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Term::ReadKey 2.30 - Change terminal modes, and perform non-blocking reads. Copyright (C) 1994-1999 Kenneth Albanowski. 2001-2005 Jonathan Stowe and others Unlimited distribution and/or modification is allowed as long as this copyright notice remains intact. This module, ReadKey, provides ioctl control for terminals and Win32 consoles so the input modes can be changed (thus allowing reads of a single character at a time), and also provides non-blocking reads of stdin, as well as several other terminal related features, including retrieval/modification of the screen size, and retrieval/modification of the control characters. Installation requires MakeMaker 3.5 or higher (MakeMaker 3.7 is included with perl 5.001, so now is a good time to upgrade if you haven't already.) To install, unpack somewhere, type "perl Makefile.PL", and then "make test". If the compilation and the tests are successful, then change to root and run "make install". As of 2.17 the interactive test has been removed as the default for the convenience of automated installers, CPAN-Testers and so on. The non interactive tests whilst confirming that the module has built correctly and has a good chance of working correctly cannot determine whether the effect as observed on the screen is correct so you might want to run: perl -Mblib test.pl interactive before you run 'make install'. Also from 2.17 this module has to provide its own support for compilers that can't take function prototypes as with Perl 5.8.0 this last vestige of support for non-ANSI compilers will disappear. The requirement for an ANSI C compiler has been present since Perl 5.005 so it is likely that at some point in the future this module will follow that requirement too. If you have any difficulties with older Perl's please contact the maintainer. The module has support for Win32 since version 2.10. Version 2.17 has been tested with ActivePerl build 623 and Visual Studio 6 and found to work as expected, but do not be surprised if it fails with another compiler or distribution. There are some limitations, with the ReadLine call being unavailable, and ReadKey possibly generating bad results if you are reading from multiple consoles, and key repeat is used. For Win32 users without a C compiler there is a precompiled version of this module available as a package for ActivePerl, it is probably a few versions behind the latest release but has been reported to work well. VERY IMPORTANT: In 2.00, the ReadKey/ReadLine arguments changed. Now, if you want a call that is non-blocking and returns immediately if no character is waiting, please call it with -1, instead of 1. Positive arguments now indicate a timeout, so 1 would wait a second before timing out. As older versions will accept -1, it is reccomended to change all code that uses ReadMode. The terminal mode function is controlled by the "ReadMode" function, which takes a single numeric argument, and an optional filehandle. This argument should be one of the following: 0: (Reset) Restore original settings. 1: (Cooked) Change to what is commonly the default mode, echo on, buffered, signals enabled, Xon/Xoff possibly enabled, and 8-bit mode possibly disabled. 2: (Cooked-Invisible) Same as 1, just with echo off. Nice for reading passwords. 3: (CBreak) Echo off, unbuffered, signals enabled, Xon/Xoff possibly enabled, and 8-bit mode possibly enabled. 4: (Raw) Echo off, unbuffered, signals disabled, Xon/Xoff disabled, and 8-bit mode possibly disabled. 5: (Really-Raw) Echo off, unbuffered, signals disabled, Xon/Xoff disabled, 8-bit mode enabled if parity permits, and CR to CR/LF translation turned off. If you just need to read a key at a time, then modes 3 or 4 are probably sufficient. Mode 4 is a tad more flexible, but needs a bit more work to control. If you use ReadMode 3, then you should install a SIGINT or END handler to reset the terminal (via ReadMode 0) if the user aborts the program via ^C. (For any mode, an END handler consisting of "ReadMode 0" is actually a good idea.) Non-blocking support is provided via the ReadKey and ReadLine functions. If they are passed no argument, or an argument of zero, they will act like a normal getc(STDIN) or scalar(<STDIN>). If they are passed a negative argument, then they will immediatly return undef if no input is present. If passed a positive argument, then they will wait until that time in seconds has passed before returning undef. In most situations, you will probably want to use "ReadKey -1". Note that a non-blocking ReadLine probably won't do what you expect, although it is perfectly predictable, and that the ReadMode will have to be 1 or 0 for it to make sense at all. A routine is also provided to get the current terminal size, "GetTerminalSize". This will either return a four value array containing the width and height of the screen in characters and then in pixels, or nothing ( if the OS can't return that info). SetTerminalSize allows the stored settings to be modified. Note that this does _not_ change the physical size of the screen, it will only change the size reported by GetTerminalSize, and other programs that check the terminal size in the same manner. GetControlChars returns a hash containing all of the valid control characters, such as ("INTERRUPT" => "\x3", etc.). SetControlChars takes an array (or a hash) as a parameter that should consist of similar name/value pairs and will modify the control character settings. Note that it is entirely possible that there are portability problems with the routines in ReadKey.xs. If you find any problems, including compilation failures, or control characters not supported by Set/GetControlChars, _please_ tell me about them, by mailing the maintainer at firstname.lastname@example.org, or lastly contacting email@example.com. Any problems will get fixed if at all possible, but that's not going to happen if I don't know about them. Oh, you may also be interested in the Configure.pm module. It provides tools to make porting stuff easier -- calling the compiler, finding headers, etc. It contains documentation inside it, and you are welcome to use it in your own modules. If you make use of it, I'd be grateful for a message sent to the above address.