Paul Koning paulkoning at comcast.net
Thu Aug 26 08:17:52 CDT 2021

> On Aug 26, 2021, at 7:24 AM, Peter Corlett via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
> Terminal styling control codes are hit-and-miss even when exclusively using
> modern tools. These days, I pretty much exclusively use iTerm2 as my
> terminal emulator, which has a bewildering array of compatibility-tweaking
> controls to fiddle with, because everything seems to interpret the alleged
> standards differently.
> When I was relatively new to Linux I just put teminal oddities down to me
> not knowing what I was doing and configuring it wrong, but then had the
> opportunity to connect a real VT100 to it. "export TERM=vt100" is all that's
> needed, right? There were *loads* of rendering errors, and I got my first
> lesson into how well-tested Linux's termcap/terminfo database was.

This is probably why DEC spent a significant amount of effort creating DEC Std 070, the Video terminal SRM.  It's a full formal specification of all the terminal controls, and everyone was required to conform to that spec.

As is common with DEC standards, it's sufficiently well written that you can simply do what it says and end up with a interoperable implementation.  That's what I did in the video driver for RSTS on the Pro.  (By the way, I like to mention the DDCMP spec as another example of this "conformance implies interoperability" property; my experience with that spec was the same.)

Unfortunately, too few specs in the larger world are written to that level of quality.


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