ruby based curses widgets: fields, buttons, textarea. menus, message boxes, tabbed panes, tables, listboxes ...
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= rbcurse

*   << CORRECTED !!!

* rbcurse on rubyforge:

* See latest changes on

* Many working demos in examples folder, such as:

  * test2.rb (exit with F1, Or Cancel button/Alt-C) contains various
    widgets. F2 for menubar toggling

  * rfe.rb is a ruby file explorer

  * testtodo.rb is a test TODO application

* Screenshots on
  and   (new)
  and on blog,   


A small but comprehensive widget library written in ruby for creating ncurses


* entry fields in ruby 
* scrollable list box (new, editable with Field, checkbox and combos)
* multi-line editable area
* togglebutton, radio and check buttons (with mnemonics)
* message box
* menubar - with submenu and CheckBoxMenuItem
* popup list
* tabbedpane (multiple forms using tabbed metaphor)
* combobox
* labels with mnemonics (hotkeys)
* multi-column table - with cell selection and editing

Above may be created using DSL like syntax, or hashes.

== Sample programs:

*  rfe : file explorer or Finder like app
*  testtodo.rb  : a todo app based on a yaml file
*  test2.rb  most widgets (including menus)
*  test1.rb  various kinds of messageboxes (input, list, custom)
*  testtabp.rb  tabbed pane
*  testcombo.rb  combos with various insert policies and vertical

TextArea not bug free. Some situations wrapping errors could exist. 

== Terminal related issues.

* Some terminals may not show underlines (e.g screen).

* Some terminals (xterm-color) do not process Function keys, avoid declaring F1 etc if
  unsure of client terminals. I have put in fixes for xterm-color F1 and

* To use ALT/META keys on a Mac OS X, in Terminal preferences, under
  Keyboard, select
  "use Option as Meta key". All hotkeys are automatically, ALT combinations.

* Some screens do not display window background color under spaces.
  This is okay under "screen" and "xterm-color" but not under "xterm". You will notice
  this in the message box samples.

I am developing and testing under "screen" under OS X Leopard.


See lib/rbcurse/rwidgets.rb.
For test programs, see test1, test2, testcombo etc in examples folder.

This depends only on "window" provided by ncurses. Does not use forms
and fields. Minor changes and improvements may have happened to sample
code below. See test programs for latest, working code.

=== create a window and a form based on window

      @layout = { :height => 0, :width => 0, :top => 0, :left => 0 } 
      @win =

      @form = @win

=== create a bunch of fields with dependent labels

      r = 1; c = 22;
      %w[ name age company].each do |w|
        field = @form do
          name   w 
          row  r 
          col  c 
          display_length  30
          set_buffer "abcd #{w}" 
          set_label @form, {'text' => w}
        r += 1

=== create a variable (like TkVariable) and tie a label to it.

      $results =
      $results.value = "A variable"
      var = @form, {'text_variable' => $results, "row" => r, "col" => 22}
        r += 1

=== create a list and a list box based on the list.

        mylist = []
        0.upto(100) { |v| mylist << "#{v} scrollable data" }

        field = @form do
          name   "mylist" 
          row  r 
          col  1 
          width 40
          height 10
          list mylist
        field.insert 5, "hello ruby", "so long python", "farewell java", "RIP .Net"

=== create a textarea for entry (this can be buggy at present)

        texta = @form do
          name   "mytext" 
          row  1 
          col  52 
          width 40
          height 20
        texta << "hello there" << "we are testing deletes in this application"
        texta << "HELLO there" << "WE ARE testing deletes in this application"

=== create a check box, updates a Variable

      checkbutton = @form do
        text_variable $results
        #value = true
        onvalue "selected cb"
        offvalue "UNselected cb"
        text "Please click me"
        row 17
        col 22

