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Curses::Simp - Curses Not Quite Simple


This documentation refers to version 1.4.A8UG1gG of Curses::Simp, which was released on Mon Aug 30 16:01:42:16 2010.


  use Curses::Simp;
  my @text; my $keey = '';
  my $simp = tie(@text, 'Curses::Simp');
  @text =('1337', 'nachoz', 'w/', 'cheese' x 7);
  while($keey ne 'x'){         # wait for 'x' to eXit
    $keey = $simp->GetKey(-1); # get a blocking keypress
    push(@text, $keey);


Curses::Simp provides a curt mechanism for updating a console screen with any Perl array (or multiple arrays to include color codes). Most key events can be obtained and tested directly. The goal was ease-of-use for the common cases first and efficient rendering second.

2DU ^

- mk proper scrollbars for all objects && use in Brws: view
- Brws: mk togl to pack files left && right in view
- mk ~/.simprc to save CPik && Brws cfg, OVERMAPP, etc.
- CPik: rewrite BildBlox to scale style to window dims if !flagshrk && mk sure no forg or bakg works for all styles... also add options for only name or number options or common grid size defaults
- CPik: add styles to pick fgcl,bgcl color code at once
- 4NT: work on recognizing more keys the same as Curses (&& then SDL)
- 4NT: write custom window support? mk Mesg at least wrap MSGBOX
- describe Simp objects sharing apps (ptok above pmix) mk OScr read Simp apps @_ param list && auto-handle --geom wxh+x+y
- Prmt: mk new 'cbls' type: as a ckbx list && use in BrwsCnfg
- Prmt: mk new 'rdls' type: as a radio list w/ auto (*) -
- Mesg: mk new 'slid' type: params for all overlay text, chars, ticks, flags, etc. && updt pmix to use... maybe register sub fields,dims...
- Prnt: add multi-line option where text can split on /\n/ but each new line prints relative to starting xcrs
- Prmt: add multi-line option where dtxt can split on /\n/ && ^d accepts entry instead of RETURN
- Prnt: handle ASCII chars under 32 with escapes like Draw
- Draw: optimize rendering
- Prnt&&Draw: handle ASCII chars under 32 better than current escapes
- mk 'ceol' && 'ceos' params to clear text[n] from cursor on
- consider breaking sub (CPik|Brws|.+?) into own Curses::Simp::$1.pm instead of letting Simp.pm remain so cluttered
        if detectable:
- handle xterm resize events
- handle mouse input (study any existent Curses apps that use mouse input you can find ... probably in C), read man for gpm(1), sysmouse(4), && sb(4) && study aumix mouse source
- Learn how to read a Shift-Tab key press if in any way distinguishable from Tab/Ctrl-I
- What else does Simp need?

WHY? ^

Curses::Simp was created because I could hardly find documentation or examples of Curses usage so I fiddled until I could wrap the most important behaviors in names and enhanced functions.


new() - Curses::Simp object constructor

new() opens a new Curses screen if one does not exist already and initializes useful default screen, color, and keys settings. The created Curses screen is automatically closed on program exit.

Available object methods are described in detail below. Each of the following four letter abbreviated or verbose method names can be used as initialization parameters to new():

   Key       or  VerboseName                 =>   Default Value
  -----         -------------                    ---------------
  'text'     or 'TextData'                   =>        [ ]
  'fclr'     or 'ForegroundColorData'        =>        [ ]
  'bclr'     or 'BackgroundColorData'        =>        [ ]
  'kque'     or 'KeyQueue'                   =>        [ ]
  'mque'     or 'KeyModQueue'                =>        [ ]
  'hite'     or 'WindowHeight'               =>         0
  'widt'     or 'WindowWidth'                =>         0
  'yoff'     or 'WindowYOffset'              =>         0
  'xoff'     or 'WindowXOffset'              =>         0
  'ycrs'     or 'CursorYOffset'              =>         0
  'xcrs'     or 'CursorXOffset'              =>         0
  'btyp'     or 'WindowBorderType'           =>         0
  'brfc'     or 'WindowBorderForegroundColor'=>        'w'
  'brbc'     or 'WindowBorderBackgroundColor'=>        'k'
  'titl'     or 'WindowTitle'                =>         ''
  'ttfc'     or 'WindowTitleForegroundColor' =>        'W'
  'ttbc'     or 'WindowTitleBackgroundColor' =>        'k'
  'dndx'     or 'DisplayStackIndex'          =>         0
  'flagaudr' or 'FlagAutoDraw'               =>         1
  'flagadtf' or 'FlagAutoDrawTiedForegroundData' =>     1
  'flagadtb' or 'FlagAutoDrawTiedBackgroundData' =>     1
  'flagmaxi' or 'FlagMaximize'               =>         1
  'flagshrk' or 'FlagShrinkToFit'            =>         1
  'flagcntr' or 'FlagCenter'                 =>         1
  'flagcvis' or 'FlagCursorVisible'          =>         0
  'flagscrl' or 'FlagScrollbar'              =>         0
  'flagsdlk' or 'FlagSDLKey'                 =>         0
  'flagfram' or 'FlagTimeFrame'              =>         0
  'flagmili' or 'FlagMillisecond'            =>         0
  'flagprin' or 'FlagPrintInto'              =>         1
  'flagclru' or 'FlagColorUsed'              =>         0

An example of setting and updating 'WindowHeight':

  use Curses::Simp;
  my $simp = Curses::Simp->new( 'WindowHeight' => 7 ); # set
     $simp->WindowHeight( 15 ); # update

See the individual sections in the "ACCESSOR AND FLAG METHODS" heading for more information on how to manipulate created Curses::Simp objects.

