v2r1term

v2r1term
ASCII Terminal Emulation
RS/6000 Advanced Technical Support
RS/6000 America's Marketing
August 1999
01/31/00 v2r1term.PRZ
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1
Objectives/Contents
What's new in ASCII terminal emulation at V2R1?
Overview of emulation modes in NSTERM.
Network Station Manager options.
Command line options.
Using the keyboard mapping utility.
Font selection and limitations.
Color capabilities
UNIX termcap and terminfo
Alternative ASCII terminal emulation solutions.
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Network Computer Division 2
Notes
This topic of this presentation is the new ASCII terminal emulation client
called nsterm available with the Network Station Manager Version 2 Release
1 (V2R1) code.
The objective of this presentation is to provide information about the
capabilities and features of the nsterm VT terminal emulator.
A secondary objective is to provided information for the system administrator
in setting up the nsterm for users and customizing it to meet application
requirements.
Topics that will be covered include
features of the emulator
Emulator options and how they can be set
Keyboard and font customization
Information on using color with the nsterm emulator
Keys to using nsterm with UNIX
and Alternative solutions to providing ASCII terminal emulation.
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ASCII terminal emulator overview
Provides a emulator that runs native on the IBM Network Station.
Allows telnet to any TCP/IP port on a UNIX or other server.
Displays ASCII text and allows ASCII text input.
Based on the UNIX standard dtterm from CDE.
Allows selection of terminal emulation type
Provides application support for function keys and keypad keys.
Background, foreground and cursor colors are selectable
Uses standard X fonts with default set selectable from menu.
Supports standard window sizes.
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Notes
The nsterm emulator provides access to UNIX and other ASCII based hosts through a
telnet connection. The emulator runs native on the Network Station providing a direct
connection between the Network Station and the application host as opposed to using
aixterm or dtterm which move all traffic back through the X client system.
NSTERM is based on the standard CDE dtterm emulator with added features to support
DEC VT terminal function key capabilities and supports standard DEC functions such as
software switching between 80 column and 132 column windows and support for DEC
"application keypad mode".
The colors of the emulator window and text can be selected through NSM, command line
flags, or under software control as described later in this talk.
Because nsterm is a motif X application, it uses standard X fonts. This means that
additional fonts beyond the ones shipped with the Network Station code can be used to
solve special problems.
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What's new in the V2R1 nsterm?
New code based on UNIX dtterm emulator.
Keyboard mapping through GUI utility.
Default function key definitions fit standard.
Screen print supported by print utility.
PC clipboard style cut, copy, and paste
Euro Monetary support
IBM control of source code
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Notes
What's new in the V2R1 NSTERM?
This emulator is a total rewrite from the one shipped in earlier releases of IBM Network
Station code and is based on the standard dtterm emulator in use for years in the UNIX
environments with enhancements to support the features available in the earlier Network
Station ASCII terminal emulator.
Probably the most significant enhancement to the code is to use the graphical keyboard
mapping tool that has been available with the 3270 and 5250 emulators in earlier Network
Station code. In addition, the function key definitions are linked to emulation types. This is
a switch from the Version 1 emulator where keyboard mapping remains xterm mapping
and must be manually customized for other VT emulation modes.
Printing is also significantly improved in this version with support for both PCL and
PostScript output using the standard IBM Network Station printing utility.
The copy, cut, and paste functions work in both the standard X method as well as in the
PC clipboard style with menu pulldowns to move the text to and from the clipboard.
National Language support has been added including support for the Euro symbol.
Because this code is completely controlled by IBM development, the opportunity for future
enhancements is also increased over earlier code.
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VT Emulator Menu Options
Paste
Copy
Cut
New VT Emulator
Exit
Soft Reset
Hard Reset
Send Break
Start Trace Log
Stop Trace Log
Fonts
Miscellaneous Preferences
Keyboard Remapping
Print Screen
Print Scroll Buffer
14x27
11x21
10x19
9x15
7x11
Default
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Notes
The VT emulator dropdown menu's are shown on this slide. The ability to display or
remove these from the window are controlled through Network Station Manager by the
administrator
The Command menu can be used to start a new window or to exit the emulator.
The Edit menu allows users to copy text to and from the clipboard.
