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Terminal Output

TERM Command

The TERM command allows a user to query or establish certain characteristics of the terminal. When used from the shell as an interactive command:


the command displays the terminal characteristics. The terminal “type” can also be set from the command line, for example,


sets the terminal to have the characteristics of a DEC VT220.

The characteristics of the terminal are usually set from a program, however, where the command format is

TERM swidth,sdepth,,,,,pwidth,pdepth,termtype 


  • swidth and sdepth are the screen width (in characters) and depth (in lines)

  • pwidth and pdepth are the printer width and depth (also in characters and lines, respectively)

  • termtype is the terminal type identifier and can appear anywhere in the command as a non-numeric argument


Arguments 3, 4, 6, and 10 of the command are no longer used; if present, they will be ignored.

The TERM command also supports single character terminal names which are synonyms for other terminal names. For example,


selects the Wyse 60 terminal. To list the supported terminals and their single character synonym (if any), use the CHOOSE.TERM command.


The CHOOSE.TERM command allows you to see what terminals are supported on your system and then allows you to select a terminal type by entering a number, the name, or the short name. For example,


Terminal Description                   Term Name            Short Name

--------------------                   ---------            ----------

1)   ansi/pc-term compatible with co   ANSI

2)   AT&T 605 80 column 102key keybo   ATT605               Z

3)   cache terminal based on vt220     CACHE

4)   Hazeltine Esprit I,               ESPRIT               E


31)  xterm terminal emulator (X Wind   XTERM

Choose number, term name or short name :

The Short Name field is where the terminal definition has a “termtype=Xentry” and so allows the terminal to be selected via the TERM command using a single character synonym.

The SYSTEM() Function

The MVBasic SYSTEM () function is used to return a limited set of information about the terminal in use. The format is


where code is an integer that specifies the information desired. The following code values are used for terminal information:

  • 1: return a non-zero value if output is not directed to a terminal

  • 2: returns the screen width

  • 3: returns the screen depth

  • 7: returns the type name of this terminal

The @() Function

MultiValue Basic provides terminal output independence using the @ function call, as follows:

  • @(m,n) where m is a positive integer

    Moves the cursor to column m and row n, where @(0,0) is the top left hand side of a terminal.

  • @(m) where m is a positive integer

    Moves the cursor to column m on the current row.

  • @(m) where m is negative integer

    Generates video effect character strings. The value of m and the effect intended are emulation dependent and given by the table below.

  • @(m,n) where m is a negative integer

    The same as @(m), except some video effects take an optional argument n, as shown by (nn) in the table below.

Predefined Names

The table below shows all the values we use from a terminfo definition. Caché does not use them all; it only use the ones necessary to support MultiValue Basic. In this table, there are some Caché defined names. These are shown by the name starting with an 'x' and the word "NEW" in the description field.

In the table below, the @(-nn) values vary between emulation. The values shown are for Cache Ideal (aka UniVerse) emulation, unless otherwise noted. The expression 'video attributes' refer to effects such as bold, dim, reverse and so on.