Most other Curses::Simp methods also accept hash key => value pairs as parameters which loads the object fields the same way new() does before performing their operation. This gives you the ability to update many Simp fields with a call to any particular accessor method. The method name just designates where the lone value will be assigned and which field will be returned.

Tied Array Interfaces

Curses::Simp now supports tied array interfaces as the new preferred object construction mechanism (instead of new()). This allows more natural manipulation of screen data (i.e., both text and colors) through all of the familiar operations that can be performed on standard Perl arrays. A basic example for just text can be found in the "SYNOPSIS" above.

Since it's not a straightforward process to tie multiple arrays to different components of the same object (which seemed desirable for printing colors), here is an example of how it can be done:

  use Curses::Simp;
  my $keey = ''; my @text; my @fclr; my @bclr;
  my $simp = tie(@text, 'Curses::Simp');
             tie(@fclr, 'Curses::Simp::FClr', $simp);
             tie(@bclr, 'Curses::Simp::BClr', $simp);
  @text = (   '1337', 'nachoz', 'w/', 'cheese' x 7); $simp->GetK(1);
  push(@fclr, 'GBRG'                              ); $simp->GetK(1);
  push(@fclr,         'YWOPCY'                    ); $simp->GetK(1);
  push(@fclr,                   'wK'              ); $simp->GetK(1);
  push(@fclr,                         'P'         ); $simp->GetK(1);
  push(@bclr, 'r'                                 ); $simp->GetK(1);
  push(@bclr,         'g'                         ); $simp->GetK(1);
  push(@bclr,                   'c'               ); $simp->GetK(1);
  push(@bclr,                         'b'         ); $simp->GetK(1);

Notice the three tie() lines near the top. The second and third must provide the third parameter of the object which they also want to tie to. If this is not provided, the program will exit.

The result of all this is an extremely simple way to immediately manipulate any of the text or colors displayed on the console screen.

CnvAnsCC or ConvertAnsiColorCode( $AnsiColorCode )

Returns the Simp form of the ANSI color code $AnsiColorCode.

$AnsiColorCode may contain any of the typical ANSI attribute or color codes:

                        Attribute        codes:
  00=none 01=bold 04=underscore 05=blink 07=reverse 08=concealed
                        Foreground color codes:
  30=black 31=red 32=green 33=yellow 34=blue 35=magenta 36=cyan 37=white
                        Background color codes:
  40=black 41=red 42=green 43=yellow 44=blue 45=magenta 46=cyan 47=white

ConvertAnsiColorCode() is primarily useful as an internal function to the Curses::Simp package but I have exposed it because it could be useful elsewhere.

ShokScrn or ShockScreen( [$FlagClear] )

ShockScreen() forces the screen and all created Simp objects to be refreshed in order.

The $FlagClear (default is false) can be provided to specify that the entire screen is to be cleared before everything refreshes. Clearing the entire screen usually isn't necessary and it slows drawing down.

KNum or KeyNumbers()

Returns a hash with key numbers => "names".

CLet or ColorLetters()

Returns a hash with color "letters" => numbers.

NumC or NumColors()

Returns the number of available colors (last index: NumC() - 1)

Hite or Height

Returns the current Simp object's window height (last index: Height() - 1)

Widt or Width

Returns the current Simp object's window width (last index: Width() - 1)

Prnt or PrintString( $String )

Prints $String at current cursor position. PrintString() can also accept a hash of parameters (e.g., PrintString('text' => $String)) where:

  'text' => [ "String to Print" ], # or can just be string without arrayref
  'fclr' => [ "ForegroundColorCodes corresponding to text" ],
  'bclr' => [ "BackgroundColorCodes corresponding to text" ],
  'ycrs' =>  3, # Number to move the cursor's y to before printing
  'xcrs' =>  7, # Number to move the cursor's x to before printing
  'yoff' => 15, # same as ycrs except original ycrs is restored afterwards
  'xoff' => 31, # same as xcrs except original xcrs is restored afterwards
  'prin' =>  1, # flag to specify whether printed text should update the
                #   main Text(), FClr(), and BClr() data or just print to the
                #   screen temporarily.  Default is true (i.e., Print Into all)

The hash keys can also be the corresponding VerboseNames described in the new() section instead of these 4-letter abbreviated key names.

PrintString() returns the number of characters printed.

Draw or DrawWindow()

Draws the current Simp object with the established TextData() and ColorData() functions.

DrawWindow() accepts a hash of parameters like new() which will update as many attributes of the Simp object as are specified by key => value pairs.

DrawWindow() returns the number of lines printed (which is normally the same as Height()).

Wait or WaitTime( $Time )

WaitTime() does nothing for $Time seconds.

$Time can be an integer or floating point number of seconds. (e.g., WaitTime(1.27) does nothing for just over one second).

WaitTime() (like GetKey()) can also use alternate waiting methods. The default $Time format is integer or floating seconds. It can also be a Time::Frame object or an integer of milliseconds. These modes can be set with the FlagTimeFrame(1) and FlagMillisecond(1) methods respectively.

GetK or GetKey( [$Timeout [,$FlagSDLKey]] )

Returns a keypress if one is made or -1 after waiting $Timeout seconds.