The Option menu allows you to select fonts, make miscellaneous preferences such as
changing the scrollbar or cursor, and choose the Keyboard Remapping utility when it has
been enabled.
The Control Menu allows you to send break and control characters to the emulation
session as well as to start and stop tracing emulator data to a file.
The print menu lets you select to print the screen as shown or everything in the scroll
buffer to the system print utility. This lets you print to either a local or remote printer.
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Network Station Manager session options
Session startup options (Launch bar)
Hostname of server
Emulation type
Window size and location (80x24)
Other Parameters
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Notes
Network Station Manager allows setting options for individual sessions.
Icons can be setup in the Network Station desktop folder to start nsterm windows to
selected hosts.
When adding a new emulator session to the desktop, NSM allows you to enter the
Icon label which is also the session title by default
The remote host to be connected to when nsterm starts
Other parameters which are used as command line flags to nsterm. Examples are setting
colors, scroll bars, and nonstandard fonts and keyboard mapping files.
The emulator type can also be selected from xterm and ANSI as well as vt100, vt102,
vt200, vt220, vt300, and vt320. When the emulator type is selected here, the function keys
automatically will be mapped to match the emulation
The size and location of the window can also be set, including an option for a full screen
emulator.
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Network Station Manager global options
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Notes
Network Station Manager also allows setup of parameters that are global to all NSTERM
sessions.
Under the Network Station Manager Applications tasks, the VT Emulator options used by
all VT sessions can be setup.
Functions that can be mapped globally through NSM are:
The ability for a user to use the keyboard map facility and be assigned a nonstandard
keyboard map file
The ability to turn off the VT emulator window menu's such as the command menu, the edit
menu, the option menu, the print menu and the help menu.
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Notes
Other menu options that can be disabled are the control menu, miscellaneous preferences
and the ability to select fonts through the fonts menu.
For users to display characters such as the Euro, French Franc, and British Sterling
characters, the 8-bit character mode for both keyboard input and screen output can be
turned on.
A vertical scroll bar can be turned on or off.
Users can be given the option to save debug logs during their VT emulation sessions for
special debugging.
The additional parameters section allows the administrator to put in X resource
parameters for the Network Station VT emulator such as colors other parameters specified
in the help section of NSM.
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Notes
When making changes in NSM, there is extensive help as shown on this slide.
This provides information on parameters that can be supplied in other parameters for both a session and
global nsterm settings.
In addition to this help, help is also provided in the VT terminal emulator window for using the pulldown
menus.
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Common command line flags
-bg color
Set the background window color
-fg color
Set the foreground window color
-cr color
Set the text cursor color
-ms color
Set the mouse pointer color
-rv
Set reverse video
-euro
Use the Euro character
-fn font
Use a different font
-geometry value
-numLock
Set size and location of window
Sets NumLock row of colors
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Notes
This slide shows some of the command line flags that can be used to customize individual
sessions.
As can be seen, each window can have it's own color and fonts in addition to the
information selected from the pulldown menu's in Network Station Manager or when
running nsterm from the advanced diagnostics session.
One of the interesting flags is the -numLock flag. Remember to use the capital L. When
this is used, the keypad keys are set to their numeric functions and the Num Lock, slash,
asterisk and - keys are set to F1-F4 like the original VT100.
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Using the keyboard mapping utility
Enable in NSM
Select from the Control pulldown menu
Select the key with a mouseclick on keyboard shown
Select action on "Available action" from on bottom left
Assign action in "Key/Action" frame on bottom right
Save changes to new keyboard name
Assign new keyboard from NSM
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Notes
The keyboard mapping utility is disabled by default for the VT terminal emulator. It is
turned on using NSM as shown earlier.
To use the keyboard mapping utility, simply pull down the Control menu and select
"Keyboard Mapping". This will provide a full screen GUI interface as shown on the next
two screens.
This interface consists of a full keyboard map at the top of the page, a set of keyboard
actions on the bottom left, and the activities to be assigned to the currently active key are
shown in the bottom right window.
For keys to be mapped and saved so that they can be used by the system, the keyboard
mapping must be done by one of the system administrators who is in the NSMAdmin
group.