Name Description Usage
bel Bell sounds @(-108) or @(-19) in Unidata emulation
blink Start blinking video attribute @(-5)
bold Start bold video attribute @(-58)
civis Make cursor invisible @(-31)
clear Clear screen and move cursor home @(-1)
cnorm Turn cursor back on @(-32)
cub Move the cursor left a number of columns @(-9,nn). @(-9) when cub1 not available
cub1 Move the cursor left a single column @(-9). @(-9,nn) when cub not available
cud Move the cursor down a number of rows @(-33,nn). @(-33) when cud1 not available
cud1 Move the cursor down a single row @(-33). @(-33,nn) when cud not available
cuf Move the cursor right a number of columns @(-nn) and @(-34,nn). @(-34) when cuf1 not available
cuf1 Move the cursor right a single column @(-34). @(n) and @(-34,nn) when cuf not available.
cup Position the cursor at a specific column and row @(col,row) cursor function call
cuu Move the cursor up a number of rows @(-10,nn). @(-10) when cuu1 not available
cuu1 Move the cursor up a single row @(-10). @(-10,nn) when cuu not available
dch Delete a number of characters @(-22,nn). @(-22) when dch1 not available
dch1 Delete one character @(-22) . @(-22,nn) when dch not available
dim Start dimmed mode attribute @(-11)
dl Delete a number of lines @(-18,nn). @(-18) when dl1 not available
dl1 Delete one line @(-18) . @(-18,nn) when dl not available
ech Erase a number of characters @(-71,nn)
ed Clear screen from cursor to end of screen @(-3)
el Clear screen from cursor to end of line @(-4)
home Move cursor to home position @(-2)
ich Insert a number of characters @(-19,nn). @(-19) when ich1 not available
ich1 Insert one character @(-19) . @(-19,nn) when ich not available
il Insert a number of lines @(-17,nn). @(-17) when il1 not available
il1 Insert one line @(-17) . @(-17,nn) when il not available
ind Scroll up a single lines @(-48). @(-48,nn) when indn not available
indn Scroll up a number of lines @(-48,nn). @(-48) when ind not available
mc0 Dump contents of screen to printer @(-28)
mc4 Reset auxiliary printing @(-24). @(-26) if xmc4i not available
mc5 Start auxiliary printing to screen and printer @(-23). @(-25) if xmc5i not available
prot Start protected field attribute @(-7)
rev Start reverse video attribute @(-13)
ri Scroll up a single line @(-49). @(-49,nn) when rin not available
rin Scroll up a number of lines @(-49,nn). @(-49) when ri not available
rmir Reset insert mode @(-21)
rmso Exit standout attribute @(-59)
rmul Reset underscore attribute @(-16)
setab Set a background color @(-38) and @(-38,nn)
setaf Set a foreground color @(-37) and @(-37,nn)
sgr Reset specific video attributes Bit mapped video attribute calls. sgr0 = Reset all video attributes @(-128) function call. When other reset attributes not found
smir Start insert mode @(-20)
smul Start underscore attribute @(-15)
xblink NEW Reset blinking video attribute @(-6)
xbold NEW Reset bold video attribute @(-59) if rmso is not available
xdim NEW Reset dimmed mode attribute @(-12)
xdisableprotect Disable protected field handling @(-63) or @(-12) in D3 mode
xdmi NEW Disable manual input @(-42)
xemi NEW Enable manual input @(-43)
xenableprotect Enable protected field handling @(-62) or @(-11) in D3 mode
xenter132 NEW Enter 132 column mode @(-30)
xenter80 NEW Enter 80 column mode @(-29)
xhpa NEW Position the cursor at a specific column (This is used in preference to the hpa value which not all terminals work successfully with) @(col) cursor function calls
xhpa1 NEW Set column position @(-70). @(-70,nn) if hpa not available
xmc4i NEW Reset auxiliary printing to printer only @(-26)
xmc5i NEW Start auxiliary printing to printer only @(-25)
xprot NEW Reset protected field attribute @(-8)
xrev NEW Reset reverse video attribute @(-14)
xrnumeric NEW Reset numeric keypad @(-57)
xrtrunc NEW Reset line truncate @(-55)
xscl NEW Scroll left a single column @(-51). @(-51,nn) when xscl1 not available
xscl1 NEW Scroll left a number of columns @(-51,nn). @(-51) when xscl not available
xscr NEW Scroll right a single column @(-50). @(-50,nn) when xscr1 not available
xscr1 NEW Scroll right a number of columns @(-50,nn). @(-50) when xscr not available
xsetafdim NEW Set foreground color dimmed @(-109 through @(-116) or @(-57) to @(-64) in D3 emulation
xsmul NEW Reset underscore attribute @(-16) if rmul is not available
xsnumeric NEW Set numeric keypad @(-56)
xstrunc NEW Set line truncate @(-54)

jBASE- And Reality-specific Codes

Values -128 through -191 are for Reality video effects and are a bit map of video effects as shown in the list below. Caché supports these values for ALL emulations as there is no conflict. These values are additive. The only values Caché supports are:

  • 0x01 – Half intensity

  • 0x02 – Blink

  • 0x04 – Reverse

  • 0x08 – Blanked

  • 0x10 – Underscore

  • 0x20 – Bold

  • 0x40 – (not defined)

  • 0x80 – Always 1


Value @(-128), which turns off ALL video effects, is available for all emulations.

MVBASE-Specific Codes

The color sequences @(-57) through @(-64) are used in the MVBASE emulation to produce dimmed foreground colors. The dimmed colors are white, yellow, magenta, red, cyan, green, blue, and black, respectively.

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