$Timeout can be an integer or floating point number of seconds. (e.g., GetKey(2.55) waits for two and one-half seconds before returning -1 if no key was pressed).

Default behavior is to not block (i.e., GetKey(0)). Use GetKey(-1) for a blocking keypress (i.e., to wait indefinitely).

GetKey() can use alternate waiting methods. The default is integer or floating seconds. It can also utilize Time::Frame objects or integer milliseconds if preferred. These modes can be set with the FlagTimeFrame(1) and FlagMillisecond(1) methods respectively.

Under normal mode (i.e., when $FlagSDLKey is absent or false), GetKey() returns a string describing the key pressed. This will either be a single character or the Curses name for the key if a special key was pressed. The list of special key names that can be returned from normal mode are described in the "CURSES KEY NOTES" section. This means that the return value should be easy to test directly like:

  use Curses::Simp;
  my $simp = Curses::Simp->new();
  my $key  = $simp->GetKey(-1); # get a blocking keypress
  if     (    $key  eq 'a'        ) { # do 'a' stuff
  } elsif(    $key  eq 'b'        ) { # do 'b' stuff
  } elsif(    $key  eq 'A'        ) { # do 'A' stuff
  } elsif(    $key  eq 'B'        ) { # do 'B' stuff
  } elsif(    $key  eq 'KEY_LEFT' ) { # do Left-Arrow-Key stuff
  } elsif(    $key  eq 'KEY_NPAGE') { # do PageDown       stuff
  } elsif(    $key  eq 'KEY_F1'   ) { # do F1 (Help)      stuff
  } elsif(ord($key) ==  9         ) { # do Tab    stuff
  } elsif(ord($key) == 13         ) { # do Return stuff
  } elsif(ord($key) == 27         ) { # do Escape stuff

$FlagSDLKey is a flag (default is false) which tells GetKey() to return a verbose key string name from the list of SDLKeys in the "SDLKEY NOTES" section instead of the normal Curses key value or name. In SDLKey mode, GetKey() also sets flags for Shift, Control, and Alt keys which are testable through KeyMode().

The $FlagSDLKey parameter sets SDLKey mode temporarily (i.e., only for a single execution of GetKey()). This mode can be turned on permanently via the FlagSDLKey(1) function.

If the $Timeout for GetKey() is reached and no keypress has occurred (in either normal mode or SDLKey mode), -1 is returned.

KMod or KeyMode( [$KeyName [,$NewValue]] )

Returns the key mode (state) of the key mode name $KeyName. $KeyName should be one of the KMOD_ names from the bottom of the "SDLKEY NOTES" section.

If no parameters are provided, the state of KMOD_NONE is returned.

If $NewValue is provided, the state of $KeyName is set to $NewValue.

GetS or GetString( [$YCursor, $XCursor[, $ResultLength]] )

GetString() returns the string found from the cursor (or the specified coordinates) on to the end-of-line or to $ResultLength if provided.

Move or MoveCursor( [$YCursor, $XCursor] )

MoveCursor() updates the current Simp object's cursor position to the newly specified $YCursor, $XCursor.

By default, the cursor is not visible but this can be changed through the FlagCursorVisible(1) function.

Returns ($YCursor, $XCursor) as the coordinates of the cursor.

Rsiz or ResizeWindow( $Height, $Width )

ResizeWindow() updates the current Simp object's window dimensions to the newly specified $Height, $Width.

Think of ResizeWindow() as an easy way to call both Height() and Width() at once.

Returns ($Height, $Width) as the dimensions of the window.

Mesg or MessageWindow( $Message )

MessageWindow() draws a Message Window in the center of the screen to display $Message. MessageWindow() can also accept a hash of parameters (e.g., MessageWindow('mesg' => $Message)) where:

  'mesg' => "Message to Print",
  'text' => [ "same as new \@text" ],
  'fclr' => [ "ForegroundColorCodes corresponding to mesg or text" ],
  'bclr' => [ "BackgroundColorCodes corresponding to mesg or text" ],
  'titl' => "MessageWindow Title string",
  'ttfc' => "ColorCodes corresponding to titl foreground color",
  'ttbc' => "ColorCodes corresponding to titl background color",
  'flagprsk' => 1, # a flag specifying whether to "Press A Key"
  'pres' => "Press A Key...", # string to append if flagprsk is true
  'prfc' => "ColorCodes corresponding to pres foreground color",
  'prbc' => "ColorCodes corresponding to pres background color",
  'wait' => 1.0, # floating number of seconds to wait
                 #   if flagprsk is true,  MessageWindow() waits this
                 #     long for a keypress before quitting
                 #   if flagprsk is false, MessageWindow() waits this
                 #     long regardless of whether keys are pressed

The hash keys can also be the corresponding VerboseNames described in the new() section instead of these 4-letter abbreviated key names.

