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Re: automake: cleanup and revival.

From: Warren Young
Subject: Re: automake: cleanup and revival.
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 10:30:32 -0600

On Oct 25, 2017, at 8:56 AM, Bob Friesenhahn <address@hidden> wrote:
>> It's also crazy that "--color-tests=y" or "--color-tests=1" won't work
> While I like color in photos and nature, automatic colorization of output 
> often causes problems for me since it often renders the text unreadable.

Why, exactly?

I ask because the default color scheme of some terminal emulators makes the 
dark blue on black text difficult for me to read, but that’s easily fixed by 
switching the color scheme.

> It also introduces terminal escape codes into the text output, which can 
> cause issues if captured output is later displayed on something other than a 
> ANSI terminal.

Both problems are caused by programs that hard-code literal ANSI/VT codes into 
text output.  While ANSI-family terminal protocols have taken over the world 
now, that’s still a bad practice which needs to be smacked down wherever it 

Well-behaved programs (e.g. GNU ls --color=auto, colordiff…) suppress color 
output when stdout is not a terminal.  They do that by making calls like 
isatty(3) if written in C or test(1) -t if written in shell.

As for the portability of ANSI terminal escape codes, it’s still best to 
delegate such things to curses or libraries like it, despite the near ubiquity 
of ANSI-family terminal emulators.

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