Re: [PATCH] ncurses based config V2

From: Willy Tarreau
Date: Sun Sep 14 2008 - 06:56:35 EST


sorry, it seems I missed this mail.

On Sat, Sep 06, 2008 at 08:41:56AM +0300, Nir Tzachar wrote:
> Hello.
> On Fri, Sep 5, 2008 at 10:59 PM, Willy Tarreau <w@xxxxxx> wrote:
> > Hello,
> >
> > On Fri, Sep 05, 2008 at 11:27:00AM +0300, Nir Tzachar wrote:
> >> Changes:
> >> 1) Fixed segfaults in help window.
> >> 2) Removed the instructions window, made the instructions appear as a button
> >> which displays a popup window.
> >> 3) Added hot keys support. As ncurses does not support several colors inside
> >> a menu, keys are highlighted using "()".
> >> 4) Optimized for 80x24 terminals.
> >> 6) Fixed zconf.y to use _menu_init
> >> 7) added nconfig to "make help"
> >> 8) Misc fixes.
> >>
> >> Comments are appreciated.
> >
> > OK, I've just tried it. Here are the first comments I can make :
> >
> > - colors are too dark. Cyan on black is barely readable, red on black is
> > almost unreadable and blue on black is not readable at all, I have to
> > switch off the light to read it. Most often you'll see light shades of
> > grey (even white) in interfaces because it's hard to see dark shades,
> > and bright flashy letters would dazzle and be seen as fuzzy. Many colors
> > are perfectly readable on while or even light grey (except yellow and
> > sometimes cyan). Blue backgrounds were often used under DOS and were
> > OK with almost all colors except red (well-known eye focus problem).
> > But there was a trick, pixels were very large in 640x200, nowaydays
> > we have small pixels and letters are not much readable anymore on blue
> > backgrounds. For your tests, you can try to load
> > xterm -bg <color> -fg <color> and ensure that you're using a medium
> > font (tickness of 1-pixel).
> The thing with colors is that they are very personal...

"personal" is true when it comes from a matter of taste. Here it's a matter
of readability.

> The colors I
> have work great on my terminals. I don't think I can come up with one
> scheme which looks nice to everybody, hence the support for color
> schemes.

I understand. I think that the original colors of make menuconfig are
OK and readable everywhere.

> If you can come up with a color scheme which works gr8 for
> you, I'll be happy to add it. If you are interested, check the
> INIT_PAIR macros of the patch.

OK I might do (I just don't have time right now).

> > - pressing arrows too fast regularly escapes (probably because of the
> > ESC prefix, I don't know). This is rather strange, because no other
> > application does this to me.
> I cannot reproduce this. What terminal emulator are you using, and
> which ncurses version?

I've just checked, ncurses-5.3. I also ensured that it's the same I
use with all my other progs (including mutt, vim, emacs, alsamixer,
less, gnuplot, kismet, lynx, ...). It is possible that there is something
very subtle, but I can't imagine what :-/

> Also, can you please send me the terminal emulator config file?

It's just a bare xterm running with TERM=xterm-color. I forgot to test on
the console.

> > Is there a specific initialization
> > sequence with ncurses to state that arrows should return special codes
> > instead of the ESC prefix ? (I have no idea)
> Yes. You need to specify you want to get keypad events, otherwise they
> just appear as ESC.

OK. I just found there is the ESCDELAY variable to define the ESC timeout.
They also talk about notimeout() in curs_inopts(3), which sounds pretty
well related to what I observe.

[skipping all fixed reports]

> > - I'm not convinced that the parenthesis around hotkeys make the menu
> > that much readable, especially when there are lots of short words or
> > even acronyms. Eg :
> > [ ] (U)TS namespace
> > [ ] (I)PC namespace
> > [ ] (U)ser namespace (EXPERIMENTAL)
> > [ ] (P)ID Namespaces (EXPERIMENTAL)
> I agree, but could not come up with any other visible mark to note the hotkey.
> > I don't know if there is something such as a bold attribute in ncurses,
> > it would make sense to use it IMHO because you don't force a color on
> > people's terms, you rely on the style which works well for them.
> There is a bold attribute, but you cannot set it for a single letter
> of a menu item, as far as I know.

OK I understand. You might want to use the brighter color set (as menuconfig
does). Terminals sometimes translate them to bold characters.

> > I'm sorry I don't go further for now, the arrows causing frequent exits is
> > too bothersome, I've started it about 30 times just for this report, it's
> > too hard to navigate. I hope that the points above are already helpful.
> Thanks for the input. I would really like to solve the issue you have
> with arrow keys. Can you also send a trace of key presses which cause
> you to exit, and which window is active?

Sorry, the directory in which I built has been removed since. But it happened
in any window, starting with the main menu. That's why I think it's just an
initialization issue.


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