Returns the value of the pressed key (if the "Press A Key" flag was true). This can be used to make simple one-character prompt windows. For example:

  use Curses::Simp;
  my $simp   = Curses::Simp->new();
  my $answer = $simp->MessageWindow('titl' => 'Is Simp useful?',
                                    'pres' => '(Yes/No)');
               $simp->MessageWindow('titl' => 'Answer:', $answer);

Prmt or PromptWindow( \$DefaultRef )

PromptWindow() draws a Prompt Window in the center of the screen to display and update the value of $DefaultRef. \$DefaultRef should be a reference to a variable containing a string you want edited or replaced. PromptWindow() can also accept a hash of parameters (e.g., PromptWindow('dref' => \$DefaultRef)) where:

  'dref' => \$dref, # Default Reference to variable to be read && edited
  'dtxt' => "Default Text string in place of dref",
  'dtfc' => "ColorCodes corresponding to dref/dtxt foreground color",
  'dtbc' => "ColorCodes corresponding to dref/dtxt background color",
  'hifc' => "ColorCodes for highlighted (unedited) dref/dtxt foreground color",
  'hibc' => "ColorCodes for highlighted (unedited) dref/dtxt background color",
  'text' => [ "same as new \@text" ],
  'fclr' => [ "ForegroundColorCodes corresponding to text" ],
  'bclr' => [ "BackgroundColorCodes corresponding to text" ],
  'hite' =>  3, # height of the prompt window (including borders)
  'widt' => 63, # width  of the prompt window (including borders)
  'titl' => "PromptWindow Title string",
  'ttfc' => "ColorCodes corresponding to titl foreground color",
  'ttbc' => "ColorCodes corresponding to titl background color",
  'flagcvis' => 1, # a flag specifying whether the cursor should be displayed

The hash keys can also be the corresponding VerboseNames described in the new() section instead of these 4-letter abbreviated key names.

CPik or ColorPickWindow()

ColorPickWindow() is a simple Color Picker window.

It accepts arrow keys to highlight a particular color and enter to select. The letter corresponding to the color or the number of the index can also be pressed instead.

Returns the letter (i.e., Color Code) of the picked color.

Brws or BrowseWindow()

BrowseWindow() is a simple file browser.

It contains typical file browse dialog components which can be tabbed between. The tilde (~) character opens and closes drop down boxes. Enter presses highlighted buttons or selects a highlighted file. F1 brings up the BrowseWindow() help text.

Returns the full filename chosen or -1 if dialog was canceled.

DESTROY or DelW or DeleteWindow()

DeleteWindow() deletes all the components of the created Simp object and calls ShockScreen() to cause the screen and all other created objects to be redrawn.


Simp accessor and flag object methods have related interfaces as they each access and update a single component field of Curses::Simp objects. Each one always returns the value of the field they access. Thus if you want to obtain a certain value from a Simp object, just call the accessor method with no parameters. If you provide parameters, the field will be updated and will return its new value.

All of these methods accept a default parameter of their own type or a hash of operations to perform on their field.

Some operations are only applicable to a subset of the methods as dictated by the field type. The available operations are:

   Key   =>   Value Type
    NormalName (if different) ... # Purpose
  -----      ------------
  'asin' =>  $scalar (number|string|arrayref)
   'assign' # asin is context-sensitive assignment to load the field
  'blnk' =>  $ignored         # blanks a string value
  'togl' =>  $ignored         # toggles    a flag value
  'true' =>  $ignored         # trues      a flag value
  'fals' =>  $ignored         # falsifies  a flag value
  'incr' =>  $numeric_amount
   'increase' # increments if no $num is provided or increases by $num
  'decr' =>  $numeric_amount
   'decrease' # decrements if no $num is provided or decreases by $num
  'nmrc' =>  $string
  # instead of an explicit 'nmrc' hash key, this means the
  #   key is an entirely numeric string like '1023'
  #   so the value gets assigned to that indexed element when
  #   the field is an array.  The key is assigned directly if
  #   the field is numeric or a string.
  # Array-Specific operations:
  'size' => $ignored                # return the array size
  'push' => $scalar (number|string) # push new value
  'popp' => $ignored                # pop last value
  'apnd' => $scalar (number|string) # append to last element
  'dupl' => $number                 # duplicate last line or
   'duplicate'                      #   $num line if provided
  'data' => $arrayref               # assigns the array if
                                    #   $arrayref provided &&
                                    #   returns ALL array data
  # Loop-Specific operations:
  'next' => $ignored          # assign to next     in loop
  'prev' => $ignored          # assign to previous in loop

Array Accessors

  Text or TextData            # update the text  array
  FClr or ForegroundColorData # update the color array for foregrounds
  BClr or BackgroundColorData # update the color array for backgrounds

Instead of using the above Array Accessors and Array-Specific operations, it is recommended that you employ the "Tied Array Interfaces" since they accomplish the goal of screen manipulation in a more Perl-friendly manner.

Text or TextData

FClr or ForegroundColorData

BClr or BackgroundColorData

Loop Accessors

  BTyp or WindowBorderType # loop through border types

BTyp or WindowBorderType

Normal Accessors

  Name or VerboseName                 # Description
  ----    -----------                 -------------
  Hite or WindowHeight                # window height
  Widt or WindowWidth                 # window width
  YOff or WindowYOffset               # window y-offset position
  XOff or WindowXOffset               # window x-offset position
  YCrs or CursorYOffset               # window y-cursor position
  XCrs or CursorXOffset               # window x-cursor position
  BrFC or WindowBorderForegroundColor # border fg color code string
  BrBC or WindowBorderBackgroundColor # border bg color code string
  Titl or WindowTitle                 # title string
  TtFC or WindowTitleForegroundColor  # title  fg color code string
  TtBC or WindowTitleBackgroundColor  # title  bg color code string
  DNdx or DisplayStackIndex           # global display index

