terminfo programming

4. Compile the description

The terminfo database entries are compiled using the tic compiler. This compiler translates terminfo database entries from the source format into the compiled format.

The source file for the description is usually in a file suffixed with .ti. For example, the description of myterm would be in a source file named myterm.ti. The compiled description of myterm would usually be placed in /usr/share/lib/terminfo/m/myterm, since the first letter in the description entry is m. Links would also be made to synonyms of myterm, for example, to /f/fancy. If the environment variable $TERMINFO were set to a directory and exported before the entry was compiled, the compiled entry would be placed in the $TERMINFO directory. All programs using the entry would then look in the new directory for the description file if $TERMINFO were set, before looking in the
default /usr/share/lib/terminfo. The general format for the tic compiler is as follows:

   tic [-v] [-c] file
The -v option causes the compiler to trace its actions and output information about its progress. The -c option causes a check for errors; it may be combined with the -v option. file shows what file is to be compiled. If you want to compile more than one file at the same time, you have to first use cat(1) to join them together. The following command line shows how to compile the terminfo source file for our fictitious terminal:
   tic -v myterm.ti <<Return>>
   (The trace information appears as the compilation proceeds.)
Refer to the tic(1M) manual page for more information about the compiler.
Next topic: 5. Test the description
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