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
>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
* 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'.