Hite or WindowHeight

Widt or WindowWidth

YOff or WindowYOffset

XOff or WindowXOffset

YCrs or CursorYOffset

XCrs or CursorXOffset

BrFC or WindowBorderForegroundColor

BrBC or WindowBorderBackgroundColor

Titl or WindowTitle

TtFC or WindowTitleForegroundColor

TtBC or WindowTitleBackgroundColor

DNdx or DisplayStackIndex

Flag Accessors

  FlagName or VerboseFlagName Default # Description
  --------    --------------- ------- -------------
  FlagAuDr or FlagAutoDraw      1     # Automatic DrawWindow() call whenever
                                      #   TextData or Color*Data is updated
  FlagADTF or FlagAutoDrawTiedForegroundData 1 # Automatic DrawWindow() call
    #   for arrays tied to Curses::Simp::FClr objects when FlagAuDr is already set
  FlagADTB or FlagAutoDrawTiedBackgroundData 1 # Automatic DrawWindow() call
    #   for arrays tied to Curses::Simp::BClr objects when FlagAuDr is already set
  FlagMaxi or FlagMaximize      1     # Maximize window
  FlagShrk or FlagShrinkToFit   1     # Shrink window to fit TextData
  FlagCntr or FlagCenter        1     # Center window within entire screen
  FlagCVis or FlagCursorVisible 0     # Cursor Visible
  FlagScrl or FlagScrollbar     0     # use Scrollbars
  FlagSDLK or FlagSDLKey        0     # use advanced SDLKey mode in GetKey()
  FlagFram or FlagTimeFrame     0     # use Time::Frame objects  instead of
                                      #   float seconds for timing
  FlagMili or FlagMillisecond   0     # use integer milliseconds instead of
                                      #   float seconds for timing
  FlagPrin or FlagPrintInto     1     # PrintString() prints Into TextData
    # array.  If FlagPrintInto is false, then each call to PrintString()
    # only writes to the screen temporarily and will be wiped the next time
    # the window behind it is updated.
  FlagClrU or FlagColorUsed     0     # ColorUsed gets set automatically
    # when color codes are used and determines if internal dialogs have color

AuDr or FlagAuDr or FlagAutoDraw

ADTF or FlagADTF or FlagAutoDrawTiedForegroundData

ADTB or FlagADTB or FlagAutoDrawTiedBackgroundData

Down or FlagDown or FlagDropIsDown

Drop or FlagDrop or FlagDropDown

Insr or FlagInsr or FlagInsertMode

Maxi or FlagMaxi or FlagMaximize

Shrk or FlagShrk or FlagShrinkToFit

Cntr or FlagCntr or FlagCenter

CVis or FlagCVis or FlagCursorVisible

Scrl or FlagScrl or FlagScrollbar

SDLK or FlagSDLK or FlagSDLKey

Fram or FlagFram or FlagTimeFrame

Mili or FlagMili or FlagMillisecond

Prin or FlagPrin or FlagPrintInto

ClrU or FlagClrU or FlagColorUsed

Miscellaneous Accessors

  Name     or VerboseName             # Description
  --------    ----------------------- -------------
  AttrNamz or AttributeNames          # list of available Simp Attributes
  DfltValu or DefaultValues           # list of Default attribute Values
  KQue     or KeyQueue                # list of ordered unhandled Key events
  MQue     or KeyModQueue             # list of ordered unhandled modifiers
  Focu     or FocusWindow             # changes Focus   to current Window
  Updt     or UpdateWindow            # Updates display of current Window
  CScr     or CloseScreen             # closes all opened Curses screens
  # Note: CScr() is automatically called when any Simp program exits,
  #   so explicit calls are probably unnecessary && redundant.
  BordChar or PrintBorderCharacter    # utility to draw Border Characters
  InitPair or InitializeColorPair     # utility to Initialize Color Pairs
  MkMethdz or MakeMethods             # utility to Make many Methods
  TestDraw                            # Tests whether AutoDraw is pending
  BildBrws                            # utility to Build Browse dialogs
  BrwsCdUp                            # utility to `cd ..` Browse directories
  BrwsHelp                            # utility to print Browse Help

AttrNamz or AttributeNames

DfltValu or DefaultValues

KQue or KeyQueue

MQue or KeyModQueue

Focu or FocusWindow

Updt or UpdateWindow

CScr or CloseScreen

BordChar or PrintBorderCharacter

InitPair or InitializeColorPair

MkMethdz or MakeMethods





Accessor and Flag Method Usage Examples

  #!/usr/bin/perl -w
  use strict;
  use Curses::Simp;
  # create new object which gets auto-drawn with init params
  my $simp = Curses::Simp->new('text' => [ 'hmmm', 'haha', 'whoa', 'yeah' ],
                               'fclr' => [ 'kkkK', 'kKKw', 'KwrR', 'ROYW' ],
                               'btyp' => 1,
                               'maxi' => 0);
     $simp->GetK(-1);               # wait for a key press
     $simp->Text('push' => 'weee'); # add more to the Text
     $simp->FClr('push' => 'WwKk'); #              && FClr arrays
     $simp->Maxi('togl');           # toggle  the maximize flag
     $simp->GetK(-1);               # wait for a key press
     $simp->Text('2'    => 'cool'); # change index two elements of Text
     $simp->FClr('2'    => 'bBCW'); #                           && FClr
     $simp->Maxi('fals');           # falsify the maximize flag
     $simp->GetK(-1);               # wait for a key press
     $simp->Text('popp');           # pop the last elements off Text
     $simp->FClr('popp');           #                        && FClr
     $simp->BTyp('incr');           # increment the border type
     $simp->GetK(-1);               # wait for a key press
     $simp->Text('asin' => [ 'some', 'diff', 'rent', 'stuf' ]);
     $simp->FClr('asin' => [ 'GGYY', 'CCOO', 'BBRR', 'WWPP' ]);
     $simp->BTyp('incr');           # increment the border type
     $simp->GetK(-1);               # wait for a key press before quitting


When the GetKey() function is in the normal default mode of input, special keypress name strings will be returned when detected. A small set of the names below are found commonly (like the arrow keys, the function keys, HOME, END, PPAGE [PageUp], NPAGE [PageDown], IC [Insert], and BACKSPACE) but they are all described here since they are supported by Curses.pm and therefore could arise.

