termcap vs terminfo, less, and Mac OS X

Walt Pawley walt at wump.org
Fri Jun 2 14:26:19 PDT 2006

I've been messing about with FreeBSD lately, though mostly I
use Mac OS X. I've grown accustomed to using "less" as a pager,
generally preferring the manner in which it would make all the
scrolled through crud vanish when I was done pawing about in
it. But "less" didn't behave that way when telnet'd into the
the FreeBSD boxes on the LAN - whatever got presented scrolled
"up" into the terminal program's capture buffer.

After mucking with this for a couple of days, I believe the
reason is that the termcap description of "xterm-color" in
FreeBSD doesn't match the "xterm-color" terminfo description in
either Mac OS X or Linux (which seem to be identical). In
particular, the "ti" and "te" capabilities are null.

Is this intentional or something that should be generically "fixed"?

Walter M. Pawley <walt at wump.org>
Wump Research & Company
676 River Bend Road, Roseburg, OR 97470

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