Re: [dev] curses samterm

From: Connor Lane Smith <>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2010 16:14:14 +0100


On 3 August 2010 09:50, Joseph Xu <> wrote:
> Very few people use sam to begin with, even fewer would like the curses
> interface. I'm guessing no more than 20 people.

The best reason not to write a program ever: nobody is using it yet.

> Usually I'll have acme always running and just plumb stuff to it. Actually
> you can almost live inside acme like you can live inside emacs.

Yes, indeed. Both acme and samterm ship with their very own window
manager, so you can fullscreen acme in rio and pretend you're using
wmii. And samterm is even worse: a stacking window manager within a
stacking window manager (so you can stack while you stack).

There is a good reason why a curses samterm would be useful: the
standard one is a joke. I have not found any program in which it is
slower to do work. With dwm and vim you can manage development tasks
using nothing but muscle memory. With sam you have to move term,
resize term, move flayer, resize flayer, position cursor, insert some
text, move the cursor horizontally but never vertically...

But I'd much prefer a sane curses samterm to vim, since (as I
mentioned during one of our many flame wars) I dislike its modality
and its tendency to work completely differently on each machine. And
sam, after all, has lovely things like structural regular expressions.

(But let's not have another flame war.)

I have looked into making a curses samterm before, but it's
complicated by the fact that the standard samterm is coded in a
ridiculously cryptic way. Sorry Rob, but what on earth. I'm sure there
must be internal Bell Labs documentation on that thing. I think step
one in writing a new samterm is to work out exactly how the sam
protocol works (I have a fair idea), and to write a new client
implementation from scratch, not just borrowing from samterm/mesg.c.

Received on Tue Aug 03 2010 - 17:14:14 CEST

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