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NMU ncurses via testing-proposed-updates to fix #319554 ?


xterm-color's terminfo in ncurses-base is wrong: it is \177 rather
than \E[3~ as specified in the relevant Debian policy.  #319554.

Would the release team and maintainer welcome an NMU to fix this ?
I wrote two weeks ago that I would offer an NMU and I have had no
response other than a content-free dissent from Thomas Dickey (who is
not ncurses maintainer and who is also wrong and terse to the point of
opacity - see below).

I see the version in unstable has a new upstream version so I assume
that we've essentially forked this package now ?  Or, Daniel, do you
plan to request a freeze exception for the latest updates ?

Why is this more than the most trivial question ?

Why spend effort on such a trivial bug ?  Because new Macs' default
terminal emulator gives a terminal offering TERM=xterm-color.  These
systems conform in every respect to the Debian policy for
backspace/delete handling.  However things do not work if (for
example) you run screen on the Debian machine because screen sees the
wrong value for kdch1 in terminfo.

     macos$ ssh -t root@debian screen
is a very common case.

Summary of the `dispute'

Points in favour of changing (kdch1=\E[3~):

 * Debian policy 9.8 says that
      The xterm terminfo entry should have ESC [ 3 ~ for kdch1, just
   as for TERM=linux and TERM=vt220.  This text was written before
   xterm even had colour support (look at the surrounding text which
   mentions rsh and telnet but not ssh!) and clearly should be read to
   apply to the profusion of new xterm-* types.

   The discussion in 9.8 clearly contemplates TERM=xterm as a thing
   not only specified or used by Debian systems but also as a thing in

   Furthermore as the author of the policy I can confirm that the
   intent is not limited only to the idea that Debian systems should
   follow the policy and that only TERM values actually set by modern
   and unmodified Debian systems should be covered.  This backspace
   policy has gradually been permeating the universe, thankfully.

   Therefore this change is as mandated by policy.

 * It makes  ssh -t debianhost screen  work from MacOS X Macs, old
   or nonstandard Linux systems (including IIRC some old Debian
   systems) which set TERM=xterm-color.

 * Even on systems which have the `<-' key mapped to ^H, it does no
   harm to the processing of `<-' keystrokes since the stty erase
   setting dominates.

>From the bug log, points which have been provided
in favour of keeping it as it is:

 * Someone in 1996 committed the error (kdch1=\177) to FreeBSD
   CVS giving `updates' as the commit message.  Obviously they
   knew best and we should not disregard their expertise.

 * It may be the case that the TERM=xterm-color setting advertised
   is wrong in some other way for some of the terminal clients which
   use it.

 * xterm-color `does not correspond to any terminal type that
   is valid for Debian' (whatever that means) or `there _are_ no
   terminals that match it in Debian'.

 * A terminal advertising TERM=xterm-color following the Debian
   keyboard policy might find that their `Delete right' key stops
   working (another manifestation of the way that the Debian keyboard
   policy accepts the tradeoff that systems which do not follow the
   policy may work suboptimally).

 * I am rude and `insist on creating incorrect [bug] reports'.


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