[OpenBIOS] RFC: Rework of OpenBIOS terminal/console

Blue Swirl blauwirbel at gmail.com
Sat Mar 9 13:57:23 CET 2013

On Sat, Mar 9, 2013 at 12:19 PM, Mark Cave-Ayland
<mark.cave-ayland at ilande.co.uk> wrote:
> Hi all,
> Whilst looking at the possibility of supporting additional graphics cards in
> OpenBIOS, I noticed that there are actually two terminal consoles built in:
> a standards-compliant Forth one in forth/device/terminal.fs and a C-based
> one in libopenbios/console_common.c (which is the default).
> Some experimentation with the Forth console shows that with some minor fixes
> it can be made to work, and in fact produces better console output in many
> cases because the fb8-* and terminal words are implemented correctly.
> With this in mind, I'd like to propose switching over to the Forth console
> and removing the C console entirely. Would anyone have any major objections
> to doing this?

I did some work on the control sequence handling in 2007 and 2009
based on what Debian 3.1 and NetBSD 4.0 expect of the OpenBIOS
console. Later versions of Debian and other distros use fbdev console
which is independent of this.

Based on a quick comparison, both Forth and C versions implement a lot
of control characters.

Only in Forth version (or real implementation instead of dummy):
BEL, VT, Esc-E, Esc-L, Esc-m, Esc-P, Esc-p, Esc-q, Esc-s

Esc-K seems to be simpler in Forth than C version, which has three
separate modes. Similarly Esc-J handling does not seem to match.

Only in C console:

But I have no objection, I can retest Debian 3.1 and NetBSD 4.0
afterwards and try to fix or reimplement if something is missing since
the differences seem to be minor.

> ATB,
> Mark.
> --
> OpenBIOS                 http://openbios.org/
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> Free your System - May the Forth be with you

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