Restoring sc console look and feel with vt

Ernie Luzar luzar722 at
Sat Sep 9 22:03:07 UTC 2017

Polytropon wrote:
> On Sun, 10 Sep 2017 00:26:23 +1000 (EST), Ian Smith wrote:
>> Poly, as someone else with 'senior' eyesight and a long memory, I feel 
>> your pain.  I've been working in (lots of) 120 x 50 konsoles in old KDE 
>> on 14" LCD for years, but that's only easy on good days now, and I keep 
>> a magnifying glass handy - but that uses up one hand :)
> The idea of 80x25 on a big screen is that you have readable text
> and a usable amount of information (!) on the screen especially
> in emergency situations where you really have no magical undo button,
> so you need to pay close attention on what you're doing. My personal
> experience is that 80x25 is a good mode for system recovery and
> early stage repairs, as well as for testing and fiddling with
> custom settings.
> In the past (and still possible on my home system), switching
> between X and console is easy and works all the time. Of couse
> you can do all this inside X (and even much easier than with vt),
> but that requires X to work. In single-user mode, there is no X,
> there is only one shell session. And if this shell session only
> presents letters a few millimeters high even on a huge 21" CRT,
> it raises the stress level of the operator who tries to rescue
> something...
> As I'm getting older and the world gets more modernerer than I
> can adjust to with buying new hardware every year, it seems that
> I have to accept that modern X and classic text mode do not work
> together anymore. I really appreciate the work that went into vt,
> especially the ability to use UTF-8 in "console mode" (which now
> is more a kind of special graphics mode), even though this is not
> something I urgently need. However, the inability of vt to replace
> sc's _basic_ functionality makes it hard for me to like it.
> I'd switch back to sc any day, but that causes one of the two
> following problems:
> a) after leaving X, the console is blank, or
> b) X doesn't even start.
> A decades old tradition broke.
> Of course, this all doesn't apply to systems with only remote
> access, or those that will only use X. Except myself, there will
> probably only be a handful of yesterdayian refuseniks who are
> still trying to work in text mode.
> And I'm not even trying to imagine if blind (!) users who have
> attached a Braille readout (usually the mechanical 80x1 or 80x2
> "feel the characters" kind) to their system will be able to use
> text mode that isn't sc...
>> I wonder if a big LCD screen might fare better than a big CRT with this?
> Oh, that'll be where new problems are going to appear! It probably
> won't work in text mode anymore, will cause problems in X, won't
> be able to switch resolutions (my CRT can go from 320x200 up to 1400x1050
> with Ctrl+Alt+[+] and Ctrl+Alt+[-] and by software - very convenient
> for lower fullscreen modes), and probably won't connect to my old
> hardware (no HDMI et al.). And I hesitate to replace something that
> perfectly works... ;-)

When RELEASE 11.0 was first published last year I was very dissatisfied 
with vt. I checked bugzilla  and saw someone submitted a few PRs on vt 
covering the same problems I was having. Within the last few weeks I 
noticed someone has finally started to work on those PRs.

I strongly suggest that you submit a PR about this design flaw in vt.
IE; default vt font being to small with no simple way to over ride 
default font to get one that looks like one used in sc. You may luck out 
and get it worked on along with the other vt PRs currently being worked on.

Good Luck.

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