curses is a UNIX library of functions for controlling a terminal's display screen from a C program. It can be used to provide a screen driver for a program (such as a visual editor) or to improve a program's user interface.
This handbook will help you make use of the curses library in your C programs. We have presented ample material on curses and its implementation in UNIX so that you understand the whole, as well as its parts.
Note: This handbook covers Ken Arnold's original Berkeley implementation of curses, not the System V version.
John Strang now finds himself "a consumer--rather than a producer of Nutshells." He is currently a diagnostic radiologist (MD) at Stanford University. He is married to a pediatrician, Susie, and they have two children, Katie and Alex. John enjoys hiking, bicycling, and dabbling in other sciences. He plans to use his experience as an author at ORA to write his own book on radiology.
Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. The animal featured on the cover of Programming with curses is a babirusa or Celebes pig deer. This wild pig inhabits the jungles and woodlands of Celebes and neighboring islands in the Malay Archipelago. 27 inches in height, the babirusa has wrinkled grey skin which falls in folds over its head, shoulders and neck. It has practically no hair, and its legs are unusually long for a pig.
The babirusa is easily identified by its tusks; upper canines which grow throughout its lifetime, frequently reaching lengths of 17 inches. These tusks curl upward and backward, sometimes reaching the forehead. Though distinctive, these tusks appear to have no use. Indeed, they may be a hindrance, for, though the babirusa feeds on shellfish, herbs and grasses, it does not root about in the soil for food like most pigs. UNIX and its attendant programs can be unruly beasts. Nutshell Handbooks(R) help you tame them.
Edie Freedman designed this cover and the entire bestiary that appears on other Nutshell Handbooks. The images ares are adapted from 19th-century engravings from the Dover Pictorial Archive.
The text of this book is set in Times Roman; headings are Helvetica; examples are Courier. Text was prepared using SortQuadUs sqtroff text formatter. Figures are produced with a Macintosh. Printing is done on an Apple LaserWriter.
Comments about O'Reilly Media Programming with curses:
Not only is this book an amazingly slender volume, containing 25 fewer pages than the XML Pocket Reference, but it's two decades out of date, covering the original Berkeley curses, meaning no info on color or mouse support or any of the other interesting and useful functionalities provided by ncurses, which has been the de facto curses standard since about 1993 and already existed as pcurses at the time of this book's writing. There is also, of course, no help to be found for people wanting to use curses via the Perl interface, since Perl didn't exist (in a released form) yet. In short: you're better off staring at the man pages until osmosis kicks in.