The list of returnable Curses Key names are:

      KEY_F1                   KEY_F2                   KEY_F3                 
      KEY_F4                   KEY_F5                   KEY_F6                 
      KEY_F7                   KEY_F8                   KEY_F9                 
      KEY_F10                  KEY_F11                  KEY_F12                
      KEY_F13                  KEY_F14                  KEY_F15                
      KEY_A1                   KEY_A3                   KEY_B2                 
      KEY_BACKSPACE            KEY_BEG                  KEY_BREAK              
      KEY_BTAB                 KEY_C1                   KEY_C3                 
      KEY_CANCEL               KEY_CATAB                KEY_CLEAR              
      KEY_CLOSE                KEY_COMMAND              KEY_COPY               
      KEY_CREATE               KEY_CTAB                 KEY_DC                 
      KEY_DL                   KEY_DOWN                 KEY_EIC                
      KEY_END                  KEY_ENTER                KEY_EOL                
      KEY_EOS                  KEY_EXIT                 KEY_F0                 
      KEY_FIND                 KEY_HELP                 KEY_HOME               
      KEY_IC                   KEY_IL                   KEY_LEFT               
      KEY_LL                   KEY_MARK                 KEY_MAX                
      KEY_MESSAGE              KEY_MIN                  KEY_MOVE               
      KEY_NEXT                 KEY_NPAGE                KEY_OPEN               
      KEY_OPTIONS              KEY_PPAGE                KEY_PREVIOUS           
      KEY_PRINT                KEY_REDO                 KEY_REFERENCE          
      KEY_REFRESH              KEY_REPLACE              KEY_RESET              
      KEY_RESTART              KEY_RESUME               KEY_RIGHT              
      KEY_SAVE                 KEY_SBEG                 KEY_SCANCEL            
      KEY_SCOMMAND             KEY_SCOPY                KEY_SCREATE            
      KEY_SDC                  KEY_SDL                  KEY_SELECT             
      KEY_SEND                 KEY_SEOL                 KEY_SEXIT              
      KEY_SF                   KEY_SFIND                KEY_SHELP              
      KEY_SHOME                KEY_SIC                  KEY_SLEFT              
      KEY_SMESSAGE             KEY_SMOVE                KEY_SNEXT              
      KEY_SOPTIONS             KEY_SPREVIOUS            KEY_SPRINT             
      KEY_SR                   KEY_SREDO                KEY_SREPLACE           
      KEY_SRESET               KEY_SRIGHT               KEY_SRSUME             
      KEY_SSAVE                KEY_SSUSPEND             KEY_STAB               
      KEY_SUNDO                KEY_SUSPEND              KEY_UNDO               
      KEY_UP                   KEY_MOUSE                                       


The GetKey() function has a special advanced mode of input. Instead of returning the plain keypress (e.g., 'a'), the $FlagSDLKey parameter can be set to true for temporary SDLKey mode or with FlagSDLKey(1) for permanence so that verbose strings of SDLKey names (e.g., 'SDLK_a') will be returned.

The list of returnable SDLKey names are:

