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tscreen – Terminal Screen, a fork of GNU Screen

Steve Kemp decided to fork GNU screen. His fork is known as tscreen. Among the changes are support for virtical split, storing the layout of the splitted windows so it can be restored after detaching/reattaching, improved source primitive, tilde expansion and an improved screen primitive. Quoting the tscreen homepage:

tscreen is a fork of GNU Screen. It is a perpetual work in progress.

Why fork?

I use Debian GNU/Linux, and the screen packages there have several things missing, or not available fully. Typically the response to these issues is that unless GNU Screen’s upstream agrees with a patch, or change, that the Debian package will not be updated.

This is a principle I agree with in general, but it does mean that we can’t extend screen or change the configuration. So given that I use GNU Screen on a lot of boxes I’d like to have my own version which doesn’t necessarily have to wait for the upstream to update.

Check out the tscreen homepage for sources, Debian packages and further information.

4 Responses to “tscreen – Terminal Screen, a fork of GNU Screen”

  1. Thomas Says:

    Just for info, the recent development version of GNU Screen already has features like vsplit or storing the layout. (See CVS.) I believe since more than one year…

  2. Micah Cowan Says:

    Er, yeah. If you look a bit closer at his site, you’ll find that all of the things you just listed were actually in the original development screen sources he forked from, with the exception of “improved screen primitive” and “tilde expansion” (though that too may be found in the current dev sources). ;)

    The fork probably won’t remain a fork for terribly long, as there have been discussions to get some of his improvements (mainly, his new “alias” command) into the GNU sources (he also just submitted code to implement an “if” statement for .screenrc). Steve was under the (not entirely mistaken) impression that the GNU version was no longer being actively maintained. However, development activity has increased in the last few months with some new faces (including mine).

  3. mika Says:

    @Thomas: I’m aware of that, and this also mentioned on the tscreen homepage (even though not that obvious, ACK :))

    @Micah: FullACK. I’d *love* to see a new GNU screen stable release. If development – I mean public, stable releases, the VCS stuff does NOT count for the enduser – is decreasing and there aren’t any new stable releases a fork is not a bad way to force development, even if the fork itself dies again (see mutt vs. mutt-ng). It’s just a kind of calling for attention. And I’d love to see Steve’s work integrated in GNU screen. And the if-stuff is something I brought up to Steve, great to see that this is work in progress and I highly appreciate the ongoing development!


  4. Denny Says:

    Thanks a lot, for this hint, Mika!