The Extended Terminal Interface (ETI)

The Extended Terminal Interface (ETI)

NOTE: The version of curses described in this Character user interface programming topic is the UNIX® System V Release 4 (SVR4) version of the curses library. For UnixWare 7.0.1 and later versions, the SVR4 curses library has been moved from /usr/lib/libcurses.a to /usr/lib/libocurses.a. A new version of the curses library that is compliant with The Single UNIX Specification, Version 2, now resides in libcurses.a.

Only the SVR4 curses library (specified using -locurses on the cc command line) will work with the form, menu, and panel libraries discussed here.

The ocurses library routines, as well as the form, panel, and menu library routines, are described in the Section 3ocurses manual pages; the new curses library routines are described in the Section 3curses manual pages.

Screen management programs are a common component of many commercial computer applications. These programs handle input and output at a video display terminal. A screen program might move a cursor, print a display, or divide a terminal screen into windows. Many screen management programs build end-user terminal interfaces to help users enter and retrieve information from a database -- interfaces such as forms, menus, and help and error message displays.

This document explains how to use the Extended Terminal Interface (ETI) package to write screen management programs. (It also tells you what you need to know about the terminfo database to use ETI.) To start you writing screen management programs as soon as possible, the document does not attempt to cover every routine in the libraries. Although it covers all routines in the high-level libraries (those that build panels, menus, and forms), it covers only the most frequently used routines in the low-level library (curses). For more information, this document points you to the curses(3ocurses), terminfo(4), and other manual pages in this guide. Keep these documents close at hand; you will find them invaluable when you want to know more about these and other routines.

Because the routines are compiled C functions, you should be familiar with the C programming language before using ETI. You should also be familiar with the C language standard I/O package (see ``System calls'', and ``Standard I/O'', and the Intro(3S) manual page. With that knowledge and an appreciation for the philosophy of building on the work of others, you can design screen management programs for many purposes.

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UnixWare 7 Release 7.1.4 - 27 April 2004