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When alt keys don't work on Unix...

[Hi - I hope just sending mail to the list address will work...  For the
moment I'm happier reading archives than receiving mail.]

First some keywords for future wanderers: zigzag, nelson, xanadu, unix,
solaris, xterm, kterm, alt, meta, istrip, obscure


Hi there

After a minor personal odyssey in setting up Zigzag on a local Solaris
system (navigating unfamiliar waters to install Perl 5.005, Berkeley DB,
DB_File, Curses), it sort-of looked like things were working.  The only
fly in the ointment was not being able to use any of the Alt functions. 
Pressing alt-k had the same effect as pressing k.

To cut a three-mugs-of-coffee story short, I eventually tracked the
problem down to the settings on my terminal emulator windows.  Evidently
there is an stty setting called "istrip" that determines whether or not
the terminal will strip off the 8th bit of input characters to make sure
they fall within the ASCII range.  Since zigzag expects alt-shifted
keystrokes to be represented as the corresponding ASCII characters with
this bit added (e.g., alt-k is 0x4B + 0x80), the setting is important -
and on my system it was always doing the stripping.  After simply

   stty -istrip

at the command prompt, the alt-key functions started working.

I'm not sure if this is really the end of the story, but as a cathartic
discovery experience it was fairly intense.

So there you have it - another completed installation of Zigzag.  I now
look forward to trying to figure out what on earth it is.

(yoroshiku onegaishimasu, as we say around here)

Bye for now

Aran Lunzer                 aran@xxxxxxxxxxx
Meme Media Laboratory       +81 11 706 7262 / fax 7808
Hokkaido University
Sapporo 060-8628, JAPAN     http://ca.meme.hokudai.ac.jp/people/aran/