[PATCH] Fancy rc startup style RFC

Eric Anderson anderson at centtech.com
Wed Apr 19 12:24:58 UTC 2006

Bill Vermillion wrote:
> Somewhere around Wed, Apr 19, 2006 at 04:07 , the world stopped
> and listened as freebsd-hackers-request at freebsd.org graced us with
> this profound tidbit of wisdom that would fulfill the enjoyment of
> future generations:
>> Message: 20
>> Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2006 15:07:31 -0700
>> From: Darren Pilgrim <darren.pilgrim at bitfreak.org>
>> Eric Anderson wrote:
>>  > If I could figure out how to make sh do colors, I'd do it. :)
>> Please do not use colors in rc. Escape-sequenced colors make
>> unacceptable assumptions about the user and syslogd strips
>> escape sequences anyway, so it would be of no use to logged
>> consoles. Serial consoles introduce other problems with buggy
>> escape handling in third-party terminal programs. A good text
>> layout and descriptive status messages do far more for clarity
>> and readability than any use of color ever can.
> Let me add to that.  About 10% of the male population has some
> color vision problem.  Mine is a bit more than others.   Everytime
> I get called to work on a Linux system, I have to go in and disable
> the colors as the reds and other colors become very hard to see
> against a dark background.   The problem is the luminance value of
> colors such a red is quite low compared to others.  That's one of
> the reasons why fire-trucks in this area are lime-green, as red
> trucks disappear into the blackness at night.
> If you add color make sure it is a user selectable option
> and not turned on by default.   IMO everything you need to admin a
> system needs to be able to run on something as lowly as a pure
> serial terminal as the above poster notes.

Ok. So I've received mass amounts of mail regarding this, and most of it 
has been positively in favor of having the option to enable the 
rc_fancy, and then an additional option to turn on coloring, with the 
default to be non-colored but still rc_fancy="YES" which should work ok 
on serial and other terminals (it did for me).

I completely agree about all the coloring comments, and terminal issues. 
  I personally think it should be an available option, easily enabled or 
disabled at will.

I've put up an updated version, with many changes.  This version 
includes optional coloring (with rc_fancy_color="YES" in rc.conf), 
better checking, cleaner coding, and no loops.  This version is *much* 
more refined than the others - thanks for all the hints everyone!


Also - could I check the kern.console sysctl and decide if it's starting 
using a console or not, and then automatically override the rc.conf 
settings if it is booting to a serial console?


Eric Anderson        Sr. Systems Administrator        Centaur Technology
Anything that works is better than anything that doesn't.

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