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Re: GUI terminal widget

From: PhilipNienhuis
Subject: Re: GUI terminal widget
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2019 12:17:44 -0500 (CDT)

John W. Eaton wrote
> On 6/5/19 10:19 AM, Pantxo wrote:
>> On a linux machine, with Matlab 2016a:
>>>> system ('emacs -nw')
>> emacs: Terminal type "dumb" is not powerful enough to run Emacs.
>> It lacks the ability to position the cursor.
>> If that is not the actual type of terminal you have,
>> use the Bourne shell command `TERM=... export TERM' (C-shell:
>> `setenv TERM ...') to specify the correct type.  It may be necessary
>> to do `unset TERMINFO' (C-shell: `unsetenv TERMINFO') as well.
>> ans =
>>       1
>>>> system ('export TERM=xterm; emacs -nw')
>> [?1049h[?1049h[?12;25h[?1h=[?25l-=--:----F1
>> *scratch*      All L1
>> (Fundamental)------------
>> ....
>> The terminal then becomes unusable (e.g. can't "C-x C-c") then I have
>> kill
>> Matlab.
>> As for the pager, I don't know how to determine if it is a separate
>> process
>> since my ML session is run on a separate node from the one I launch it
>> from
>> (i.e. "ps -u $USER" in the launching terminal won't even list Matlab).
>> All I
>> can tell is that the pager is pretty basic: "space" scrolls one page
>> forward, any other key scrolls one line forward, "q" quits the pager.
>> Looks
>> like its no more than "more", much less capable than "less".
> OK, thanks.
> We might be able to come up with some tests but I don't think it really 
> matters.  The point is that Matlab users who begin using Octave won't 
> expect to be able to run something like Emacs in the command window.
> Having the capabilities of less would be nice, but I don't see it as 
> necessary.  We could also just provide good ways to search in the 
> command window without having output paged and that would probably 
> satisfy most users.  We've already disabled the pager by default anyway 
> because having it enabled seems to confuse new users.  So I don't think 
> most GUI users will miss it much even if we provide nothing but
> scrollbars.

GUI or CLI, I find the less pager one of the attractive features of Octave.
I'm always annoyed by the primitive behavior of Matlab's command window.

Seeing output stopped automatically after a pageful is way less troublesome
than first seeing a sometimes very long listing flashing by and then having
to scroll back in search of the desired output lines.
AFAIK the vertical scrollbar refers to the complete output of a session, not
just output from one command. In the terminal buffer is large and filled up,
specific lines of output can only be brought into view by very careful
grabbing and manipulation of a possibly very thin scrollbar handle, where
just a few pixels of movement of it can translate to many pages of output
scrolling by.

IMO a GUI terminal should have:
- pager
- colors (possibly ANSI)
- maybe ANSI cursor positioning
- copy /paste capabilities
- scrolling using the mouse wheel
- scroll bars (yes they still can be useful)
- automatic line wrapping at the right border
and that's about it. But OK, maybe "it" is asking too much.

Just my opinion...


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