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Re: lynx-dev TEXTAREA/ctrl-G

From: Heather Stern
Subject: Re: lynx-dev TEXTAREA/ctrl-G
Date: Sat, 2 May 1998 17:39:46 -0700 (PDT)

I ate the fortune cookie first, then read what David Woolley wrote:
> > I think ctrl-G would work okay, the main use I know for it is to make beepy
> > noises with 'fortune'.  
> > I don't know any MSwin apps that depend on it;  its 'standard' behavior in 
> > DOS is also to make beepy noises.
> You say those as though the behaviour is abnormal, when, in fact, it is the
> only correct behaviour in ASCII!  ^G is "sound the teletype bell".  

Er, sorry for the misinterpretation, my use of quotes was the sign of a 
personal bias about DOS re: behaving in a standard fashion, not a particular
lack of clue about ASCII.  COMMAND.COM makes beepy noises... and some DOS apps
do, but many just use it to invoke some command they decided G was mnemonic 
for.  MSwin abuses ALT, not so much even *using* CTRL, though the more featured
apps use it until they run out of Ctrl-letters too.  

But, you're right -- ^G should be generable by a terminal (even a really,
really ancient one), and isn't particularly destructive (to the terminal, tho
earplugs for the operator come to mind) if it doesn't work.

Getting back to discussing lynx, I take it that means no objection to using
it in the EDITOR builtin, as the key for leaving edit mode/saving the work.

> (The use of ^L for a spoiler separator is because it is really form feed.)
> Generally, though, this is only of historical significance, as there is
> a very long history of using control characters as mnemonic commands, rather
> than for their true purposes.  

This is certainly far more typical in my experience.  (standard by usage,
not standard by declaration of spec.  How much standard by usage is worth
calling standard?  Oops, that's another thread :>)

> (If you are wondering, ^C is "end of text",
> and divides the data of a message from the checksum (if any). Escape,
> is there to extend the control codes by being used as a prefix for other
> codes, never as an isolated character.)

(showing my age range here)
I remember real uses of these meanings from a long time ago when my dad was
dealing with punchcards.  When he ruined them I got to use them to pretend
I was voting.  Dad had me memorize the whole ctrl space for ASCII, and 
multiplicative tables up to 16s so I'd be able to do hex math in my head.  
Nowadays I use real ballots, and pretend my vote has strength.  It does, but 
only en masse.  I prefer programming, it's a lot easier to see results, and 
to debug what doesn't work.

As far as ESC as a code extender, that explains vi using ESC alone to reach 
command mode  :)  I've seen a number of apps treat most of the meta's as 
seperate keys to invoke meta-purposes, for example my old fave DesqView (whose 
features I still miss in UNIX though the rest of the OS is more flavorful)
used ALT alone to invoke its system-control menu.  Obviously the ability to
do this is terminal-dependent...  these were mostly DOS apps.  I haven't had
to use it lately, but I'm glad lynx lets me configure what to use as command 
keys.  So I hope that whatever we do end up coding up, it's configurable too.

  . | .   Heather Stern                  |         address@hidden
--->*<--- Starshine Technical Services - * - address@hidden
  ' | `   Sysadmin Support and Training  |        (800) 938-4078

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