In the next few screens we will step through the keyboard mapping process.
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Choose Key
Assign
Action
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22
Notes
This screen shows a portion of the top window which displays the keyboard and the
bottom right window which shows the currently active key and the actions assigned to
each of the key press modifiers.
The first thing that you do when you map a key is to select the key by using the mouse to
click on the key icon in the top window of the page and making sure that the active key in
the bottom right changes to that key. Select the appropriate modifier in the lower right or
"current key" window and watch the change to that window as the key is assigned.
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Notes
Next select the desired action from the "available actions list" in the bottom left window by
scrolling the window until you find the desired action and selecting that action with a
mouse press.
After the action has been selected, decide if you want that action assigned to the base key
with no modifiers, or if you want to assign the action when the shift, control, or alt key is
pressed in conjunction with the key.
To assign a string of characters to a keystroke, you can type the word "String" with a
capitol "S" followed by the string you want to assign to the key inside of parentheses and
double quotes as shown on this slide. To add the enter function to the key after typing this
in, you can select the enter action from the left side and click on the modifier button on the
right window as shown here. In this case, I typed in the string assignment for "ls", and
then selected "EnterKey" from the available actions and then clicked the mouse on the
"Shift" button.
Some special characters are also available in the "available actions" window and can be
selected the same way as actions. By this I mean click on the character, and then on the
modifier in the "current key" window.
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Notes
Once you have made all the changes to the keyboard map, select to save the file or use it
for the current session.
The file is saved to the user directory on the server. If the user is in the NSMAdmin group,
when that user runs NSM, he can assign that keyboard to other users by selecting it in
NSM.
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Font selection and limitations
Fonts selection from nsterm Options Menu
Optional change the default with -fn flag from NSM Other
parameters
Must be a fixed font available to the Network Station
Check fonts available with "xlsfonts -display <nc_name>:0.0
Eight bit characters available by setting 8-bit in NSM
No ANSI SCO (PC style) line drawing characters in default fonts
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Notes
Even after the default font is selected, you always have the options of the font sizes shown
on this slide. The actual size that each displays on the screen depends on the screen
resolution of the Network Station monitor.
The ability to select different fonts can be turned off in Network Station Manager.
When creating a new window from NSM or with the advanced diagnostics shell, you can
select any font that is available to the Network Station for use with the VT emulator. I
would warn you that if you select a proportional font such as helvetica that the screen will
not look very good, but any fixed size font should work quite well.
The xlsfonts command on AIX can be used to display the fonts that are available. In
addition this command is also available on the Network Station. You can also use xfd to
display fonts as a preview.
Non of the fonts that come with the Network Station are PC-850 codepage. This means
that you will not be able to use SCO ANSI emulation and expect to display the fonts
normally used by many of their applications to draw lines and boxes without using your
own fonts.
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Color capabilities
Selectable with command line flags: -bg, -fg, -ms, & -cr
Selectable in NSM Other Parameters field
NSTerm*background: color
NSTerm*foreground: color
NSTerm*cursorColor: color
NSTerm*pointerColor: color
Colors are selectable with escape sequences
Foreground colors use Esc[30m to Esc[37m
Background colors use Esc[40m to Esc[47m
Selects black, red, green, yellow,
yellow blue, magenta, cyan and white
To use with some UNIX applications
Add escape sequences directly to application output
Modify terminfo settings to support colors
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The nsterm VT emulator supports colors in all emulation mode.
Colors for the foreground, background, and text and pointer cursors can all be set from
NSM or the command line.
Individual characters on the screen can be displayed in different colors using escape
sequences. These are the standard sequences supported for VT emulation as well as
dtterm and aixterm in AIX.
The actual escape sequences for background color range from Esc[40m to Esc[47m.
In AIX, the terminfo files that control terminal screen attributes do not contain color
definitions by default, but these can be added to dec.ti using the aixterm colors shown in
/usr/lib/terminfo/ibm.ti for VT emulation.
Many applications use colors by sending escape sequences directly to the screen from the
application.
