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Suggestion for terminal package maintainers

The Cygwin console, after some changes made this past weekend, now uses ^? as the default erase character, and this is what is sent by the backspace key instead of ^H ( These changes are in effect as of the 2009-05-31 snapshot. In order to minimize confusion among users, I suggest that maintainers of the various terminal packages (xterm, mintty, rxvt-*) think about making similar changes to the default behavior of their packages the next time they update.

Corresponding changes would have to be made to the terminfo database (and, in some cases, to /etc/termcap). For example, the change to the Cygwin console requires the following patch:

--- origsrc/terminfo-5.7_20090228/terminfo.src 2009-03-01 00:32:20.000000000 -0500
+++ src/terminfo-5.7_20090228/terminfo.src 2009-05-30 17:33:13.063590500 -0400
@@ -5221,7 +5221,7 @@ cygwin|ansi emulation for Cygwin,
dl1=\E[M, ed=\E[J, el=\E[K, el1=\E[1K, fsl=^G, home=\E[H,
hpa=\E[%i%p1%dG, ht=^I, ich=\E[%p1%d@, ich1=\E[@,
il=\E[%p1%dL, il1=\E[L, ind=^J, invis=\E[8m, kb2=\E[G,
- kbs=^H, kcub1=\E[D, kcud1=\E[B, kcuf1=\E[C, kcuu1=\E[A,
+ kbs=^?, kcub1=\E[D, kcud1=\E[B, kcuf1=\E[C, kcuu1=\E[A,
kdch1=\E[3~, kend=\E[4~, kf1=\E[[A, kf10=\E[21~,
kf11=\E[23~, kf12=\E[24~, kf13=\E[25~, kf14=\E[26~,
kf15=\E[28~, kf16=\E[29~, kf17=\E[31~, kf18=\E[32~,


P.S. The change to the Cygwin console arose from a discussion of a problem I was having with emacs. I'm grateful to Andy Koppe for sorting this out and to cgf for quickly making the required change.

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