Re: [As-users] Feature Request: Dynamic Line Wrap in Aterm

Sasha Vasko (
Tue, 18 May 2004 15:06:06 -0500

Doug Alcorn wrote:

> I recently had a chance to work with someone who has an Apple
> Powerbook running OS X.  Two things really impressed me.  First, the
> display postscript (or Aqua, or whatever the graphics display engine
> is called) with real alpha layers is simply awesome.  Using scalable
> vector graphics for display is clearly the way to go.  I with the guys
> at the best of luck.

It will take freedesktop X server to become useably stable and 
sufficiently widespread. I personally seriously doubt that true window 
transparency is usefull - it makes  content of the window very hard to 
read. I've experimeted somewhat with implementing this in AS menus, but 
it is so difficult to configure to look properly, that I dropped it.
The only useable approach here is to have striped background in the 
window, where underlying windows are seeing only in small bands, which 
is what OS X seems to be doing. But its not applicable to wide range of 
Another consideration here that approach that Keith Packard uses to 
implement it in X will require very top-of-the line hardware, and is 
extremely resource hungry.

> The other thing that made my jaw drop was something I don't think has
> gotten any big press from anywhere.  My buddy was working in a
> terminal and ran some command that had very wide output (imagine
> something like 'ls -l /very/very/long/path/to/a/long/filename*').
> With every term I know of, when I do that I have to resize the
> terminal and then re-run the command to see it formatted nicely.  On
> the Mac, resizing the terminal causes all the lines to redisplay
> themselves.  This is pretty much how it works when you pipe some
> command to 'less'.  As you resize the term while 'less' is running it
> redisplays so that the lines are displayed cleanly.

I'm rewriting aterm at the moment and something like that will be 
possible with it. Actually it is already possible, if you manage to 
compile it :).

> It seems like an obvious usability gain.  Again, I don't know how
> hard this is to implement.  But it's slick as snot.

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