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UNIX termcap and terminfo
Termcap or terminfo databases define terminal capabilities
Used with UNIX curses library programs
Can select attributes from command line with "tput" command
Dependent on the TERM variable in UNIX
Set keyboard input parameters such as function key definitions
Set screen output capabilities such as bold, underline & reverse
Examples
tput blink - sets blink (actually uses reverse video on NSTerm)
tput bold - sets bold characters
tput smul - sets underline
tput sgr0 - reset to default characters
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When using ASCII emulation with UNIX systems such as AIX, the escape sequences for
applications are stored in terminal attribute databases such as terminfo or termcap. These
databases allow programs written with the "curses" programming library to be terminal
independent. This means that a "well written" UNIX application will behave nearly the
same on any terminal or terminal emulation with minor exceptions for functions not
supported.
The section of the terminal database that is used is dependent on the UNIX TERM
environment variable. When you set the emulation type for the nsterm emulator in NSM, it
negotiates with the UNIX host during the telnet connection and the TERM variable is set
automatically allowing applications like "smit" to work regardless of terminal emulation type
set.
The terminal database has attributes defined for different functions such as kf1 for function
key one, kend for the End key, and knp for Page Down, and kcud1 for the down arrow key.
In addition, the screen output has attribute names like blink, bold, and rev for reverse.
The UNIX command "tput" or terminfo put can be used to output these commands. For
example to test bold text use "tput bold". To reset to plain text use "tput sgr0". To see
what the terminfo database has assigned to an attribute use "tput kf1 | od -c". By piping to
the OD command you can see non-printing control characters. These values will change
as you change the TERM type with commands like "export TERM=vt320".
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Alternative ASCII emulation solutions
aixterm, xterm from AIX using -display <nc_name>:0.0
Advanced diagnostics shell (xterm)
telnet to UNIX host
PC emulators with ICA clients
Java based terminal applications
Crosstie emulation (add wyse and 3151 emulation)
From Tridia Corporation
Teemworld emulator (add wyse, 3151, VT420, Tandem,
Tektronix)
From Pericom Software
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Some software developers don't use the UNIX curses library and include escape
sequences directly into the application or use their own terminal databases to define keys.
When this is done, sometimes you are forces to use a specific emulation like IBM 3151 or
Wyse 60 that is not supported by the Network Station VT emulator.
Some solutions for providing other terminal emulation modes are to use a standard X
application such as aixterm running on AIX, but displaying to the Network Station, using
PC based terminal emulators in ICA mode, or using a Java based terminal emulator that
runs using the Network Station JVM or Java Virtual Machine.
Two Java emulators that people have used with the IBM Network Station are the crosstie
emulator from Tridia corporation and the Teamworld emulator from Pericom software.
Both of these emulators provide both 3151 and wyse emulation as well as solutions for
some other terminals. Their only drawback is that usually they have slower performance
than the default terminal emulator or an X based emulator.
In the order of performance I would rank aixterm running on AIX fastest, the Network
Station terminal emulator slightly slower, and the Java based emulators as the slowest
solutions. PC emulators may offer the most flexibility, but usually add cost and aren't
always high performers.
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Where to Find Additional Information
Help screens in VT emulator and NSM
SC41-0690
Using IBM Network Station Manager V2R1
SG24-5844 NSM V2R1 redbook
IBM Network Station Advanced Information
on the Network Station home Web site
AIX documentation
http://www.rs6000.ibm.com/doc_link/en_US/a_doc_lib/aixgen/
X Window System User's Guide
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
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Notes
Help screens provide ready information both when using and configuring the VT
emulator on the Network Station.
Configuring the Network Station with Network Station manager is the same on AIX as on
other server platforms and is covered in Using IBM Network Station Manager V2R1.
The NSM V2R1 redbook gives actual hands on experiences from IBM specialists working
with the Network Station during pre-announcement. This type of information tends to fill
the gaps in standard documentation and often provides more detailed examples.
For administrators who want to stretch the envelope when using Network Stations to
provide kiosk and other nonstandard environments, the IBM Network Station Advanced
Information available from the internet provides additional examples and detailed
information.
I would also recommend a knowledge of X fonts and UNIX terminfo databases. Both of
these are described in AIX manuals and books from O'Reilly and associates. The O'Reilly
book also includes information on xterm escape sequences for doing things like setting
titles under software control.
Thank you for you attention.
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