2011/05/24

libtermkey - read keypresses from terminals

I have just released version 0.8 of libtermkey. It contains a small set of bugfixes on the previous version (0.7), relating to handling the signal-raising keys (Ctrl-C, Ctrl-\, Ctrl-Z), gracefully handles EINTR from read(2) calls, and actually gets around to implementing the CSI u modified Unicode encoding scheme I documented a long time ago.

libtermkey is a library for reading keypress events (and in fact mouse events too) from a terminal, in a terminal-based application. I won't list all its points and features, but as a brief overview:
  • It presents events to the application in a structure, containing basic key information and a bitfield of modifiers in effect, rather than a single flat enumeration integer, as curses tries to do. In this way, it can easily represent the various modifier-combinations on cursor keys, like arrows or PageUp/PageDown, and can easily represent any Unicode character vs. any special key.

  • It supplies a pair of functions (termkey_strfkey and termkey_strpkey) for converting between these structural notations and plain-text human-readable strings, such as "Ctrl-PageUp". These assist with easy reporting of keypresses in applications, or for config file parsing.

  • Perl bindings exist, primarily in the form of Term::TermKey.

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