Xterm, rxvt, mrxvt, etc....

Charles Wilson cygwin@cwilson.fastmail.fm
Sun May 6 01:43:00 GMT 2007

Thomas Dickey wrote:
>>> "support" is relative.  There's apparently no X maintainer, so no 
>>> updated
>>> packages.  On the other hand, while I respond to xterm issues(*) on this
>>> and other lists, I don't recall _ever_ seeing support from rxvt's
>>> maintainers on this list.

It's a two-way street. I put out a call for assistance -- backed up with 
ITPs of five packages, so I put my money where my mouth was -- and a 
whole long forward-looking plan concerning a revived libW11

(and other messages in this thread, plus):


but no one cared.  I certainly got no interest in libW11, or rxvt-W11 -- 
such that their ITP's expired.

The fact is, rxvt upstream is dead, dead, dead. It has shuffled off this 
mortal coil.  Joined the choir invisible. It is an EX-terminal. The 
terminal is terminal.

Frankly, I prefer rxvt-unicode on X -- even in non-unicode mode -- 
because it's actively maintained upstream.   That's why I also maintain 
THAT package for cygwin.  Being monolingual, I can't vouch for the 
actual unicode support as I never use anything other than ASCII and US 
english.  For US/en input and non-unicode display, it works well and I 
use it daily.  For unicode display, it seems alright if you work very 
hard -- that is, read LOTS of FM and do LOTS of STFW -- at getting 
appropriate fonts installed.  For input other than US/en, I've had mixed 
success using US-intl kbd -- but then, I'm not really certain what true 
success should look like.  Please see /usr/share/doc/rxvt-unicode-7.7/* 
and /usr/share/doc/Cygwin/rxvt-unicode-X-7.7.README.

Concerning cygwin's rxvt-unicode-X: Yes, yes, I know: I need to update 
from 7.7 to 8.x.  But there's two problems there: (1) I need to forward 
port Wolff's unicode shims, and I'm not looking forward to that, and (2) 
I don't know what's going on with cygwin-1.7.0; IIRC there was talk -- 
just TALK -- about switching over to the *W win32api functions instead 
of the *A win32api ones.  Is that actually going to happen?  Will that 
affect the shims?  Obsolete them?  Require changes?  I dunno -- and I 
don't want to waste time on it before 1.7.0 is released.

>> rxvt is not an X package...
> rxvt could run in X, but I agree it has a win32-specific chunk of code.
> However, the last I read of _that_ was that it was no longer supported.
> For example
>     http://www.cygwin.com/ml/cygwin-announce/2006-05/msg00002.html

Wait: an announcement of a release (and not even the most recent 
announcement) is your evidence that a package is unmaintained?  Isn't 
that a bit backwards?

Granted, there have been only a few releases since I picked up that 
package: the one you mention last May, two last June, and the most 
recent last December.

All three updates were specifically in response to bug reports. *BUGS* I 
try to fix, if I have time.  *PATCHES* to fix existing bugs are even 
better.  But since the upstream is dead, there's no real impetus for 
releasing new versions -- except when bugs are reported or patches are 

Helping people fix their borked-up Xserver is not my bag.  Nor is 
providing the same old answer to the same old questions, that could be 
answered by reading any one of
       (a) the man page
       (b) the shipped documentation (/usr/share/doc/Cygwin/rxvt* and
       (c) or if the questioner would simple STFW.
or simply spending some time testing a few alternatives rather than 
running to the mailing list at the first sign of difficulty.  Like 
everyone else, my time for cygwin is a scarce resource -- I prefer to 
spend it on coding, bugfixing or functionality improvements (recently, 
gcc-4.x and, separately, libtool-2.x) than pretending to be a human 
interface to the man pages and READMEs.

> google's not showing me a recent maintainer for the code.



rxvt-20050409-3 (and also belatedly mentioned the unannounced -2)

was only a year ago.

> If there's no maintainer, it's not supported, no matter what the mailing 
> list is. 

Your algorithm for determining which packages are maintained and which 
are not seems somewhat suspect.


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