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AllBase wide screen display

Hornblower409
Occasional Advisor

AllBase wide screen display

Is there anyway to make an AllBase/ISQL SELECT display more columns on the terminal? BIG terminal emulator screen, short little AllBase display rows. I've tried all the stty combinations I could think of.

The AllBase doc at http://docs.hp.com/cgi-bin/fsearch/framedisplay?top=/hpux/onlinedocs/36217-90190/36217-90190_top.html&con=/hpux/onlinedocs/36217-90190/00/00/49-con.html&toc=/hpux/onlinedocs/36217-90190/00/00/49-toc.html&searchterms=size%7cscreen&queryid=20040130-072932 says: "The number of screen columns displayed is dependent on the screen size of your terminal" but it doesn't seem to work as advertised.

Older versions of ISQL had a command line param "-w nnnn" that set the terminal width, but it's been removed in the new versions.

- Alan G -
3 REPLIES
Scot Bean
Honored Contributor

Re: AllBase wide screen display

Have you tried the 'resize' command in your expanded terminal window?
Bill Hassell
Honored Contributor

Re: AllBase wide screen display

In the good old days (tm), a screen was emulating a Teletype or a punch card (80 columns) and 24 lines became a defacto standard based on available/economical memory and display generators. With GUI-crazy interfaces, the concept of a "character space" (such as 80x24) is becoming a dim memory yet there still great tools to handle all of this. stty is a driver tool and drivers know nothing about physical displays.

Almost no one uses a 'real' tty device anymore, and so-called dumb terminals are also becoming fairly rare, even though they provide the fastest interface to the Unix opsystems. Instead, 'emulators' are used, also known as cheap imitations of the real thing. And they introduce some interesting compatibility issues, especially in character space. Take for instance the Xwindow emulators hpterm, xterm and dtterm. These have default character space dimensions but simply making the window bigger will increase the character space.

Many years ago, a signalling system was developed for Xwindows and today, a sigwinch (Window Change) signal will cause environment variables LINES and COLUMNS to be updated and the screen redrawn according to the new character dimensions. As you might guess, screen editors such as vi are very concerned about the character space since they move around based on the current LINES and COLUMNS settings. The Curses library is also very dependent on these values.

Now it gets complicated. Bring on the PC and the get-what-you-pay-for Hyperterminal and other free or cheap emulators. Many do not honor sigwinch simply because they do not have the code in the program. So when you resize a terminal window (and in the terminal emulator, the character space changes), you must be careful to see that LINES and COLUMNS is updated. Some emulators such as the WRQ terminal emulators (not Reflection/X) when resized, will scale the fonts so the character space is the same. But the WRQ product (as well as other emulators) can also specify new character space dimensions (such as 132x48). Some, including the WRQ products, do indeed send a sigwinch signal and once the window is changed, LINES and COLUMNS will be updated.

Finally we get to the program itself. If (big if) the program uses Curses or at least pays attention to LINES and COLUMNS, then resizing the window (and getting LINES and COLUMNS to match) should allow the program to use the extra space. It all depends on how compatible the program is with changeable terminals. Unfortunately, some programmers know very little about terminals and hardcode escape sequences that "work for me" but not for the 100+ other models of terminals and/emulators.

So try resizing your window so the character space is larger, then make sure LINES and COLUMNS match (exactly) and then start ISQL. If it doesn't change then indeed it doesn't work as advertised and you need to get your money back. ;-)


Bill Hassell, sysadmin
Hornblower409
Occasional Advisor

Re: AllBase wide screen display

Gentelmen,

Thank you both. I checked and my LINES and COLUMNS are set to the large size. I'm afraid that we must conclude that HP AllBase ISQL just doesn't care. It's locked into an 80x24 format.

- Alan G -