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Re: del in vi

On Wed, Sep 13, 2000 at 07:14:23PM -0400, Jordan Bettis wrote:
> On Wed, 13 Sep 2000, Charles Menzes wrote:
> > i am running xterm in enlightenment. for some reason, when i run vi on a
> > file, the backspace key does not perform a regular delete function
> > (deleting the character to the left of the cursor). instead it deletes the
> > character to the right of the cursor.
> > from the command line, the key works as it should. is there a setting
> > within vi that needs to be set for this? or is this something specific to
> > my term settings?
> This is a common problem with Unix, the backspace and delete keys are
> sometimes swapped by the terminal. I don't know how to change xterm to
> use the proper sequence, but in gnome-terminal (what I use), there is a
> box "switch DEL/Backspace keys" option in the settings/preferences menu.
> IIRC, the problem was because System V and BSD used different sequences
> for backspace, the One True Backspace was never authoritivly stated so we
> got the current mess.

There are a couple of additional problems that compound the problem

 - Linus Torvalds made backspace work differently on the Linux console
than any other UNIX console, something he has been quoted on as being
one of the few things he would have done differently.  In his defense,
the change makes backspace and delete work on the console like they do
in DOS.

 - The XFree86 team and X Consortium have different definitions for
how xterm should work with backspace and delete.

Debian has a really weird way of defining these keys; the net effect
is that they tend to work pretty close to correctly just about
everywhere, and they match console behavior more closely to boot.  But
incompatibilities still linger.
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