Any interest in Terminal enhancments?

Elliott Rabe codecontributor at
Wed Jun 3 06:37:08 CEST 2009


I've been using XFCE on my primary machine for over a year now, and love
it.  I can't see myself ever going back to a bloated window manager when I
have everything I need & want in a lite FAST solution like XFCE.  I've been
toying with the Terminal code on a sideline build with the intent of adding
some functionality that will enable me to use it where I work as well.  I'm
just trying to feel out out whether there is any interest out there in the
additions I'm planning on making for my own sideline build.  If so, I'd be
happy to contribute them back to the XFCE/Terminal project.

My primary desire was to get enough functionality out of Terminal app to
allow me to connect to a proprietary cmd line implementation that doesn't
respect standard unix console line output & display formatting.  This
command line is essentially a tab delimited table that is only readable if
all the rows in the table appear aligned on column boundaries. Output width
can sometimes extend up to 512 columns (even beyond), so practically
requires the use of horizontal scrolling.  We use a the third party app
SecureCRT to connect to this product, which I'd like to avoid (as I'm a fan
of using open source software whenever possible).  I am still working trying
to get the cleanest implementation of this scrolling without modifying
default behavior/functionality of the Terminal app.  I expect to have
several options to configure the horizontal scrolling, including configuring
a fixed column size, automatic enabling of the scrolling, possibly
keystroke/output scroll adjustment as well as completely disabling it
altogether (which seems the sensible default).

On investigation of potential implementations of the addition of scrolling
(several seem promising) I have also realized that session specific settings
would really be a requirement for my general use.  I still want to use the
Terminal app as-is for general use, so having a fixed column size adjust
display/output for 'other' terminal sessions would be undesirable.  I don't
want configuration of the options to change the text wrapping/display of all
the other terminal sessions open on my desktop, just the local session.
While investigating how these settings are implemented I realized it may be
beneficial for many other 'global' options' to be configurable on a
'session' basis and am pursuing a more generic approach this enhancement
then just kludging instance only horizontal scroll settings.  I'm still
thinking up possible implementations for this, but would likely attempt
adding some additional info to the bindings of the session options (accessed
from the preference dialog) that allow individual Terminal sessions
awareness of whether the option was global or local (which could allow them
to make informed decisions.  Additionally, I'm thinking it might be handy to
hook this binding into an auto-cmd line registration system to allow
starting terminal sessions directly with parameters from another shell which
could easily open up local session options to be configured from custom
launch scripts.

I'm very open to potential implementation ideas, as well as general feedback
if these alterations would be useful for any others out there besides

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