   SDLKey           ASCII value    Common name
  ----------------  -----------   ------------
  'SDLK_BACKSPACE',      #'\b'    backspace
  'SDLK_TAB',            #'\t'    tab
  'SDLK_CLEAR',          #        clear
  'SDLK_RETURN',         #'\r'    return
  'SDLK_PAUSE',          #        pause
  'SDLK_ESCAPE',         #'^['    escape
  'SDLK_SPACE',          #' '     space
  'SDLK_EXCLAIM',        #'!'     exclaim
  'SDLK_QUOTEDBL',       #'"'     quotedbl
  'SDLK_HASH',           #'#'     hash
  'SDLK_DOLLAR',         #'$'     dollar
  'SDLK_AMPERSAND',      #'&'     ampersand
  'SDLK_QUOTE',          #'\''    quote
  'SDLK_LEFTPAREN',      #'('     left parenthesis
  'SDLK_RIGHTPAREN',     #')'     right parenthesis
  'SDLK_ASTERISK',       #'*'     asterisk
  'SDLK_PLUS',           #'+'     plus sign
  'SDLK_COMMA',          #','     comma
  'SDLK_MINUS',          #'-'     minus sign
  'SDLK_PERIOD',         #'.'     period
  'SDLK_SLASH',          #'/'     forward slash
  'SDLK_0',              #'0'     0
  'SDLK_1',              #'1'     1
  'SDLK_2',              #'2'     2
  'SDLK_3',              #'3'     3
  'SDLK_4',              #'4'     4
  'SDLK_5',              #'5'     5
  'SDLK_6',              #'6'     6
  'SDLK_7',              #'7'     7
  'SDLK_8',              #'8'     8
  'SDLK_9',              #'9'     9
  'SDLK_COLON',          #':'     colon
  'SDLK_SEMICOLON',      #';'     semicolon
  'SDLK_LESS',           #'<'     less-than sign
  'SDLK_EQUALS',         #'='     equals sign
  'SDLK_GREATER',        #'>'     greater-than sign
  'SDLK_QUESTION',       #'?'     question mark
  'SDLK_AT',             #'@'     at
  'SDLK_LEFTBRACKET',    #'['     left bracket
  'SDLK_BACKSLASH',      #'\'     backslash
  'SDLK_RIGHTBRACKET',   #']'     right bracket
  'SDLK_CARET',          #'^'     caret
  'SDLK_UNDERSCORE',     #'_'     underscore
  'SDLK_BACKQUOTE',      #'`'     grave
  'SDLK_TILDE',          #'~'     tilde
  'SDLK_a',              #'a'     a
  'SDLK_b',              #'b'     b
  'SDLK_c',              #'c'     c
  'SDLK_d',              #'d'     d
  'SDLK_e',              #'e'     e
  'SDLK_f',              #'f'     f
  'SDLK_g',              #'g'     g
  'SDLK_h',              #'h'     h
  'SDLK_i',              #'i'     i
  'SDLK_j',              #'j'     j
  'SDLK_k',              #'k'     k
  'SDLK_l',              #'l'     l
  'SDLK_m',              #'m'     m
  'SDLK_n',              #'n'     n
  'SDLK_o',              #'o'     o
  'SDLK_p',              #'p'     p
  'SDLK_q',              #'q'     q
  'SDLK_r',              #'r'     r
  'SDLK_s',              #'s'     s
  'SDLK_t',              #'t'     t
  'SDLK_u',              #'u'     u
  'SDLK_v',              #'v'     v
  'SDLK_w',              #'w'     w
  'SDLK_x',              #'x'     x
  'SDLK_y',              #'y'     y
  'SDLK_z',              #'z'     z
  'SDLK_DELETE',         #'^?'    delete
  'SDLK_UP',             #        up arrow
  'SDLK_DOWN',           #        down arrow
  'SDLK_RIGHT',          #        right arrow
  'SDLK_LEFT',           #        left arrow
  'SDLK_INSERT',         #        insert
  'SDLK_HOME',           #        home
  'SDLK_END',            #        end
  'SDLK_PAGEUP',         #        page up
  'SDLK_PAGEDOWN',       #        page down
  'SDLK_F1',             #        F1
  'SDLK_F2',             #        F2
  'SDLK_F3',             #        F3
  'SDLK_F4',             #        F4
  'SDLK_F5',             #        F5
  'SDLK_F6',             #        F6
  'SDLK_F7',             #        F7
  'SDLK_F8',             #        F8
  'SDLK_F9',             #        F9
  'SDLK_F10',            #        F10
  'SDLK_F11',            #        F11
  'SDLK_F12',            #        F12
  'SDLK_F13',            #        F13
  'SDLK_F14',            #        F14
  'SDLK_F15',            #        F15
  # SDLKeys below aren't detected correctly yet
  'SDLK_KP0',            #        keypad 0
  'SDLK_KP1',            #        keypad 1
  'SDLK_KP2',            #        keypad 2
  'SDLK_KP3',            #        keypad 3
  'SDLK_KP4',            #        keypad 4
  'SDLK_KP5',            #        keypad 5
  'SDLK_KP6',            #        keypad 6
  'SDLK_KP7',            #        keypad 7
  'SDLK_KP8',            #        keypad 8
  'SDLK_KP9',            #        keypad 9
  'SDLK_KP_PERIOD',      #'.'     keypad period
  'SDLK_KP_DIVIDE',      #'/'     keypad divide
  'SDLK_KP_MULTIPLY',    #'*'     keypad multiply
  'SDLK_KP_MINUS',       #'-'     keypad minus
  'SDLK_KP_PLUS',        #'+'     keypad plus
  'SDLK_KP_ENTER',       #'\r'    keypad enter
  'SDLK_KP_EQUALS',      #'='     keypad equals
  'SDLK_NUMLOCK',        #        numlock
  'SDLK_CAPSLOCK',       #        capslock
  'SDLK_SCROLLOCK',      #        scrollock
  'SDLK_RSHIFT',         #        right shift
  'SDLK_LSHIFT',         #        left shift
  'SDLK_RCTRL',          #        right ctrl
  'SDLK_LCTRL',          #        left ctrl
  'SDLK_RALT',           #        right alt
  'SDLK_LALT',           #        left alt
  'SDLK_RMETA',          #        right meta
  'SDLK_LMETA',          #        left meta
  'SDLK_LSUPER',         #        left windows key
  'SDLK_RSUPER',         #        right windows key
  'SDLK_MODE',           #        mode shift
  'SDLK_HELP',           #        help
  'SDLK_PRINT',          #        print-screen
  'SDLK_SYSREQ',         #        SysRq
  'SDLK_BREAK',          #        break
  'SDLK_MENU',           #        menu
  'SDLK_POWER',          #        power
  'SDLK_EURO',           #        euro

SDLKey mode also sets flags in KeyMode() where:

   SDL Modifier                    Meaning
  --------------                  ---------
  'KMOD_NONE',           #        No modifiers applicable
  'KMOD_CTRL',           #        A  Control key is down
  'KMOD_SHIFT',          #        A  Shift   key is down
  'KMOD_ALT',            #        An Alt     key is down


Colors can be encoded along with each text line to be printed. PrintString() and DrawWindow() each take hash parameters where the key should be one of:

  'fclr' or 'ForegroundColorData'
  'bclr' or 'BackgroundColorData'

and the value is a color code string as described below.

