It's almost finals week, and that means I'm finally done with assignments and only have to study for finals. Before really diving into studying (my first final is on Monday), I decided to take a break and relax.
One of my current pet projects is about terminal emulators. In just about every terminal emulator I've tried (such as gnome-terminal, terminator, and many others) text does not get auto reformatted. That is, when I resize the window the text does not get reformatted to fit the new window size. Mac OS X terminals actually do auto reformat text nicely, as well as the GUI-est terminal I've ever seen. I wish I could get my hands on Mac's terminal's source, but it looks like it's closed source. The other editor is too GUI for me, although I might fish through it's source some day.
I discovered that screen partially does what I want. The output of programs like cat, less, and tail all get correctly auto reformatted. However, ls does not get auto reformatted. I haven't tested it much beyond that yet.
As an experiment, I decided to make have gnome-terminal run screen by default when I run it and do all of my work inside of screen. So far I've noticed almost no differences, other than the auto reformatting I described. The main difference is screen eats my normal ctrl-a for it's own commands. Ctrl-a a does work as a normal ctrl-a. I'm considering seeing if I can change the main screen key to something other than a, although I need to find a safe character first. Maybe I'll try to change it to Mod4-a instead.
In the meantime, I've learned a little more about screen. I learned about .screenrc, which as it sounds gets run when screen is started. Right now, this is my .screenrc:
Pretty simple, it suppresses the startup message that screen normally displays and switches off the visual bell. The visual bell is similar to the system beep, except instead of making a noise it flashes the entire terminal for a second. Useful, but I prefer the beep.
For anyone interested in screen who hasn't used it much, one of the most important things about screen is how to use screen commands. Ctrl-a by default is the prefix to most or all screen commands (I'm not sure if there are others). Ctrl-a ? will give you the help menu.