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Started: 2006-05-10 19:57:56

Submitted: 2006-05-10 20:24:30

Visibility: World-readable

I stumbled across a very cool terminal emulator today.

I was actually trying to cross-compile ncurses and less to run on the set-top box I'm fixing code for. After I figured out the correct options to pass to configure, I got some weird terminfo error; I Googled it and accidently ran across Terminator, which doesn't actually advertise itself as the world's coolest terminal emulator, but it looks pretty close. (Although it won't do semi-transparent backgrounds.) The reason I'm currently obsessed with it is because it solves the problem I originally set out to install less to solve: I'm reading long debugging logs searching for a few relevant lines that tell me what I really want to know. The only problem is that the few relevant lines change every five minutes (based on which problem I'm solving at the moment), and if something doesn't behave the way I expect it to I have to look at the context to figure it out.

What I really wanted to do was use selective syntax highlighting to show different patterns in different colors. (It works wonders for my weblogs; I should post my Perl script someday.) However, the set-top box doesn't have Perl (which doesn't really surprise me), and the other solutions I tried (including netcat) didn't quite work either. Terminator is the is the next best thing; I can change my search pattern at will, including using complicated regular expressions, and it'll highlight matching text currently on the screen, in the scroll-back buffer, and any new text that shows up. It may be my new favorite toy.

Tabbed terminals look pretty cool as well.