A normal color code is simply a single character (typically just the first letter of the color name and the case [upper or lower] designates high or low intensity [i.e., Bold on or off]). The default printing mode of color codes assumes black background colors for everything when no 'ColorBackgroundData' is supplied. Sometimes Bold misbehaves. I've hardcoded the correct value of A_BOLD from my implementation of Curses as the default value which will only be overridden if A_BOLD properly returns the curses number of the attribute. Occassionally it doesn't work and I can't figure out why.

Normal Color Code Reference

   (lower-case = dull)    k(blacK),  r(Red),    g(Green),  y(Yellow),
   (upper-case = bright)  b(Blue),   p(Purple), c(Cyan),   w(White),

Alternate Color Codes

   (lower-case = dull)    o([Orange] *Yellow),   m([Magenta] Purple),
   (upper-case = bright)  u([blUe]      Blue),   t([Teal]      Cyan),

*Case-Determines-Brightness Exception

There is one special exception to the Case-Determines-Brightness rule. Orange is actually Dark Yellow but it is often expected to be much brighter than any of the other dark colors. Therefore, Upper-Case 'O' breaks the "lower-case = dull, upper-case = bright" rule and is interpreted as Lower-Case 'y'. Every other color code is consistent with the rule.


Revision history for Perl extension Curses::Simp:

- 1.4.A8UG1gG Mon Aug 30 16:01:42:16 2010

* t/00podc.t should pass now that my POD is updated to cover all subs

* Brws: setup to read $ENV{'LS_COLORS'} into GLBL{OVERMAPP}

* fixed POD error that was failing on FreeBSD because items must follow overs

* tested ACS_ borders working again, restored as dfalt, added new ARROW bordset

* fixed Prmt handle Eterm BACKSPACE (ord(127)) like TTY (without ndng Ctrl-BS)

* fixed FlagCVis (MkMethodz CRSR flag was accidentally set as CURS)

* updated license to GPLv3 and bumped minor version for the CPAN

- 1.2.A7DDCh3 Tue Jul 13 13:12:43:03 2010

* made B == Blue && K == blacK like RGB vs. CMYK

* added ColorUsed '_flagclru' tracking and test for internal dialogs

* fixed up Mesg() for no press key option to force window to stay for wait && auto header color gen for my help && info pages

* added flags to auto-draw tied @_fclr (FlagADTF) && @_bclr (FlagADTB)

* added optional length param to GetS

* added basic 4NT support by generating C:/SimpDraw.bat

* added Tie::Array interfaces for @_text, @_fclr, && @_bclr

* removed repeats and color code expansion && added @_bclr

* updated License

* added GetS() since Dan asked how

- 1.0.4287FJQ Sun Feb 8 07:15:19:26 2004

* made Brws()

* added ckbx && butn types to Mesg() && drop type to Prmt() && wrote Focu() to focus new types

* added info && help types to Mesg() to auto title && color those screens

* added blox && squr styles to CPik && made style/blockchar increment keys (PgUp/Dn/Home/End)

- 1.0.41V0L3a Sat Jan 31 00:21:03:36 2004

* made flag accessors without ^Flag

* wrote support for VerboseName hash keys

* fixed ShokScrn overlap && DelW bugs

* made GetK return detected KEY_ names in normal mode && added CURSES KEY MODE section to POD && made both key modes return -1 if $tmot reached

* made ShokScrn not blank the screen so often

* made Text('1' => 'new line') use Prnt instead of Draw for efficiency

* updated POD to use VerboseNames instead of 4-letter names && erased most '&&'

* made verbose accessor names like VerboseName instead of verbose_name

- 1.0.41O4516 Sat Jan 24 04:05:01:06 2004

* made all but ptok && qbix non-executable for EXE_FILES

* updated POD && added Simp projects into bin/ && MANIFEST in preparation for release

- 1.0.41O3SQK Sat Jan 24 03:28:26:20 2004

* fixed weird char probs in Draw && removed weird char support from Prnt

* added PrintInto '_flagprin' ability

* made new Mesg, Prmt, && CPik utils

* added SDLK advanced input option to GetK

* setup window border char sets

- 1.0.4140asO Sun Jan 4 00:36:54:24 2004

* refined Draw() && InitPair() for objects instead of exported procedures

* CHANGES section && new objects created

- 1.0.37VG26k Thu Jul 31 16:02:06:46 2003

* original version


Please run:

    `perl -MCPAN -e "install Curses::Simp"`

or uncompress the package and run the standard:

    `perl Makefile.PL; make; make test; make install`


Curses::Simp requires:

Carp - to allow errors to croak() from calling sub
Curses - provides core screen and input handling
Tie::Array - to allow text arrays to be bound to objects
Math::BaseCnv - to handle number-base conversion

Curses::Simp uses (if available):

Time::PT - for pt color coding
Time::Frame - to provide another mechanism for timing


Most source code should be Free! Code I have lawful authority over is && shall be! Copyright: (c) 2002-2010, Pip Stuart. Copyleft : This software is licensed under the GNU General Public License (version 3). Please consult the Free Software Foundation (http://FSF.Org) for important information about your freedom.


Pip Stuart <Pip@CPAN.Org>

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