-drawing changes
incompatibly:  only the UTF-8 codes for line-drawing are recognized.  The
same defect applies to the "screen" program.

(bad design, btw - a triumph of politics over technology).

For whatever reason, Redhat did not distribute ncurses built for
wide-characters.  (If they had, I'd have gotten enough feedback to have looked
closer and fixed as needed).

I didn't look closely at Redhat 8.0 til after I had gotten ncurses 5.3 done.  I
noticed the issue with line-drawing, and (there's more than one program to
test), made a fix for this late in December.  That's in my rollup patch at


If you build ncurses, configured using --enable-widec, it builds a different
library (libncursesw), which can do line-drawing for Linux console using UTF-8.

Thomas E. Dickey <address@hidden>

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