=== change field properties at any time by referring to them by name

      @form.by_name["age"].display_length = 3
      @form.by_name["age"].maxlen = 3
      @form.by_name["age"].set_buffer  "24"
      @form.by_name["name"].set_buffer  "Not focusable"
      @form.by_name["age"].chars_allowed = /\d/

      @form.by_name["password"].color 'red'
      @form.by_name["password"].bgcolor 'blue'

      # restrict entry to some values
      password.values(%w[ scotty tiger secret qwerty])

      # validation using ruby's regular expressions


=== bind events to forms, and fields

      @form.bind(:ENTER) { |f|   f.label.bgcolor = $promptcolor if f.instance_of? RubyCurses::Field}
      @form.bind(:LEAVE) { |f|  f.label.bgcolor = $datacolor  if f.instance_of? RubyCurses::Field}

=== create buttons

      ok_button = @form do
        text "OK"
        name "OK"
        row 18
        col 22
      ok_button.command { |form| $results.value = "OK PRESS:";form.printstr(@window, 23,45, "OK CALLED") }
        #text "Cancel"
      cancel_button = @form do
        text_variable $results
        row 18
        col 28
      cancel_button.command { |form| form.printstr(@window, 23,45, "Cancel CALLED"); throw(:close); }

=== create radio buttons

      colorlabel = @form, {'text' => "Select a color:", "row" => 20,
          "col" => 22, "color"=> "cyan"}
      $radio =
      radio1 = @form do
        text_variable $radio
        text "red"
        value "red"
        color "red"
        row 21
        col 22
      radio2 = @form do
        text_variable $radio
        text  "green"
        value  "green"
        color "green"
        row 22
        col 22

=== create a messagebox 

      @mb = do
        title "Enter your name"
        message "Enter your name"
        type :input
        default_value "rahul"
        default_button 0
        #title "Color selector"
        #type :custom
        #buttons %w[red green blue yellow]
        #underlines [0,0,0,0]
     $log.debug "MBOX : #{@mb.selected_index} "
     $log.debug "MBOX : #{@mb.input_value} "

=== create a read-only scrollable view of data
        @textview = @form do
          name   "myView" 
          row  16 
          col  52 
          width 40
          height 7
        content ="../../README.txt","r").readlines
        @textview.set_content content

        ## set it to point to row 21
        @textview.top_row 21

        # lets scroll the text view as we scroll the listbox

        listb.bind(:ENTER_ROW, @textview) { |arow, tview| tview.top_row arow }
        # lets scroll the text view to the line you enter in the numeric
        # field
        @form.by_name["line"].bind(:LEAVE, @textview) { |fld, tv| tv.top_row(fld.getvalue.to_i) }

        # lets scroll the text view to the first match of the regex you
        # enter
        @form.by_name["regex"].bind(:LEAVE, @textview) { |fld, tv| tv.top_row(tv.find_first_match(fld.getvalue)) }

        # change the value of colorlabel to the selected radiobutton
        # (red or green)

        $radio.update_command(colorlabel) {|tv, label|  label.color tv.value}

        # change the attribute of colorlabel to bold or normal

        $results.update_command(colorlabel,checkbutton) {|tv, label, cb| 
            attrs =  cb.value ? 'bold' : nil; label.attrs(attrs)}

      # during menu creation, create a checkboxmenuitem

      item = "CheckMe"

      # when selected, make colorlabel attribute reverse.

      item.command(colorlabel){|it, label| att = it.getvalue ? 'reverse' :
          nil; label.attrs(att); label.repaint}


* ruby 1.8.7    (not compatible with 1.9)

* ncurses-ruby

(following is provided with source)

* uses the window class created by "manveru" (michael) - this can be
  removed if not needed. (lib/ver/window)
  It is provided with this package, and has some alterations from the
  original. I have added a method getchar() which traps and returns

  So basically do not remove it unless you have very different


* currently, just unzip/untar in a folder. Please change the path in
  the top line of the test programs.

(Please advice me how i can improve installation procedure)


Copyright (c) 2008 rkumar

Same as ruby license.